Introduction: Solar Cooker

Picture of Solar Cooker

Solar cookers use the heat of the sun to cook food, boil water, whatever you do on a stove! Simple to make and simpler to use.

Materials Needed:
Reflective accordion-folding car sunshade
Cake rack (or wire frame or grill)
12 cm. (4 ? in.) of Velcro
Black pot
Bucket or plastic wastebasket
Plastic baking bag

Step 1: Step 1

Picture of Step 1

Lay the sunshade out with the notched side toward you.

Step 2: Step 2

Cut the Velcro into three pieces, each about 4 cm. or 1 ? inches long.

Step 3: Step 3

Stick or sew one half of each piece, evenly spaced, onto the edge to the left of the notch. (Sewing these on a sewing machine will cut through the reflective material, so sticking is better.) Attach the matching half of each piece onto the underneath size to the right of the notch, so that they fit together when the two sides are brought together to form a funnel. If using stick-on Velcro, you can align the two pieces easily like this: Stick down one side of the Velcro, then press the two pieces of Velcro together, fold the shade into the funnel shape and stick down the second side.

Step 4: Step 4

Picture of Step 4

Press the Velcro pieces together, and set the funnel on top of a bucket or a round or rectangular plastic wastebasket.

Step 5: Step 5

Picture of Step 5

Place a black pot on top of a square cake rack, placed inside a plastic baking bag. A standard size rack in the U.S. is 25 cm. (10 in.). This is placed inside the funnel, so that the rack rests on the top edges of the bucket or wastebasket. Since the sunshade material is soft and flexible, the rack is necessary to support the pot. It also allows the suns rays to shine down under the pot and reflect on all sides. If such a rack is not available, a wire frame could be made to work as well. Note: The flexible material will squash down around the sides of the rack.

Step 6: Tips

The funnel can be tilted in the direction of the sun.
A stick placed across from one side of the funnel to the other helps to stabilize it in windy weather (see photo).
After cooking, simply fold up your oven and slip the elastic bands in place for easy travel or storage.

The oven will heat up to about 350 degrees F.


janetsellers08 (author)2011-05-25

Wow. Thanks for the easy way to make this solar oven happen. I sort of don't understand the velcro strips part; is it only to make the funnel shape and if so, can you put in photos? So far, I can't figure out where to put them and seeing it would help. I'd also like to try this with my mylar "hot n cold" thermal bags, so I'd really appreciate you input. Thanks again. For decades, I've been interested in doing this, but the books I have are so complicated with angle formulas I just gave up.

Whatsername (author)2010-04-10

Supercool!  Thanks for making solar cooking easily accessible ~ this is a genius plan.  I live in Houston, so I will definitely be trying this to keep from heating my kitchen this summer.

thetech101 (author)2009-06-09

There are 2.54 cm in 1 inch. So 12 cm would be about 4.7 inches.

lemonie (author)2009-04-09

Please explain why you've lifted images from here?


wsalazar (author)lemonie2009-04-09

There are many publicly available plans for making solar cookers online and I used the photos that came with the plans I found for the solar oven that seems like one of the best models around.

lemonie (author)wsalazar2009-04-09

Did you actually build one then? I ask because there are quite a number of people who just copy stuff and cobble-together a lazy Instructable. Most people have access to a camera, so I'd normally expect someone to say "sorry about the pictures, I got them from here because I don't have a camera" if that were the case. It's good etiquette to acknowledge sources (in this site anyway...)


higgrobot (author)lemonie2009-04-10

Lemonie, you have an interesting icon picture, did you take it yourself?

lemonie (author)higgrobot2009-04-10

It was an old photograph I found - did you put eggs on your face?! L

rimar2000 (author)2009-04-09

I did one of these funnel cooker around 2000. It is very effective, but for small portions. The article in the web, made by the inventor Steven E. Jones, said that device makes ice in a not so cold night

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