Solar Cooking
Last edited: 29 March 2020      
Jose Albano 2008.jpg

Brazilian garbage scavengers make their own solar cookers from scavenged materials using plans they found in the Solar Cooking Archive

Jose Albano, of Pleno Sol made his first solar box cooker in 2005. He has translated solar cooker material from English to Portuguese. In 2006, Jose helped lead a workshop for trash collectors in making solar cookers from recycled materials.

Quoting Jose:

"I discovered, through a link, the Solar Cookers International Network and the amazing amount of information on solar cooking available through its many links. I had been interested in solar cooking because I live in Fortaleza, on the northeastern coast of Brazil — the ‘hot’ area for the use of solar energy. But, I had always thought one needed a high-tech polished metal parabolic device to solar cook, much above my economic means and not available for sale here.

So, I was greatly surprised to know of solar box cookers and specially the cardboard solar box cookers you have introduced and spread to the world. Skeptical, I decided to build one, following the instructions on the Archive. In utter disbelief I took out of it my first pots of brown rice and lentils, perfectly cooked and delicious! The experience has changed my life!

Just one year later, I have cooked hundreds of meals, have built some 20 solar cookers (mostly the box type, but also some panel type), have researched and designed modifications, … have shown one of my solar cookers on television, and have conducted a number of workshops to teach interested folks. I also come back to the ever expanding Archive … and I have been trying out and adapting or developing new recipes almost on a daily basis. Like yourself, I feel the urge to spread the good news. At 61 years old, and going strong, I am convinced that if there is such a beast as a solar cooking virus, then I have certainly been seriously infected!”


  • November 2011: Jose notes that since he began teaching in 2004, he has introduced over 400 people to solar cooking.
  • July 2009: Jose Albano reports that a government-sponsored solar box cooker workshop conducted by Paulo Araujo was featured on a Globo TV national news broadcast.

Wires are attached in a crosswise fashion...

  • March 2006: Enthusiastic new solar promoter Jose Albano (see “Solar Cooking Archive informs, inspires Brazilian promoter,” has developed an interesting solar box cooker lid system that creates a double-paned plastic window effect and stops air loss through the lid/cooker joint.

    ...while a rubber tube seals against air loss

    Mr. Albano notes that this idea works best in areas near the equator, where the sun is often directly overhead and reflectors are not required. The system can be used with cookers made from various materials, including cardboard and wood. The first step is to build a four-sided lid frame using wooden boards about one-inch thick. Next, tautly attach wires in a crosswise fashion on both sides of the wooden frame, creating a “skeleton” that will serve to separate two layers of plastic sheeting and allow for insulating air space between them. Spread a sheet of transparent plastic across one side of the frame, wrap the ends around to the opposite side of each board, and secure with staples. After food has been placed in the cooker, place the lid on top of the four walls of the cooker with the plastic side down. A larger sheet of transparent plastic is then draped over the lid partway down all four sides of the cooker. This sheet is secured using a rubber tube or similar fastener, preventing air from escaping. [Editor’s note: Solar Cookers International recommends polypropylene, polyester or polycarbonate plastic sheeting.]

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Receita José Albano

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Jose Albano
Rua Mar del Plata, 265
Lagoa Redonda
60832-300 Fortaleza

Tel: +85 3476 8625