Grilling Tips: A Free-Fuel Grill

I ran across this on one of my fave food news feeds yesterday, and I kicked myself for not having thought of it. This new Grill design is definitely not for everybody, but I think it has potential, especially if you are serious about eating healthy and taking good care of the environment…

Steak Solar Cooker - © kingofrandom.comThe crazy guys at kingsofrandom.com show you how to use a Solar Gril
in this detailed video…

Did any of you guys out there ever burn ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass when you were, oh, ten years old? What else and who else did you burn? Prepare to relive those carefree, dangerous times!

The video above shows you how to cook a Steak without using any kind of fossil fuel or electricity. What you do need is a monster fresnel lens. That’s a plastic sheet with circular grooves that magnify images. They sell small ones for folks with vision issues. Once, in the infancy of big-screen TVs, they used them to make TV pictures look bigger. And they’ve been used in lighthouses for almost 200 years. But you can also use them to concentrate sunlight like your old magnifying glass, producing more than enough heat to cook foods as if they were on a Grill or in a pan on the stove top.

What you need…

The heart of the Solar Grill is a giant fresnel lens. By giant, we mean 3 ft.x 4 ft. (90 cm x 120 cm). You can either cannibalize an old rear-protection TV for one, or buy one direct from a Scientific Supply House like AliExpress. The biggest they have is 36 in. (90 cm) in diameter. Those who’ve built solar cookers say that should suffice for practical purposes. But but fresnels are expensive – about $1 per cm diameter. So, you may want to try websites such as eBay for used projection TVs…

What you do…

Consult this link for directions on building a solar Grill, and this link for helpful hints on how to use it… First and foremost, don’t leave food unattended on the Solar Grill. Things will probably cook faster on it than a regular Grill. Use black cast iron pans for best results and most-even heat distribution. Always use an instant-read Meat Thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food. Solar Grills, if not adjusted just right, can char food on the outside and leave it raw on the inside.

Caveats…

The fresnel lens Solar Grill really does produce heat, at it focus point, of over 2,000 F. Always wear sunglasses when using it. Never point it directly at anything you don’t want cooked. Always stay out of the way of the ray. Don’t let the kids play with it. Keep it covered with an opaque tarp when not in use, to avoid accidents. Use your God-given common sense!

Above all, this is a project recommended only for the avid hobbist, not the average person who’s never built anything before.

Disclaimer…

I wanted to show you this novel way of Grilling, but I also want to tell you that I won’t be trying it myself. Seems a little scary and dangerous to me. And I hereby absolve myself of any responsibility if you go out and build a Solar Grill and the thing burns something – or somebody – down. No warranties, guarantees or anything else are given. You’re on your own, Solar Grillers!

~ Maggie J.

Posted under: Comfort Food, Food Tips, Summer Staples

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