How to Build a Solar Oven

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Why waste energy and heat up your kitchen when you can get the sun to do your cooking for you? Building a solar oven is fairly simple to do and very rewarding.

Things You'll Need

  • Two cardboard boxes (One should be small enough to fit in the other box with about 2 inches on each side all around it. The small box should be big enough to fit a decent sized pan in it!)
  • Heavy duty foil
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard to make a lid
  • Cardboard to put in the bottom of the small box
  • Non-toxic black spray paint
  • White glue (non-toxic)
  • Sheet of glass (optional)
  • Two medium-sized hinges
  • Take the two boxes and cut off the top flaps of both boxes. Set aside the flaps you've cut off for later.

  • Glue foil in the insides of both the boxes. Be sure to use non-toxic glue!

  • Put the small box in the center of the big box. Take crumpled newspaper and stuff the space in between the small and big box. Stuff it in well! Once the newspaper is in place, take the flaps that you've set aside and cut them to fit around the center part so you can cover the newspaper. Glue it down securely. You should only be able to see the inside of the small box now.

  • Take a piece of cardboard and cut it to fit in the bottom of the small box. Cover the cardboard with foil and spray the foil covered side with non-toxic black spray paint. Once it is dry, place the cardboard piece with the painted, foiled side facing up in the bottom of the small box. This piece can be replaced if anything ever overflows in your oven.

  • Take the other piece of cardboard and cover it in foil on one side. You will be using this as your sun catcher. Glue the hinges to the bottom of the catcher, one on each side. You may want to use a hot glue gun to glue to hinges to the cardboard. Glue to hinged piece to the big box, so that the cardboard will be able to lay down like a lid over the two boxes.

  • Place your sticks on the opposite side of the box as the hinges. You will be gluing the sticks, but don't do it just yet! Angle the suncatcher at a 45-degree angle and measure where the sticks would need to be to hold the solar cooker suncatcher. Cut the sticks and glue them to the outside of the box. (for this step, you may use a hot glue gun.) You can also slide a piece of glass between the reflector and the boxes, but this is an optional step.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cooking in a solar oven is a slow process. Remember to plan on this when you're making food in it!
  • You may have to turn your oven throughout the day to make sure it is catching the sun's reflection.

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