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How to make an oven for solar-powered cooking

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

You don’t need four burners and a gas line to make some great-tasting trail food. All you need is plenty of sunlight. Make your own solar oven and feed the whole group. Solar ovens work by bouncing sunlight off a reflective surface into a pot. The hotter the pot, the faster your food will cook. It’s easy to make—and cheap.



  • A pizza box
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic window covering
  • Permanent marker
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • String


reflector-1STEP 1: Line the inside bottom of the box with foil.


reflector-2 STEP 2: Cover foil with black paper and tape in place.

STEP 3: Set the plastic under the box and trace the outline of the box.


reflector-4 STEP 4: Remove the box and draw another outline 1⁄4-inch inside the first outline and cut along inside line.


reflector-5STEP 5: Close the box cover, and draw another line 1 inch from each side.

STEP 6: Cut along the lines on the front and sides—not the back.


reflector-7STEP 7: Open the cover and line the inside with foil.

STEP 8: Glue foil in place.

STEP 9: Cover foil with the cut plastic and tape in place.

STEP 10: All layers should be airtight and wrinkle-free.


reflector-11STEP 11: On the outside of the box cover, attach a string long enough to keep the flap open and let the sun shine in.

STEP 12: Once you have the oven, all you need is the sun. Choose a spot that will get at least several hours of direct sun away from any strong wind.



Solar cooking takes a little practice. Try this recipe first:

Solar Oven S’mores


  • Graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate bars
  • Marshmallows

Place graham crackers next to each other on the bottom of a black cast-iron pot. Black pots are best because they absorb and retain the sun’s heat better than light-colored pans. Top each cracker with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Put a glass lid over the pot and place the pot in the center of your solar oven. When the marshmallow is gooey, take out the crackers and add the second layer of graham crackers on top to complete it.

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17 Comments on How to make an oven for solar-powered cooking

  1. 😃

  2. Cool

  3. what about bugs!

  4. cool, I might try it.

  5. Pretty cool.I’ll try it.

  6. I cant find pedro anywhere help me

  7. I made this for my science project and I also made other cookers and this cooker is called Box Cooker. THe other types of cookers are called Parabolic Cooker and Panel Cooker

  8. sounds cool

  9. This seams really cool! I might build it soon.
    I just don’t get questions 3-5 if someone could
    help me! Thanks to whoever does.:)

  10. This seams really cool! I might build it soon.
    I just don’t get questions 3-5 if someone could
    help me! Thanks to whoever does

  11. wow this is really cool

  12. Redneck's Rock // December 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm // Reply

    Thanks guys! I’m doing it right now for a science for for going green thanks a lot!:)

  13. I lost the 2005 issue and my dad has been looking for this forever! Thanks!

  14. cool making it right now

  15. does it work

  16. Like the idea,mom does too.

  17. BoyScout4Life! // June 9, 2012 at 8:56 am // Reply

    What should you use if you don’t have a pizza box? Should you use a shoebox?

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