Picture of Cardboard Box Solar Oven
Cardboard box solar ovens make a great summer project for the family. Not only are they fun to make, but they are also fun to make food in. You get to use an all natural souce- the sun!

Many things can be cooked in them. Hotdogs, English muffins just to name a few. It may take a little longer to cook with them but they sure are worth it in the end.

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Step 1: Materials.

Picture of Materials.
Things you will need:
1) Cardboard box - I used an old rollerblade box
2) Aluminum foil
3) Nontoxic glue or tape - I used Scotch Magic Tape 810
4) Black construction paper - I didn't have any of this so I used some black cloth
5) Plastic wrap
6) A pencil
7) Scissors
8) Permanent Marker
9) Grill rack to put the food on

Step 2: Cut the top flap.

Picture of Cut the top flap.
Using the permanent marker trace a square over the top of the box, leaving about a one to two inch border. Cut out the box, leaving the back (top) end attached so it becomes a flap.

This top flap will become our reflector for the sun light.

Step 3: Line with aluminum & black cloth.

Picture of Line with aluminum & black cloth.
Line the bottom of the box with aluminum. Use nontoxic tape or glue to secure the foil in place. 

Take the black cloth or black construction paper and place it over the foil. Secure it with nontoxic tape or glue.

Step 4: Line lid with foil.

Picture of Line lid with foil.
Line the inside of the lid and reflector with foil. Secure with nontoxic glue or tape.

Step 5: Cover hole with plastic.

Picture of Cover hole with plastic.
Cover the square hole we cut earlier with the plastic wrap. Secure with nontoxic tape or glue.

Step 6: Cover outside with black cloth.

Picture of Cover outside with black cloth.
Cover the front of the box with the black cloth or construction paper. This helps the box to absorb more heat. Secure with nontoxic glue or tape.

Step 7: Place oven in the sun.

Picture of Place oven in the sun.
We are done building the oven! Put the grill rack in the oven. Place the oven in the sun. Angle the reflector to where the most sunlight is reflected into the box. Tape the pencil to where it holds up the lid in place. 

Leave the box in the sun for a half an hour to an hour to warm up. It may take a little longer depending on the heat and how clear the sky is in your area. Check on it every 15 minutes to see where it is at.

Step 8: Put in the food!

Picture of Put in the food!
Once it is pretty hot put the food in that you want to cook. In my case, hot dogs! Let them cook for a couple of hours or until they are a nice golden brown color. Check on them every 15 minutes or so.

Step 9: Food is ready.

Picture of Food is ready.
Once the hotdogs are a golden brown take them out, put them on buns, and top with what you like! Enjoy!
triumphman3 years ago
Do you have a thermometer to make sure the temp.is high enough to kill any bacteria ?
Kruegem4 years ago
now if you could find a way to incorperate high explosives........
wow. it's great idea.
sclausson4 years ago
If you want the oven to get hotter faster and retain that heat longer then find a box that is longer, deeper and wider. Set your already made oven inside the larger box with insulating material surrounding it. Use tape and strips of cardboard to seal the inner box to the outer box. This will make a good retained heat cooker if the clouds appear. Just cover with a blanket or sleeping bag. Happy cooking
Kay Schmidt5 years ago
":Let them cook for a couple of hours" Seriously? That seems like a long time for something I can cook in micro in a minute or so. I'm looking for something in which to cook cake or cookies, biscuits -- I know, all are good for me! Can you give me an idea of times for such foods? Thank you for posting. It's an idea I've been interested in for a long time.