Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Step by Step Solar Oven


Having a solar oven is one of the things I always wanted to try.  I have friends who have built some and love them.  Another friend told me I could build an super easy one out of cardboard and a few other things I had laying around the house.  So Google and I spent the afternoon together searching the web for a fairly simple one.  Stay tuned tomorrow because I will be trying it out with a meal.

I started with a medium moving box because we just moved and I had a ton of them.  My box is 18 inches or so squared which made it much simpler to do as far as measurements went.  

Other Supplies

-Cotton batting (the directions I used actually called 
for insulation but that seemed a bit much for me.  I used cotton batting, like the kind you use for making quilts. It was a bit more expensive than I would have liked but I didn't think fiberglass would be good either.   $20.00
-Elmer's Glue-non toxic.  I went through 2 4oz bottles.  $0.50 each
-black spray paint-flat, the kind you use for BBQs-non-toxic $3
-Reynolds' cooking bag $1
-aluminium foil- maybe about $1 worth
-scissors, measuring tape and duct tape, which I already had.

 Tape the flaps to the outside of the box.
I also reinforced the bottom of the box with a bit of duct tape as well.  This is obviously not a forever model.  Remember it's just a test model.  So far the building of the solar oven is pretty easy LOL.

Now the directions told me to cut out the insulation. I need 5 pieces each 18 inches or so squared to fit the bottom of my box as well as all four sides.

 I used cotton batting and as it is pretty thin I actually used 10 pieces total.  2 pieces glued together for each side.

Aluminium foil is next.  You want to cover the entire cotton with it.  Shiny side out.  I glued  it straight to the cotton.  

It should look something like this when it is done.  After I made five of them I took them outside to spray paint them black.  Again I used non-toxic flat black spray paint-the kind they use on BBQers.

While those are drying make the cover.

^ for the lid you want a bit of a bigger box that the one you used for the oven.  I fortunately have lot's of those as well.  I cut my lid 20in X 20in  and measured in 1 inch on all four sides and cut the middle out.

Cut the bottom and up one side of the turkey bag and spread it out. 

Glue the turkey bag to the frame and cut the excess edge off.

I also duck taped it around the edge just to give it some more stability.  I am thinking a two inch frame would have been better for that.  But we live and we learn.

Okay the insulation covered with aluminium foil and painted black is now dry.   I started with the bottom of the box and glued it down.  Do that to all four of the sides as well.  

Because the insulation caused the insides to be different dimensions (which I totally did not account for DUH!)  I had some sticking out of the top of the box.  You could trim it down, I just used duct tape and taped it to the outside of the box.  Really is there anything duct tape can't do?  Love it!

After words you place your turkey bag frame over the top and voila!  You are supposed to be able to take it out and cook.  I decided it needed a bit more.

Reflectors!  Duh!  I just cut some more card board and glued aluminium foil shiny side up to them.  
It's a bit late in my day to try and cook anything today so tomorrow will be the big test.  Hope it works.


A solar oven usually doesn't get over about 250 degrees so it will work more like a crock pot.  You will need to make sure you have plenty of time and sun available.  Because of how long it takes you may have to   turn it every so often so you get max sun.  

As always feel free to comment and please go check out my Facebook page and give it a like at 

To give credit where credit is due I printed off directions to make this oven at:

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