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Make a Solar Hot Dog Cooker

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

If you curve some aluminum foil just right, you can cook hot dogs with the sun’s heat.



  • Utility knife
  • Tape
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Roofing nails
  • Glue
  • 2 sheets of corrugated cardboard, 7 1/2 inches by 30 inches
  • 2 2-by-2-by-12-inch connector boards
  • Piece of poster board large enough to cover the bottom of the cooker
  • 12-inch-wide aluminum foil
  • 2 1-by-1-by-13 1/2-inch wood uprights
  • Small wooden dowl, sharpened at one end


Step 1. Using the utility knife, cut a curve from the two pieces of cardboard.

Step 2. Connect the curves together using the 12-inch connecting boards, glue and roofing nails.

Step 3. Bend the poster board over the curves, mark with a pencil and cut to size. Glue and tape in place.

Step 4. Spread glue evenly onto the poster board. Carefully glue down the aluminum foil. Make it as smooth as possible.

Step 5. Drill a hole in one upright, cut a notch on the other and glue in place.

Step 6. Aim the cooker at the sun, skewer your hot dogs, and get the rolls and mustard.


The sun reflects heat off the parabolic curve and concentrates it at a single point.

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25 Comments on Make a Solar Hot Dog Cooker

  1. hotdoglover // May 8, 2012 at 9:35 am // Reply

    how long will it take to cook a hotdog?

  2. this project is the best

  3. How long does it take to cook?

  4. any suggestions as how to draw a perfect parabola curve onto the cardboard?

  5. this looks kool. i should make it some day

  6. simple but effective

  7. Second Class Scout, Troop 550 // March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    This is really neat. Will this solar hotdog cooker work in the winter when the temperature is below 40 degrees Farenheit. Hot dogs will cook on an asphalt parking lot in July or August on a piece of aluminum foil when the temperature of the asphalt has been heated to about 95 degrees Farenheit.

  8. Shaggyeagle // March 18, 2012 at 7:11 am // Reply

    Cool we are supposed to make one of these in science and now that I have an idea of what to do imma volunteer to be team leader in our group, as I always do

  9. awesome

  10. Not complcated

  11. How long do you have to wate for it to cook


  13. this things pretty usefull

  14. Zach the Man // January 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm // Reply

    This gives me an idea for an invention!!:)

  15. bro this is actually a good project, so far i hav gotten passing grades on mah project :p

  16. if it gets me a A on my project it will be cool i guess.!!

  17. wow

  18. this is easy and fun to do!!

  19. how hot should the hot dog cook to?

  20. nice & simple project.

  21. how many minutes does the hotdog need to be cooked with that project?

  22. Anonymous // July 7, 2011 at 7:28 am // Reply

    can also use a old satellite dish (the curved surface) covered with tin foil! even the gottom of a soda can will suffice for cooking experiments (a piece of hot dog). this is part of a survivalist kit!!

  23. this was a cool project

  24. love it the best ever in the world going to do this project 🙂

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