How to Make a Solar Oven

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Almost anything you can cook in a conventional oven, you can cook in a solar oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cardboard
  • Large And Small Cardboard Boxes
  • Non-toxic Glues
  • Non-toxic Invisible Tape
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Pencils
  • Black Construction Paper
  • Staplers
  • Find two boxes. One should fit inside the other with a 2- to 3-inch space on each side. (This can vary slightly - the space will be filled with newspaper.)

  • Line the bottom of the large box with crumpled newspaper.

  • Place the smaller box inside the large box.

  • Fill the space between the sides of the two boxes with crumpled newspaper.

  • Line the sides of the inside of the smaller box with aluminum foil. You can use a non-toxic tape or fold the edges of foil over the top of the box to hold it in place.

  • Line the bottom of the inside of the smaller box with black construction paper to absorb heat.

  • Lay a piece of cardboard on top of the large box and trace the shape of the box onto the cardboard.

  • Add 2 inches around the trace line and cut out to make a reflector.

  • Cover the cardboard piece with aluminum foil. Smooth out any wrinkles and secure the aluminum foil to the cardboard with non-toxic glue or tape.

  • Staple the reflector to the outside back of the large box.

  • Situate the oven with the box opening up and the reflector facing the sun for maximum heat.

  • Place food to be cooked in the solar oven. (See "How to Use a Solar Oven," under Related eHows.)

  • Stretch clear plastic wrap across the top of the large box. Secure the plastic with tape around the entire box.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cooking time is about twice as long as in a conventional oven.
  • Preheating takes about 30 minutes.
  • Use bigger boxes for a larger oven.
  • A small pizza box oven is good for kids to make s'mores or mini-pizzas.
  • Do not use any materials that could give off toxic fumes when heated, such as duct tape or Styrofoam.
  • Do not use a solar oven for foods that must reach a high temperature or cook rapidly.
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