Most solar cookers have some sort of reflectors to concentrate the energy of the sun. The solar steamer uses no reflectors but concentrates the solar energy by creating steam from a relatively large collector area and applying it to a smaller cooking area. As the solar steamer is using steam as heat transfer medium, it is an indirect cooking system. This allows the design of a split system where the thermal solar collector can be placed at some distance (e.g. on the roof) apart from the place of cooking (e.g. in the kitchen). The cook is not exposed to the sun shine and can use the steam at whatever hight is convenient and culturally acceptable.
This makes it a very convenient cooker for large quantities of food. Using simple stackable steaming pots several dishes can be cooked simultaneously. The steaming process is very similar to traditional steaming processes and should find easily cultural acceptance.
The solar generated steam can also be used to heat large pots of stew or soup by guiding the steam directly into the liquid were it condenses and releases the heat of condensation. This leads to a gentle agitation of the food without burning it.
More information about solar cookers and the importance of solar cooking can be found at the Solar Cookers International Network.