Introduction: Effective Solar Oven

Solar ovens help people cook who don't have electricity. They save money and lives. By using solar ovens, you can cut back on smoke emissions and keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. Solar ovens use absorption, the UV rays are attracted to darker colors. We need to utilize concentration, we reflect the light onto a single point to heat it up. We also use retention to trap the heat.

Materials You Will Need:

A Clean Pizza Box

A Ruler

A Box-cutter (Scissors will be messier, but they work too)

A Sharpie/Pencil


Aluminum Foil

Saran Wrap


Black Paper


Extra Cardboard

Step 1: Mark Your Pizza Box

Depending on the size of your pizza box, measure 1-2 inches around the top. Use a ruler to get crisp lines.

Step 2: Cutting

Use a box cutter to cut around the lines you made in step one. Do not cut all the way around, leave the back line uncut. The flap should open up the same as the pizza box.

Step 3: Absorption

Layer the bottom of the box with black paper, this will ensure the heat will stay inside. Make sure it is secure by using tape.

Step 4: Aluminum Foil

If you have thicker aluminum foil you may use it, if not it is okay to use regular aluminum foil. Proceed to wrap the flap that you made earlier and secure it with tape. P.S. You do not have to cover the entire back of the flap.

Step 5: Saran Wrap

Layer some saran wrap over the top of the box underneath the flap. Make sure the saran wrap is taut and secure with tape. If you want, you can add another layer under the lid of the box (not the flap :D). The saran wrap acts as a lid and keeps the heat where you want it.

Step 6: Insulation

Bunch up some old paper (newspaper is fine) and place them along the edges of the box. Then cover up with more black paper. This keeps the heat in the box.

Step 7: Extra Steps

Cut up some Styrofoam (we used a plate) and place them in the sides of the box after closing it. This is also insulation, so that the heat does not escape.

Step 8: Ready to Cook!

If you want, you can attach two cardboard pieces wrapped in aluminum foil on the sides of the main flap. Now, you can cook with your handmade solar oven!

On a sunny day: Our oven reached 160 degrees in 15 minutes

On a cloudy day: Our oven reached 86 degrees in 15 minutes.