Solar Cooking
Last edited: 24 April 2020      

The Devos cooker in use in Burkina Faso in 2007

The Devos cooker is a parabolic solar cooker with a table to protect the cook. However, many differences and advances are noticeable from the usual parabolic cooker:

  • The cooker is made of two main parts: a table and a concentrator.
  • The concentrator reflects and focuses the solar rays under the table, where a hole is made, and where you put the pot.
  • The concentrator is asymmetrical. That way, it can collect all the solar rays. This also allows the table and the pot not to make any shadow on the concentrator.
  • The cooker protects the cook from burns and dazzles. Even if the focus moves, the table shelters the user and is a safety device to do the cooking quietly.
  • There are two simple devices used to track the solar position. The first one allows the control and the tracking of the variation of solar azimuth. The second one allows the tracking of the variation of solar altitude.
  • A special device can regulate the heat under the pot. A shutter and an indicator allow the cook to reduce or increase the heat under the pot.


Xavier Devos (left) demonstrating the Devos solar cooker at the Granada solar cooking conference in 2006

  • Main advantages: the Devos cooker allows dishes to be cooked with an open focus, and at high temperatures, in complete safety.
  • Applications in Africa: all the dishes can be cooked: , different doughs (breads, pastries, porridges), rice with fish, and fried food.
  • Applications in northern countries: as a barbecue or as a fryer.
  • As a cooking table: It is possible to access the dish during the cooking, at all times. It allows the cook to knead dough or stir the food while it is heating. It allows the regulation of the temperature and heat during the cooking.
  • As a barbecue: it can cook ribs of beef, pork chops, sausages, kebabs, and grilled meat, with a special plate. It can also cook French fried potatoes, fritters, Spanish churros, doughnuts, and all sorts of frying.

Field tests[]

The Devos cooker, with a particular size, has given the following results:

  • In France, in Normandy (North West), during summer, we obtained the following results:
    • Fried potatoes for 4 people cooked in 1 hour.
    • Sausages for 4 people cooked in 15 minutes.


The Devos cooker is easy to use as a barbecue, a fryer, or an oven. Depending on the area, it has given good results to do the cooking for up to ten people. [1]

News and recent developments[]

Atouts Soleil 2013.jpg
  • September 2013: The Atouts Soleil organization has made many solar cooking tables in Burkina Faso. These solar cookers have been produced on site by Burkina and French people. The tables, made of steel, were welded and painted. The concentrators were molded before being covered with square mirrors. The women tried different recipes: beans, rice, yams, fried fritters, etc. The solar cooking tables have a high energy focusing, allowing to cook very different meals. Many meals were prepared, like fritters, and of course the rice with sauce, the main meal in Burkina. The sauces were made with onions, tomatoes or gumbo. They prepared the rice and then the sauce, but the sauce required very little time. They enjoyed the taste of the meals and the simplicity of use. And of course they appreciated the best aspect: the solar cooking tables need no fuel to work! These African women have learned to cook standing up, instead of bent over a smoking fire. Solar cooking has changed their lives.
  • September 2007: Xavier Devos reports, "We have made a project in Burkina Faso and another in Senegal, in West Africa, this year. Some women have been trained to use the solar cookers. The result is good, with efficient cookers made and women happy to use them."

See also[]