Investment in new technologies has produced a large volume of work over the last 30 years on improved biomass cookstoves. This work has led to large scale projects with accompanying emissions standards. At the same time, the reduction in price and the use of LEDs had led to a similarly large volume of work on solar lighting. At our current tipping point we find that rarely do these two bodies of specialisation overlap. Few if any have begun to ask if ‘solar electric cooking’ is even viable. There is a legacy of thought that needs to be tackled by actor networking and solid research.