Best Solar Ovens: Solar Powered Cookers | 2021 (Reviews)

We have all heard of individuals cooking on their car’s dashboard on the hottest summer days in the hottest parts of the planet, and we have all seen people do it. Anyone, however, can use the same power of the sun to cook food on any day when the sun’s rays are strong, from anywhere in the world, and not just in harsh weather conditions, if they have a solar oven.

Solar ovens allow you to use solar energy for your backyard BBQ or camping excursion on the weekends. They make it simple to harness the sun’s energy, and they may help you make your barbeque or dinner more environmentally friendly.

Some people even believe that food cooked in the sun is the best. This is due to the fact that it is carefully baked to perfection in the most natural of environments.

6 Best Solar Ovens

Best Overall: All Season Solar Cooker Camper

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 400⁰F
  • Inclusion: Includes trivet and sunsight device
  • The High Points: high temperature range, adjustable angles for year-round use
  • The Not-So: fragile, doesn’t include many extras

Although it appears to be something out of a children’s science kit, this solar oven is everything but. However, the design of the product is really clever. As a result, it is the most well-thought-out and dependable solar oven on our shortlist of options.

As a result of the way the individual portions of the oven are connected, it may be set up in a variety of different configurations. This provides a significant degree of freedom in terms of choosing the sun’s angle. When it comes to heating a solar oven, this is essential.

Another feature that we appreciate is that the design does not impose a restriction on the amount of space available. With an open top and a flexible design that allows customers to enlarge and open the top, front, and back, it is an excellent choice. This enables you to fit the greatest amount of food inside the oven feasible.

What Reviewers Say

The All Season Solar Cooker Camper’s design, according to the reviews, works exceptionally well in practice. It significantly increases the number of meals you can prepare throughout the day.

This is especially true when it comes to late-night meal preparation (just before sundown). This is equally true for winter cooking, when the days are short and the weather is cold.

There was only one criticism leveled at this one-of-a-kind feature by the reviewers themselves. In other words, for newer users who are still learning the ins and outs of solar oven cooking, it may not be necessary to purchase the additional equipment.

They also claim that the high capacity of this cooker is quite beneficial. However, because the panels are made of plastic, they are easy to fold and transport, and they are also incredibly light when it comes to carrying them around.

The disadvantage of this is that you will be responsible for providing your own cooking materials. You’ll also need to devote some effort to getting it up and running. This may necessitate some configuration on the part of the user.

Features & Considerations:

This oven has a maximum temperature of 4000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is tied for the warmest temperature recorded on this list at 104 degrees.

In order to attain that temperature, the surrounding conditions must be practically ideal. Even under less-than-ideal conditions, you should expect it to reach at least the mid-300s at the very least. That is, as long as there is enough sunlight.

This is particularly advantageous because the majority of regular recipes for in-home cooking call for temperatures in the 300-4000F range, which this oven is capable of achieving. This implies that users are no longer restricted to the standard slow-cooking recipes that are often required for solar ovens.

As previously mentioned, the design of this oven allows for a pretty large capacity, which we will discuss in more detail below. This is especially true when considering the size of the oven when it is folded up.

The cooking space is 12 inches deep and 17 inches wide when it is open. As a result, it has one of the greatest capacity of any device on our list. According to the maker, this solar oven has enough space to fit an entire turkey inside.

There is one thing to keep in mind, though, when it comes to the capacity. This oven does not come with any cooking utensils or accessories.

It does, however, come with a trivet, which may be used to support whatever you decide to cook with. As well as that, it has a “sunsight.” This assists customers in locating and following the optimal sun angle for the solar oven in order to cook as efficiently as possible.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Runner-Up: All American Sun Oven

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 360-400⁰F
  • Inclusion: Includes a CD with recipes
  • The High Points: sturdy, easy setup, good temperature range
  • The Not-So: heavy, capacity limited by design

The All American Sun Oven is a durable alternative to the All Season Solar Cooker Camper, which is lightweight. The All American Sun Oven, in contrast to the majority of other options available, is constructed of a black strong plastic shell with a wooden frame. As a result, it is far more rugged than many other setups.

This design also has the additional benefit of retaining heat in a way that other designs do not. It has a more enclosed cooking area that is more protected from the elements. As a result, the food is better protected, and the heat is retained more readily within the device.

Other alternatives include having your cooking elements more exposed until you choose to cover them with another container, which is an improvement over the previous option.

What Reviewers Say

The All American Sun Oven for home solar cooking has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers. They generally remember utilizing it for disaster preparedness, which is what they remember most. Some, on the other hand, claim that they use it for enjoyment on hot summer days as well as cool winter days since it has a distinct flavor that they enjoy drinking.

The fact that this solar oven is large and hefty adds to the difficulty of using it. It is not particularly portable, according to the reviews, due to the size and weight of the device. Because of this, people prefer to use it at home or when traveling by car. It is not recommended for transit by foot, bicycle, or public transportation.

Features & Considerations:

The All American Sun Oven, like the All Season Solar Cooker Camper, is capable of reaching temperatures of up to 4000F under optimal conditions. The manufacturer, Sun Ovens International, clearly states that the maximum temperature can range between 360 and 4000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is dependent on the circumstances and arrangement.

It is not as flexible in terms of location as the All Season Solar Cooker Camper’s panels, which heat the box from the angles at which it is heated. As a result, cooking may be restricted to specific times of day.

Having said that, the design of this solar oven ensures that it will heat up far more fast than other solutions available today. It compensates for a shorter cooking time by increasing the speed of heating.

The All American Sun Oven has a large capacity, which is commendable. Its dimensions are 14 inches by 14 inches in size. The boxy shape, on the other hand, does have some drawbacks. This is due to the fact that screws with a protrusion of about 7 inches in height restrict the height of the pots that may be used when utilizing full capacity.

This specific solar oven is the only one that has a height restriction. As a result, this is a significant factor to consider while evaluating this product.

A pleasant bonus that comes with this solar oven is that it comes with a CD with recipes. That can be a really useful tool for someone who is just starting out as a solar chef. Sun Oven International also provides this solar oven in a variety of additional designs. Pots, pans, and racks for use with it are among the items on the list.

See the Amazon price for more information.

A Close Third: Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 285⁰F
  • Inclusion: Includes solar oven thermometer, trivet, collapsible silicone pot, cookbook and stuff bag
  • The High Points: many extra features, very portable, efficient use of space
  • The Not-So: not great temperature range

When it comes to the Sunflair Small Portable Solar Oven, the most important thing to realize is that it is the “mini” version of the Sunflair brand. They do have a more extensive selection. We discovered, however, that the trade-offs vs the benefits resulted in their tiny option being a more reliable and adaptable alternative than the larger one in the end.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven is that it comes with a slew of additional features. They consist of the following items: a solar oven thermometer, a trivet, a collapsible silicone pot, a cookbook, and a carry bag. Everything about this solar oven, including the extras, is designed to be easily transported.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers regularly observed that the Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven was a little bit smaller than they had anticipated when they first saw it. However, it frequently astounded them with its capabilities at the same time.

Several people suggested that different-shaped pans would be more efficient in terms of space utilization than the one that was provided. They did, however, believe that the collapsible pot that came with the package was the most portable, so they continued to use it while on the go.

Many customers also mentioned how the supplied cookbook assisted them in learning how to use a solar oven, even if they were complete beginners. In addition to best practices, such as always using a lid, they stated that the cookbook includes suggestions for heating canned and pre-cooked foods. It also contains information on how to begin cultivating their own from-scratch solar cooking abilities.

One or two reviewers expressed disappointment that the temperature of this solar oven did not reach the levels of other solutions they had seen or used previously. But in general, they came to the opinion that, between the quick heating and mobility, the other qualities more than compensated for the lower heat.

Features & Considerations:

The combined extras make any solar oven novice ready to get started with cooking right away, without having to do any additional study into which materials are best suited for their particular oven. The thermometer, foldable pot, and trivet make setup quick and simple, and they are items that even seasoned cooks will find useful and convenient.

The way the Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven folds up protects the oven’s more delicate inside, which is very important. A storage bag is included with the purchase.

As a result of the protection that it provides itself, this solar oven is extremely long-lasting. Even the thermometer, trivet, and pot fit inside the packing bag with no problem.

One of the most significant factors while using this solar oven is the temperature range it is capable of producing. It can only achieve temperatures of approximately 2850 degrees Fahrenheit under optimum conditions. This is an acceptable temperature for slow cooking, however keep in mind that water must be at 2120 degrees Fahrenheit in order to boil, and meat must reach an internal temperature of 160-1650 degrees Fahrenheit.

See the Amazon price for more information.

Best Mid-Range Option: Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 325⁰F
  • Inclusion: Includes cooking sleeve, 4-quart pot, thermometer and circular windscreen
  • The High Points: very adjustable, includes many tools, light
  • The Not-So: small cooking space

The Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit is an excellent choice for anyone searching for a low-cost solar oven that is yet capable of producing high-quality results. This choice deconstructs more than the others, which making it incredibly portable because all of the components wrap up into a tube-shaped carrying case. However, it takes a bit longer to set up and take down than the alternatives.

Because of its distinctive shape, it is also very changeable, as evidenced by the fact that the “petals” that surround the cooking surface may be readily moved to follow the sun. They are located on all four corners of the cooking surface and get sunlight from all directions, which helps to swiftly heat the pot in the middle.

What Reviewers Say

A number of reviewers praised the 4-quart pot for its convenience, noting that it fits perfectly into the cooking area of this solar oven. However, several users expressed concern that the pot’s lack of handles made it difficult to place into and remove from the cooking area. Others argued that this was incorrect because the pot would have to be smaller to accommodate handles, so eliminating the benefit of a perfect fit.

Other reviewers praised the convenience with which they were able to transport this solar oven on the go. However, they advised that setting up and taking down the solar oven can take some time, especially if they need to fold it into its carrying case. They also stated that the carrying bag is incredibly convenient, but that it can take some time.

Features & Considerations:

With appropriate arrangement of the “petals,” this solar oven can achieve temperatures of 3250 degrees Fahrenheit under optimum conditions. This is a fantastic choice for a mid-range budget alternative because it is capable of handling slow cooker recipes as well as some recipes that require high heat, provided that the solar oven is properly positioned on the solar panel.

Storage sleeve, four-quart pot, thermometer, and circular windscreen are all included in the “set.” Despite the fact that the instruments are rudimentary, they are sufficient for getting started in the kitchen.

In comparison to some other included pots in similar kits, the 4-quart pot is significantly larger, allowing users to get the most out of their purchase.

This type’s circular form limits the actual cooking area of the solar oven, therefore having a large-capacity pot included that is compatible with the model is essential. Because the cooking area is completely surrounded by petals, it can be a little difficult to access, and it is also a little smaller than ideal, measuring only 12 inches by 7 inches.

Despite some other drawbacks, the carrying case makes this solar oven quite convenient to transport. Being lightweight (it weighs only 2.6 pounds) also helps to make it more portable than most other models. It is an excellent alternative for individuals with a medium budget who are seeking for a portable solar oven that is simple to operate.

See the Amazon price for more information.

For Those on a Budget: Jwn Portable Solar Oven Bag

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 250⁰F
  • Inclusion: Solar oven comes alone
  • The High Points: super portable, easy set-up, large cooking area
  • The Not-So: does not reach high temperatures

This portable solar oven bag from Jwn comes in at less than half the price of the next lowest alternative, making it an excellent choice for solar chefs on a tight budget. Its manufacturers keep the price low by making it as basic as possible, but this does not necessarily mean that its utility is limited.

This solar oven has a surprising amount of capacity, especially considering that it is essentially a huge bag that opens up to expose a solar oven inside. When stretched out completely, the cooking area measures approximately 17 by 16 inches; however, depending on how you arrange the bag, the cooking space is somewhat limited by height.

What Reviewers Say

According to the reviews, anyone who uses a solar oven on a tight budget should consider purchasing this bag because it makes few sacrifices in order to keep the price low. Despite the fact that its simplicity makes it simple to use, some reviewers noted dissatisfaction with the fact that they had to purchase their own matching pan and that there were no instructions provided with the bag.

The bag shape of the oven, according to the reviews, makes it highly portable while also being extremely dependable. Its natural folding mechanism for storage and the zip closure safeguard the more delicate interior part of the solar oven, and its insulating plastic shell also helps to keep the outer surface of the solar oven relatively durable.

Features & Considerations:

As previously said, this solar oven has a large capacity for its price; however, one of the limits imposed by this capacity is the height of the cooking element that is used to cook the food. Because you have the ability to adjust the design of the bag, either long, low pots or pans or taller, slender pots or pans would work.

One disadvantage of this is that the bag must be controlled to the pan shape, which means that it cannot be manipulated as much to meet the needs of the sun angle and other elements. It is possible to get reasonable high temperatures with appropriate rotation and care; in perfect conditions, the Jwn Portable Solar Oven bag may reach temperatures of up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.

This solar oven is incredibly portable due to the fact that it is contained within a bag. It just weighs 1.2 pounds, and all that is required to set it up is for customers to unzip it and place it on a flat surface. Simple cleanup follows, but you must be careful not to damage the interior part of the bag, which restricts the amount of stuff that may be stored inside.

See the Amazon price for more information.

For a Highly Portable, High Capacity Option: Solavore Sport Solar Oven

  • Temperature Range: Heats up to 300⁰F
  • Inclusion: Includes two 10-inch pots and a carrying sleeve
  • The High Points: high capacity, useful extras, portable
  • The Not-So: just medium temperature range

Many of the solar ovens on the market today fall into one of three categories: high capacity, but bulky; low capacity, but portable; or medium capacity, medium portability, but not very efficient. High capacity, but bulky; low capacity, but portable; or medium capacity, medium portability, but not very efficient.

All of the features come together to form an efficient, exceptionally high-capacity solar oven that folds up to the smallest size of any of the solar ovens on this list, making it both extremely portable and extremely portable. Because of this unique combination of characteristics, it has earned a particular place on our list.

There are two 3-quart graniteware pots included with the Solavore Solar Spot Oven, both of which fit comfortably inside the cooking area of the solar oven. It is also possible that the introduction of these two perfectly-fitting pots will make the high-capacity more accessible to consumers because the pots were provided with the goal of making it simple to take full benefit of the high capacity.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers, particularly those who were new to solar cooking, expressed appreciation for the inclusion of the two 3-quart pots, stating that the two 3-quart pots made preparing a complete, multi-item supper straightforward. They particularly like the fact that the design of this solar oven keeps the panels and cooking surface near to the ground, making it simple to maintain.

Some reviewers were dissatisfied with the fact that they had to totally fold the entire contraption in order for it to fit inside the bag, which they felt was unnecessary. Some people argued that this hindered the device’s portability, while others praised it for shrinking such a huge device into such a small form factor. Both parties agreed, however, that users should plan on spending some extra time setting up and taking down their displays.

Features & Considerations:

The Solavore Solar Spot Oven can reach temperatures of approximately 3000F under optimal conditions and sun angle. In spite of the fact that this is not the most powerful solar cooker on our list, the temperature is more than sufficient for sun cooking, and the two supplied pots make cooking many dishes at the same time a snap.

Essentially, the entire oven may be folded over itself, resulting in a pile of interconnected sheets of metal that can be easily stored and transported in a tiny pouch when entirely compressed. Because of the high-quality materials used in its construction, the final product weighs around 9 pounds; yet, the product’s design makes the weight easy to distribute and the product relatively portable.

In total, the cooking space that accommodates the two pots measures approximately 17 inches long by 9 inches in width. When using a solar cooker and Dutch oven kit such as the Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit, the cooking area is located in the middle of an array of metal panels, which can make it difficult to reach the cooking area at times.

However, unlike the pot that comes with the Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker and Dutch Oven Kit, the two pots that come with the Solavore Solar Spot Oven both have wide rims that can be used as handles, making the insertion and removal of items into and from the cooking area much more convenient and efficient.

See the Amazon price for more information.

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The Complete Solar Ovens Buyer’s Guide

What Makes a Good Solar Oven

The day is right. The sun is high, the weather is warm and the sky is clear. You’ve spent hours picking out the perfect recipe and you’ve assembled all the ingredients; you’re ready to cook outside.

But how do you know that you have the right solar oven for the job?

Solar ovens have a range of sizes, temperatures and included pieces to consider. They also vary in portability and weight. All of these factors contribute to figuring out which solar oven is best for you.

What will you be cooking in your solar oven?

 

Some people utilize solar ovens as an additional source of support for their other outdoor cooking activities. Cooking their bread, storing their already-cooked (grilled, roasted) food in it to keep that food warm, or heating the beans that go with their barbecue are all examples of what they do with their barbecue.

Those who want to cook environmentally friendly perceive a solar oven as a method to completely eliminate the use of an oven or stove on sunny days, or as an outdoor Crock-Pot, to put it another way. It is possible that they will cook a lasagna or even a whole turkey in their solar oven.

Taking into account which application best suits your needs might assist you in selecting the most appropriate solar oven. Those with loftier aspirations are likely to prefer a solar oven with a larger cooking surface and more capability to reach higher temperatures, but those who consider it as a secondary tool may be content with a more straightforward option.

Beginning solar cooks with high aspirations may also choose to purchase a kit version of the solar oven to get started, which may comprise the following components:

A trivet

  • A pot
  • A recipe book
  • A device that helps identify sun angle
  • A thermometer

Where will you be cooking with your solar oven?

If you’re taking your solar oven camping or to a BBQ, it’s unlikely that it will need to be very small or portable. In this case, a heavier, more sophisticated oven, especially one with a larger capacity for baking and cooking for a large party, will suffice.

It may be preferable to use a lighter, more compact solar oven if you’re solar backpacking or need to transport your oven with you on the go in an environment where you don’t have much space, but you still want to use a green cooking method.

Some of the solar ovens on our list fold up into compact carrying cases, making them ideal for solar cooks on the road, while others are considerably more assembled, allowing for a simple setup and an exceptionally large cooking capacity, but at the expense of a significant increase in weight.

When it came to the “where” issue, we made sure to provide you with information on the size and weight of the solar oven, as well as the intended storage method, so that you can be confident that the solar oven you choose will be able to accompany you wherever you need to go.

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Selection Criteria: How We Ranked the Best Solar Ovens

Making a decision on the finest solar ovens is no easy chore, especially when there are so many on the market that simply don’t function very well at all. For the purpose of compiling our list of the finest solar ovens available, we looked at solar ovens that have been confirmed to function effectively and last the test of time, based on their materials and actual customer experiences with the ovens.

Even when compared to a pizza-box science project oven, a decent solar oven can go a long way. However, understanding what makes the difference is critical to its effectiveness. It was important to us to select solar ovens that were straightforward and made cooking with the sun both simple and practical.

Several important factors were taken into consideration when determining which solar ovens were the finest. The more portable solar ovens were our favorites since, while a thirty-pound oven would be effective, nobody wants to haul that around all the time. Having said that, there is some variety in our list…. The reason behind this is as follows.

Portability and Capacity

It is often true that solar ovens with the greatest portability also have the least capacity in terms of cooking surface, and vice versa. The largest and heaviest solar ovens provide a large amount of space for consumers to work with.

In some cases, solar ovens achieve a good compromise between these two requirements. Those were the ones we favored the most. Then we chose the solar ovens that would be most effective in one of the locations.

Another thing we discovered in terms of mobility and lightweight is that the products that are the greatest in both categories are frequently the most difficult to set up and take down, whereas the most durable products are a breeze. Due to the fact that it requires little folding to be transported in a small package, it is simple to deal with.

We looked at the weight and the size of the cooking area as two fundamental indicators of portability and capacity. In our reviews, we made note of any storage-related features that were particularly useful. A good example is the Jwn Portable Solar Oven Bag, which is a solar oven in the shape of a bag.

Temperature Range

The temperature range of a solar oven is one of the most essential considerations when selecting the best solar ovens. In fact, it is the single most important difference between a produced solar oven and a handmade solar oven.

All of the solar ovens on our list are capable of reaching temperatures of at least 2500F. We determined that this was the lowest permissible maximum temperature. This is due to the fact that most slow-cooking recipes require a temperature range in this range.

You’ll also notice that we preferred solar ovens that had a temperature range of 300-4000 degrees Fahrenheit. A greater variety of conceivable applications can be found with these.

Having said that, some of the lowest temperature range solutions are the most affordable, straightforward, and portable. As a result of those characteristics, we also regard them to be important.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do solar ovens work?

The basic concept of a solar oven is that it uses direct sunlight to heat a dark box or container (either the cooking area or a dark pot, depending on the design), with the heat from the sun’s rays being trapped within the box or pot.

Because the surface is black, it traps more heat, which is then stored and used to cook the food over a longer period of time. As more light is reflected back onto the dark surface from the surrounding reflecting surfaces, the cooking process moves more quickly.

Can I adjust the temperature of my solar oven?

Users have a little amount of control over the temperature of a solar oven, and this control is dependent on how directly in the sun the oven is placed. In general, however, preparing things that require a precise or steady temperature (such as a cake) is not a good idea (such as baking a cake in the oven).

If temperature is a major issue in your cooking, the best course of action is to select a solar oven with a maximum temperature range that corresponds to the temperatures at which you intend to cook and to purchase a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the solar oven during cooking.

What can I cook with a solar oven?

The temperature of a solar oven is the most significant constraint on what can be cooked in it. Keep in mind that water must be heated to 2120 degrees Fahrenheit in order to boil, and meat must achieve an internal temperature of 160-1650 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be safe to consume.

Even though all of the ovens on this list are rated to be able to reach at least one of those temperatures in ideal settings, ensuring that they are able to achieve those temperatures in less-than-ideal situations is critical.

Another constraint is the amount of space available. Many of the solar ovens have specific height, length, and width constraints, which restrict the types of pots and pans that can be used in the ovens. By proxy, this also limits the types of foods that can be accommodated; nonetheless, in the majority of circumstances, if a food fits, it can most likely be prepared.

With that in mind, there are virtually unlimited possibilities for what can be prepared in a solar oven. Often, you may think of a solar oven as being comparable to a slow cooker/Crock-Pot in terms of how it cooks. Cooking in them is possible for almost everything, however some recipes may require adaptations in order to be successful.

Many solar ovens come with a recipe book or CD that has a few ideas, and there are numerous recipes that have been adapted for solar ovens that can be found online. As long as you bear in mind the restrictions of temperature and size, there is almost always a method.

Can I use a solar oven when it’s cold outside?

Yes, it is possible. Despite the fact that some people believe their ovens perform slightly better during the warmer months, the amount of sunshine that they receive is what truly matters.

The cooking area will be heated by the solar oven if it is correctly positioned in direct sunlight, regardless of the outside temperature. However, you may notice that reaching the maximum temperature takes a little longer and that the amount of time that you can get direct sunlight is less in the winter.

Most solar ovens include a cooking surface that is mostly covered, either in a boxed-in section or with a clear windshield, to assist keep the heat that they create in check. Aside from that, they make use of huge pots that are frequently well-insulated. With the assistance of both of those tools, the heat that the solar oven concentrates is not lost, even when the outside temperature is colder than the inside environment.

What kinds of pots/pans/kitchenware are appropriate for a solar oven?

In addition to including a suitable pot for the solar oven in many of the items on this list, many of the manufacturers also sell them separately, either as an additional item to complement a kit or as an add-on to the essentials. The fact that they are specifically designed to be used with a solar oven makes them fantastic alternatives as well.

There are a few things to keep in mind whether you’re planning on going out on your own and using a pot that you already have or purchasing one from somewhere else.

The pot should be made of a thin, black metal and should have a lid to keep the moisture out. When using polished-finish pots in solar ovens, consumers frequently experience difficulties because the polished finish deflects light away from the pot. In addition, when they utilize pots made of thick metal or various ceramics, they may experience difficulties because these pots take significantly longer to heat.

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