Author Archives: ecozoomuk


All life on earth relies on sunlight – its the worlds No. 1 free lunch..…totally renewable and no pollution, it competes with fossil fuels on many levels. Used for cooking it must be concentrated. At SLiCK were fully aware of the limitations of solar cooking and have selected solar cookers that work in our UK climate, throughout the year.

Our SLiCK SM70 solar cooker has reflectors which focus on a glass, insulated cook tube. This set up, adequately focussed can give some serious temperatures, perfect for roasting and grilling.

Many people comment on the volume of the cook tube, due to its long, narrow diameter. ‘What can you cook in there?’ they say. Here at SLiCK we’re just beginning to explore the gourmet possibilities of this unique cooking device. Here’s some suggestions to get you started with a feel for cooking sunshine style. Armed with weather forecasts and shades, we’ve found these recipes to be a good fit here in the UK.


IC ChickIc Chick 2Ic Chick 3

Try these crumbed nuggets of free range bird, perfectly sized for the cook tray. Make your own crumb, add parmesan, salt and chilli flakes (if you dare!). Drop the chicken pieces in flour, egg then coat in the crumb. Place in a heated tray and check, from time to time to stop it ‘flying into the sun’.

rice bacon

Brown rice is tasty, but hassle. The pan needs boiling on a hob for ages, sometimes it burns. The SLiCK SM70 makes perfect brown rice.

Wait for 200ml water in the tray to boil (see steam venting), add 100g washed wholemeal rice. In good sun it can take 20-30mins. Turn the SLiCK SM70 away from the sun and leave to steam for 10mins, or to taste. Some rice may stick to the base (if its starchy). If you leave this in and drop in some rolled bacon rashers for further cooking, then you get a crispy rice stir fry. Very popular (in fact rolled up rashers are a winner-dinner anytime).


Vegetarians falafel horno 2will like this healthy classic. Keep the mix a bit moister. Baked falafel needs a light coating of oil to work well. Make them any shape you like as long as it fits the tube and fits in a pitta bread when browned and ready. Serve with the usual falafel-hut stuff. I use hummus made from solar cooker chickpeas. Delicious.


Kebabs are a perfect ‘long food’ fit, anything works! add pepper pieces, lamb chunks, tomatoes, onions to a regular skewer. Season and lay in the cook tube. Turn once or twice. Serve with chillis, garlic sauce. A ‘heavenly’ take away indeed. You can roast peppers and tomatoes in a SLiCK SM70 too.

Lay your kebab on solar cooked brown rice…mmmmmm +1000


Long spaghetti works well, but other shapes work too. Lay out in salted water to just cover the pasta, not too much. It steams nicely. Remove when al dente, 20-30 mins. You can drain and add sauce for the last 5-10 mins but don’t leave in too long, or it gets too soft.

Spag EasySpaghetti bene


Easy one this! Grab the leftovers from the fridge and lay out in the cook tray – dont overload, keep to the profile. Mix 2/3 eggs with some salt, milk, oil & grated cheese. Pour over the leftovers. Wait for some great aromas. crisps up well. Guaranteed hangover cure.

Testerday Tortilla 01Yesterday Tortilla

And this is just the start!…….find your own solar food that fits in the SLiCK SM70. Care for the planet and add to your cuisine! This is the first in series and we welcome your contributions.

Caution: You would never put a sealed container in a microwave, likewise never create a seal by forcing the cook tray into the glass tube. Always allow space above the food, for steam to move, and don’t slop oil around. Keep the tray body clean with kitchen roll. Always be careful…you’re dealing with glass after all and dont burn yourself, use an oven glove.

(A last one: Wrap potato croquettes in bacon….sizzle to completion. Cook fresh, chopped potatoes in the remaining lard……dieters look away now!)

croquettesbacon croquettes cookedcroquettes in baconbacon croquettes ready

Author – Stewart MacLachlan

The SLiCK Team

Solar Day in Cornwall

I love to demonstrate solar cookers.  I like to see those faces – puzzlement, disbelief, and delight – these are the most usual responses.  Most people in the UK have not yet come across a solar cooker, so they are inquisitive.  When they work out what it is, they are usually sceptical – how could there be enough power in the British sun to cook anything?  Finally, a mouthful of delicious solar cooked food converts them.  They are now believers.

But there is a problem.  Variable weather is the curse of UK solar cooks.  If I decide on a date and invite people to come and see solar cookers in action, I am taking a risk.  Even when the weather forecast predicts sunshine, the Jet Stream can change that with an effortless wag of its giant tail.  Cancelling events at the last minute is not good PR, and disappointing all round.  I suppose I could persevere and show the cookers anyway, but that would be like a car salesman telling a prospective customer how well this car would go if only there were some petrol in the tank.  No demonstration, no sale, and rightly so.

P1100244 (1024x768)


 Last weekend, a solution was at hand.  Our local Transition Group ran its annual Green Doors event – an invitation to look round the properties of local people who had greened their lifestyle in some way.  On display were heat pumps, PV panels, external wall insulation, electric cars, and so on.  We decided to piggy-back our Solar Day cooking display onto this event, and arranged to set up at a local Permaculture project.  This meant that if the weather turned ugly, we could sneak away and nobody would have had a wasted journey.  They would get to see the Permaculture project, whatever the weather.

It turned out to be an excellent day for solar cooking.  I had no idea how many would attend, so I wanted to cook something quick, cheap, and popular.  In Cornwall, that means scones.  My Cookup Inox parabolic was available, as were an SM70 and a CooKit.  I chose to contrast the brute power of the Inox with the gentle slow cooking potential of the CooKit by heating some water in each.  This left the SM70 to tackle the scones.  In case there were hordes of visitors, I cooked small squarish scones.  I guess a copy writer would call them ‘fun sized’.  They took about 25 minutes for each batch, in full sun:

Enough for a couple of batches:P1100262 (1024x845)

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2.5g of salt
  • 5g baking powder
  • 50g margarine or butter
  • 150ml milk

Optional: You can add 50g or more of dried fruit before mixing

Bung everything except the milk into a mixing bowl and mix with your fingers until you have a crumb structure.  Add the milk slowly and mix until you have a dryish dough.  Flatten the dough on a floured flat surface until it is about 2cm thick.  Cut into the shapes you want.  Line the bottom of the SM70 food tray with aluminium foil, lightly greased with butter or margarine.  Bung the shapes, not quite touching each other, into the food tray for 20 minutes in full sun, or longer if the sun is intermittent.  They will have reached 100C and you will see the SM70 venting a little steam.  Check every 5 minutes or so thereafter until done to your requirements.  They will harden quite rapidly after about 25 minutes, so keep an eye on them.  Enjoy.


Spending time ‘under canvas’ is a popular holiday option in the UK, especially during long, hot summer days and I was fortunate to experience a cracking week of sunshine out on the Welsh coast, camping at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean

We pitched up at a simple campsite, next to stunning wild beaches and miles from any villages or shops – a real ‘off grid’ place with no power available. This was a great opportunity to set up a brace of SLiCK SM70 Solar Cookers to see how they fitted in.

SM70s in arrayback view of SM70 arrayIMG_0845

Our group consisted of 4 mums, 8 kids and a dog – someone was always hungry. The volume of the SLiCK SM70 isn’t huge, so two were used and this was better suited to our group size. I could also carry one down to the beach for hot food on the go – they’re portable, compact and can easily compete with small throw-away barbecues, without the smoke or disposal issues.

The SM70s were cooking from sunrise onwards, kicking out hot snacks and finger food, sizzling bacon, eggs, croquettes, rolled up flat breads – that kind of thing. This stuff was popular with kids who would disappear everything, with plenty of tomato ketchup. Hot potato chips worked well, sautéed in olive oil. Under the clear, sunny skies there was a quick turnaround. After the first food was ready the tubes stayed very hot and they would cook the next load much faster.

Hot food on the beach is also a treat – the sea water wasn’t too cold, at around 17C, but it wasn’t Copacabana. I’d load up the cook-tube, go swimming and return to the smell of hot, sizzling snacks, just in time!

SM70 - good for hot dogsSLiCK SM70 vs Airstreamcroquettes in bacon

The SLiCK SM70 is eye-catching and shiny – it attracted attention (‘is that for a TV?’). I spoke to many interested people, who couldn’t believe it possible. They needed a heat/smell/taste demo, to get it straight. In the future we might see more solar cookers like the SLiCK SM70 at  campsite’s and beaches, their reflectors blooming like flowers on a sunny day, leaving no waste behind

Back at the campsite the two SM70s were easy to locate out of harms way, with so much space they could nestle into any quiet corner under the sun, alerting you when cooking with the smell of the food. I discovered that it’s important to move food around once, while cooking, like in a conventional oven roast. If it gets too hot, open the tray slightly for a while. It was also a good excuse to sit and hang out, lazy cooking, no flames, smoke – pretending to do something useful. I was on holiday after all!

We also used a Zoom Versa Rocket Stove, burning sticks and charcoal efficiently, and this was used anytime but mainly for evening meals. A SLiCK CooKit – Solar Panel Cooker was also used for heating up kettles of water for dishwashing. Once again I’m taking home a full Camping Gas Bottle, barely used since our fuel was free and renewable.

This was a camping trip to remember: sun, sand and solar cooking. Looking forward to the next!

Stewart MacLachlan

The SLiCK Team

Sea View with the SM70slazy cooking





What?…. Really?


Every year at about this time, on a farm near Oxford,UK a weekend meeting takes place. They are the sort of people who look at a flowing stream and do a rough mental calculation to see if it is worth installing a turbine. Folks attending are mostly graduates from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales.

They know about renewable energy systems – wind turbines, PVs, hydropower and so on. And they know about Eco-buildings, insulation values – that sort of thing. They are clued up. They know about energy.

We took along a SLiCK SM70 solar tube cooker to provide some hot snacks. At breakfast time, in the camping field, it took just a short while to heat up flatbreads, which an intrepid camper was eating cold. “Wow, that’s really hot!” he said, delighted and surprised. When told we would to be selling SLiCK SM70s, we got some puzzled looks: WHAT? HERE IN THE UK! ?? someone said, pointing skywards. At lunchtime, we heated up a tube full of sausage rolls in about twenty minutes. When they came out of the tube, someone reached out casually to pick one up. “Ooh! that’s really hot, it’s burnt my finger” she said, surprised and indignant.

We were standing next to a beautiful COB FARMHOUSE whose roof was festooned with devices for using solar energy – PV panels, light pipes, and an array of solar water heating tubes. Any one of the lunchtime revellers could have told you about how the roof mounted tubes worked to heat the water for use in the farm house.

Kens cob house

Cob House

Stewart in full flow

The SLiCK SM70 Solar Stove

Some would even be able to quote specifications, like stagnation temperatures, selective surfaces, and solar gain.

Yet, faced with exactly the same technology in a SLiCK SM70, they under-estimated it’s power, and doubted its ability to perform under UK skies. Why else would they be so surprised when it heated up their food in front of their very eyes. In their own kitchens, would they touch a tray of hot sausage rolls fresh out of the oven? Probably not. And here’s our point: If a group of practical energy experts finds it difficult to understand how effective these tubes are at capturing and retaining solar energy, what chance is there of convincing the rest of the population?

Our mission is to popularise Solar Cooking in the UK, pioneering useful and simple techniques that can be used anywhere the sun shines.

Perhaps we have a long, long way to go.

camping with two SM70s

SLiCk SM70 solar stove is great for camping

Cooking With Mirrors

Cooking With Mirrors is Easy






Join us and experience the suns cooking power yourself, with our flagship product SLiCK SM70 solar tube cooker.

Don’t burn your fingers!