Box Cooker




Introduction: Box Cooker

Angela Ling
Karen Bustamante
Karla Leon
Mykaela Wright
March, 14,2014
Period. 4
Quesadillas, Solar Thermal Cooker.

Quesadillas are easy to make and delicious, with our hybrid box cooker. This design is going to consist of four reflective sides around the box that can be adjusted to the sun, for optimal cooking heat. This solar thermal cooker is portable and easy to create for everyday use. This solar thermal cooker will be able fully cook a quesadilla in 6-15 minutes. This box cooker will be able to be built in a matter of hours. It will take patience, organization and communication skills to successfully build this solar thermal cooker.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Step 1:

Step 1: Obtain the following easy to find materials.
1.Saran wrap (1x roll)
2.Tin foil (1x roll)
3.Reflective Tape /any reflective material that can be put onto cardboard(1x roll)
4.Cheese(as much as preferred)
5.Tortillas( as much as preferred)
6.Cardboard (enough for four reflective sides)

7.Styrofoam box

8. Pan for cooking

Step 2: Process of Making the Box Cooker

Measure all four sides of the styrofoam box to figure out how wide the reflective cardboard panels need to be. Make sure to be as precise as possible when measuring the panels for the box because they will be one of the most important parts of the solar thermal cooker. Make sure all sides are congruent in length and width. Also on where they will be put on the box in order to put them on as evenly as possible. Once all the four sides are measured to the box as evenly as possible. Measure the best angle to your connivence and cut out from a separate cardboard box and connect those two angles with the rest of the panels to create a sort of U shape on top of the box cooker.

Step 3: Making Panels Reflective

  • In order for a solar thermal box cooker to even work it has to heat up the food using light energy What better way to do that then by using reflectors in this case we used special reflective tape. In order to make our panels reflect but really anything that reflects or bounces light of it can be used to glue on to the reflectors, to make them well reflect. For example foil, inside of chip bags, mirrors or anything else like that, that you can come up with. Put on the reflective tape as you would put on any other tape but with extra ease and care in order to minimize creases in the tape. Do this to all sides and to all the angles on the inside of the box.

Step 4: Attaching the Panels

Once you have measured how and where you want the panels and angles, and have made them all reflective it is time to actually attach them. Make sure too mark the exact spot where you want the panel to be with a marker or pen. Then you will need to use glue, duct tape or adhesive whatever works best for you. To carefully apply the sides and angles onto the box. You will most likely need more than person to put on these panels as carefully as possible.

Step 5: Adjusting the Solar Thermal Cooker

Once you have done all other steps and made sure they are done as best as possible. You will have to adjust the solar thermal cooker to the sun. Now this is a pretty vertical step, meaning you can choose to do it however you wish to. In this case we used two pencils to hold the box cooker at a certain angle towards the sun in order to get the temperature high enough for the food to cook. You could use a book, rock, brick or anything else that would cause the box to tilt in away that makes the use of light optimal.

Step 6: Physics Aspect

We wrapped suran wrap on the top of the solar cooker, so the heat could stay trapped in the solar cooker. As the light waves travel to the solar cooker, from the Sun, the light waves hit the bottom of the box. The box absorbs the heat, even though the box is white, because the box is very insulated. The absorbed light waves convert from light to heat energy. This is how the solar cooker works. The reflective cardboard panels help assist the light waves in finding its way to the bottom of the box, so that none of the light waves are wasted. All of the light waves hitting the box will get converted to heat energy when it hits the bottom of the box of the solar cooker. 

Step 7: Results

The solar cooker worked very well, given the materials we built it out of. The solar cooker reached 119 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough to melt the cheese. It did not cook the corn tortilla thoroughly. However, it is still edible, which is the main goal of the project: to cook food and sustain people's lives. My group is very happy with the final product, especially considering the time crunch we were on, and the complications that we experienced. 

Step 8: Tips and Tricks

For a first time builder, it is important to follow the steps very carefully. It is also important to do more research on how to build solar cookers before the building process. It is also important to allot enough time to test the solar cooker multiple times to make sure that the final product will work and heat up to the hottest temperature that it can get. Also, remember that any adjustments can be made to this design to make it perform at its best. 

Step 9: Appreciation Slide

My whole group was very helpful throughout the whole process of this project. We were very flexible and willing to work on the project until it was finished. Also, we worked very well as a group, which I am very grateful for, because some other groups had communication problems. I would also like to thank Mr. Bording because he provided all of the materials for us. Because he provided all of the materials. it was free of cost to build this solar thermal cooker. However, it is very inexpensive to make, even if the materials are not provided. It is estimated to cost, at most, $10. 

Step 10: Disclaimer Slide

Our instructable is slightly shorter. However, it is because our solar cooker is very simple to make, yet effective. We spent time to consider the difficulty of the solar cooker, because we wanted it to be easy to make for anyone. 

Be the First to Share


    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Special shout out to Angela for adding the extra steps <3 You Are A Life Saver