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GoSun solar stove serves up summer hot dogs

Two things that scream "American summer!" are the bright, hot sun and hot dogs cooking under it. The new GoSun Solar Dogger ties those two even closer. A slimmer, more portable GoSun cooker, the Solar Dogger harnesses the power of the sun to cook hot dogs, sausages and other compact, tubular foods.

Since we last looked at GoSun's solar-cooking hardware in 2013, the company has introduced the bigger, burlier GoSun Grill with the help of crowd funders. Not exactly a "grill," the GoSun Grill is simply a larger solar cooker designed to solar-roast, steam and bake up everything from chickens and fresh veggies, to loaves of bread. It was a CES Innovation Awards honoree earlier this year. 

GoSun is now directing the attention of the crowd toward the slimmer, more portable GoSun Dogger. The new travel oven appears to be a replacement for the GoSun Mini, a compact, non-folding oven that GoSun revealed back in 2013.

While it's a new product, the Solar Dogger is based on some of GoSun's earliest work. As the company tells it, the first food founder Patrick Sherwin cooked in his solar vacuum-tube cooker design was a hot dog.

By building the new model around two hot dogs, GoSun keeps things down to 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) and 14 x 7 x 3 in (35.5 x 18 x 8 cm) when closed. That compares to 7 lb (3.2 kg) and 24 x 5 x 8 in (61 x 20 x 13 cm) for the GoSun Sport. It's heavier than the 1.5-lb (.7-kg) Mini, but sleeker and more portable thanks to the folding clamshell chassis.

When it comes time to cook, the Dogger pops open and its parabolic reflectors focus sunlight on the borosilicate glass vacuum cooking tube. The insulated tube and lid trap the heat inside, dispersing it evenly around the food. GoSun says it'll reach temperatures of 550° F (288° C) , cooking two hot dogs in as little as 10 minutes. It also says cooking can take as long as two hours, depending on the meal and conditions.

The Solar Dogger's tilting base and kickstand help position it for more efficient capture or the sun's rays. It's designed to work in virtually any outside temperature you could expect to encounter, with a listed range of -40° F (-40° C) to 140° F (60° C). The food tray slides out for easy loading and removal.

Hot dogs are GoSun's primary, all-American focus, but the Solar Dogger can also accommodate sausages, taquitos and other compact, tubular foods.

GoSun is hosting an Indiegogo campaign to get the Solar Dogger off the ground and is offering the basic model, with cleaning brush and user manual, for US$59, a $20 discount off the estimated retail price. The $79 Solar Dogger Plus kit includes additional items like a temperature probe, sun dial, educational booklet, experimental reflector and padded carry case.



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