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

  1. superscooter9000 // May 1, 2007 at 8:14 pm // Reply

    i want to tri it!!! this is my 1st time onthe website i love most(after 5 minutes)!!!;)

  2. it’s not actrually solar powered. it’s powered by heat energy

  3. Inventor8 // May 1, 2007 at 8:53 am // Reply

    sorry about sounding so mean but i watch the science channel for fun

  4. Inventor8 // May 1, 2007 at 8:51 am // Reply

    turnten itgetstheheat from the sun


  5. wowowwowowowowowow // April 30, 2007 at 7:02 pm // Reply


  6. The Unknown // April 30, 2007 at 5:38 pm // Reply

    There is also a way to make biscuits like this. Take a regular box and cover all sides with aluminum foil and tape it in. Take old wire coat hangers and punch them through, about three of the long ends to hold a pie plate. You fill another pie plate with coals from your fire and put the biscuits on the other pie plate above the coals, resting on the coat hangers. close the box and let them cook. They are great. You must make sure the whole inside of the box is coated in foil or else it will burn through. This happened the first time my patrol and I tried it, but the biscuits were still great. We laugh about it all the time now!

  7. i love it. its brilliant!

  8. Hey, Tumten the black paper absorbs the heat with reflection of the aluminum foil. It also sounds really COOOOOOOOOL.


  10. newguyintown // April 27, 2007 at 8:15 pm // Reply

    i’m doing it right now

  11. Awsome! I have tried many things like this but, this is the best i have ever seen! It is truly wonderful and is useful and a cheap way to cook. MY RATING: 5 stars

  12. cobra 199999999 // April 24, 2007 at 4:55 pm // Reply

    i have’nt used it yet but i can’t wat {;its cool;maybe;}

  13. Doctor Proffeser // April 23, 2007 at 4:20 pm // Reply

    I’ve got a camping trip to go to, so this [i]might[/i] be of use!

  14. landfill #2 // April 23, 2007 at 1:09 pm // Reply

    thank ya little lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. This is sweet, when I get home I am doing this I hope to here more cool stuff like this. I’v been reading the magizene for 6 years and I just now got to the website

  16. I started my marshmallow on fire! That thing is hot! (pun intended)

  17. Sounds E-Z-P-Z!!!!!!!! =)

  18. love the magazine

  19. KDog: Sounds like I should try it. Is it good? Is it ez?

  20. Great camping idea

  21. how dose it get the heat.

  22. cookmaster say : // April 20, 2007 at 7:33 pm // Reply

    neat o =)

  23. Works like mad, and I haven’t even tried it!

  24. Tastes great!!!!!!!!!!!!

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