Introduction: How to Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven.

Picture of How to Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven.

Hello, my name is Cassidy and for this project I decided to make a quick and simple pizza box solar oven. In case you were wondering, a solar oven is a devise that uses the suns energy to heat up, cook, or bake all different types of unique foods and all sorts of fun stuff. A solar oven can be used for all different types of things such as, cooking, baking, heating something up, boiling, frying, and even more!

The benefits of using a solar oven is that it does not use any type of fuel to get it going, like electricity or gas for example. Instead, a solar oven would use the sun's rays for reflecting, that turns into heat energy to cook the food or anything that you are cooking without having to bother about the gas or electricity. Another benefit would be that a solar oven would be really easy to use, as long as you get the reflection of the sun, which is also very easy to get. Not to mention, the solar oven can get to about 500 degrees, maybe even more, if you set it up right, and it also heats up really fast. Also, a top condition solar oven is around $500, while a stove is around $1,500.

Although a solar oven may seem great and all, before we start to build, we should look at the limitations first. Well, solar ovens can also be a pain especially when it comes to not living in the most hottest and sunniest place in the world. For example, say you live in a cold rainy place where not a lot of sun comes out, you don't want to use a solar oven, it would just be a waste of money. Another limitation would be that since there is no cover and it gets really windy out, it could effect the cooking of the oven. You would not want to be in the middle of cooking a chicken and the wind starts to pick up and the chicken will stop cooking. Lastly, what about in the winter, what if you want to go out and grill in the garage. There would be no chance of you getting anything cooked, unless it was really sunny and warm.

Anyway, those are just a few things to think about before you start to cook, but today lets not focus on that and lets focus on building my solar oven. A few things to know about this oven is that it gets up to 150-200 degrees and maybe even more if you set it up good. This is super easy to build and it is made out of household materials. This project might only take you 5 hours tops if you are really trying to hit the high rode. Know enough of that and lets start to build. Have fun!

Step 1: Materials.

Picture of Materials.

The first step in this entire building process is to collect all of your materials needed. Some of the materials are optional, but don't worry because all of these are just house hold materials.

In this building process you will need......

  1. One large pizza box.
  2. A roll of heavy duty plastic wrap.
  3. Any type of thermometer that you can put in your solar oven and measure the heat.
  4. Clear scotch tape.
  5. 1-3 pieces of any type of shiny reflective material, depending on the size of the box. (Mirror, aluminum foil)
  6. 1-6 straws, depending the size of the box.
  7. One ruler.
  8. Scissors.
  9. Hot glue or any type of heavy duty glue.
  10. 5-8 pieces of BLACK construction paper, depending on the size of the box.

Optional-

  1. Packet knife (Or use the scissors) to cut cardboard with.
  2. One sharpie (Preferably black or a dark color) to make lines to cut.

Step 2: Measuring.

Picture of Measuring.

This step is to just make the top of the solar oven.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Ruler.
  • Sharpie.
  • Pocket knife.
  • Pizza box.

1. Take the front of your pizza box and your ruler with your dark or black sharpie. Measure out 1 inch from the front, where you open the box, and put down a small dot.

2. Take the 2 sides and do the same thing. Measure out 1 inch and put down a small dot. DO NOT DO IT TO THE BACK!!!

3. Now, connect the 3 dots by making a square and if you are confused by this take a look at the 3rd picture.

4. Then, take the two lines, that have not yet been connected and are on the sides of the box, and make the lines go all the way down, but make sure that they are both 1 inch from the back. MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT TOUCHING THE BACK!!!!

5. Finally, cut where you have made the lines, with your pocket knife or what ever you are using to cut the cardboard with.

NOTE: Take a look up at the pictures and see if you are with me so far.

Step 3: Bending the Box Back.

Picture of Bending the Box Back.

This step is to just bend the top so it will stay up.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Ruler.
  • Pizza box.

1. Take a look at the back of the box where you have left 1 inch off.

2. Take your ruler and lay it on the part of the box, on the back, where you have not cut the box.

3. Now, hold down your ruler and take the top flap and bend the flap backwards. When you do that, you should see the top flap up with a little bit of room on the back. (About 1 inch)

If you are having trouble keeping up, go ahead and take a look at the pictures. They will help.

Step 4: Putting on the Reflective Material.

Picture of Putting on the Reflective Material.

This step is to put on the shiny material for the reflection.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Shiny material.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue.
  • Sharpie. (To make sure measurements are right)
  • Ruler.

1. Take the top flap of your solar oven (That you had just cut out) and take some of the shiny material that you are using for the oven to reflect.

After, cut out the right size of the material that matches the flap and glue it on there. Now you have your reflective surface.

NOTE: Try to get out any bumps or scratches on the reflective surface. You want it to be as smooth as possible.

Step 5: Putting on the Plastic Wrap.

Picture of Putting on the Plastic Wrap.

This step is to add on the plastic wrap to keep the heat in.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Plastic wrap.
  • Scissors.
  • Clear scotch tape.

Put the top flap away from you for a minute and just focus on the base of the solar oven.

1. Take the base of the pizza box and the roll of plastic wrap with your scissors and scotch tape. Then, take the plastic wrap and take a long strand. On the sides there should be one inch of plastic wrap hanging out there incase you need more.

Cut the plastic wrap and tape it with your clear tape to the inside of the box. You do this by opening up your box and taping it to the inside.

2. The next thing is to do the same thing you just did with the plastic wrap, but now tape it to the top of the base instead of inside.

In the end you should have two sheets on top of each other of plastic wrap, one on the inside and one on the outside. The plastic wrap should be tight and you don't really want to have to many wrinkles in it. I would say that this is the hardest part of the solar oven.

Step 6: Taping the Base Shut.

Picture of Taping the Base Shut.

This step is to just trap the heat in the solar oven so that it will cook better.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Scissors.
  • Clear scotch tape.
  1. Take a piece of your scotch tape that is about the size of the little flap that opens the pizza box and stick it on there as shown in picture one. Then, just tape it down, but not to tight so that you can't open the box again.

This process is just to make sure that the heat is really getting trapped in the oven because that is an important part of the cooking.

NOTE: If you take a look at pictures two and three, it shows you what your solar oven should look like so far. If you have this all correct go ahead, but if you don't you might want to re-look at a few of those steps again.

Step 7: Putting on the Reflective Surface Again.

Picture of Putting on the Reflective Surface Again.

This step is to just put on some extra shiny material for the interior of the oven so it will have a better time getting heat.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Glue.
  • The shiny material.
  • Scissors.
  • Sharpie. (To make sure the measurements are right)
  • Ruler.

1. Open up the box and get all of your materials ready.

2. Measure out the shiny material and make sure there is enough for all four sides and the bottom. Then cut them out and glue them on.

Step 8: Putting on the Black Construction Paper.

Picture of Putting on the Black Construction Paper.

This step is to put the black construction paper over the shiny material, you just added, to attract the sun better.

Materials needed for this step:

  • Black construction paper.
  • Scissors.
  • Sharpie. (To make sure the measurements are correct)
  • Ruler.
  • Glue.

1. Take the black construction paper and make sure that you have enough to cover all four sides and the bottom of the base. Then, when you have it all planned out, cut out the pieces and glue them over the shiny material that you had just put there.

Step 9: Add on the Stand.

Picture of Add on the Stand.

This step is to add on the stand so that the top of the solar oven can stand up and can be adjusted to where the sun is at.

Materials needed for this step:

  • The straws.
  • Scissors.
  • The clear scotch tape.

1. First, you have to take all of the straws that you have decided to use and cut off the bendy end, if it has one.

2. Take 2-4 straws (Depending on how big your pizza box is) and connect them so each straw goes into the next one a little bit. If you are confused this is shown in picture two.

3. Then, take your other straw and cut off around an inch of it. Take the small inch straw and punch a hole into the middle going all the way through the straw. You can do this with your scissors.

4. Take that straw that you just punched the hole into and tape it to the base of the solar oven in the front as shown in picture four.

5. Do the same exact thing that you did in four and make another one inch straw that has the same hole in it and tape that to the top of the solar oven where there is the shiny material, right across the other one you had taped.

6. Now, take the three straws that are put together and put one end in one hole and the other end in the other hole.

7 & 8: Finally, on each end the of the long straw fold it over and tape it so that the stand does not blow away from the wind. This is shown in picture seven and eight.

Know you have your stand that holds up the top. Also, depending on where the sun is you can adjust the stand by either making it smaller or larger.

Step 10: Your Done!

Picture of Your Done!

Yay! You have finished building the solar oven. Was that so hard? Now all you have to do is test it. Flip to the next slide (Or technically step) to show you how this solar oven works.

Step 11: Testing.

Picture of Testing.

Before you start to test, pre-heat your oven in the sun for about 30-50 minutes.

1. If you take a look at picture one it will show you that I had started at 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place the thermometer inside the box by opening the bottom flap of the solar oven and placing it in.

Make sure that the FLAP IS COMPLETELY closed so that the heat really stays in.

3. As you can see in picture three, the temperature has already increased to 126 degrees Fahrenheit in about a minute.

4. Then there is the temperature again in picture four when in about 30 seconds the temperature has increased to 142 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Lastly, in picture five, you can see that the temperature has increased to 152 degrees Fahrenheit in about 1 minute.

If I had kept the thermometer in there longer or pre-heated it longer, the temperature would have gotten higher.

Step 12: Conclusion.

Picture of Conclusion.

Overall, this project was pretty solid. There was surprisingly no bumps in the road along the way because it was a pretty easy project.

My results came out pretty good, I made it up to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. I did it on a pretty hot day, but it was also windy that day to. I think I could have gotten a higher degrees point if it was not so windy and I left it in longer or pre-heated it longer.

I got all of my information from this website -) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbwliZliHe8 so go and check them out!

If this was helpful give it a thumbs up and leave a comment. If it was not please tell me what I should do better next time in the comments. Thanks!

Comments

SophieLetendre22 (author)2017-05-22

This design is good! I can't wait to try it this summer!

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-05-21

Interesting design. I wonder how well you could combine multiple reflectors for higher temperatures.

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Bio: Hi, I am Cassidy. Welcome to my instructables account! Here, I love to do lots of fun projects and activities. All of the creations that ... More »
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