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How to Make a Solar-Powered Oven for Outdoor Cooking

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

You don’t need four burners and a gas line to make some great-tasting trail food. All you need is plenty of sunlight. Make your own solar cooker and feed the whole group. Solar ovens work by bouncing sunlight off a reflective surface into a container. The hotter the container, the faster your food will cook. It’s easy to make—and cheap.


  • Black paper
  • Foil
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Plastic wrap
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Skewer
  • Square pizza box
  • Tape
  • Utility knife


STEP 1: Use a ruler and marker to outline the top of the pizza box about 1 inch inward from each edge. This will create a square on top of the box.

STEP 2: Carefully cut the front and sides of the square. Leave the back attached. Fold back the flap.

STEP 3: Line the inside of the square flap with foil, and glue it down shiny side up. Keep the foil as smooth as possible. Fold and glue down any excess foil to the back of the flap, or trim it to fit.

STEP 4: Repeat Step 3 to line the bottom of the box. Next, glue a sheet of black paper on top of the foil. This will help your oven absorb heat.

STEP 5: Fold back the flap. Cover the opening with a layer of plastic wrap. Using tape, attach the wrap to the 1″ sides on top of the pizza box. Make sure there are no holes in the plastic wrap. The opening needs to be sealed completely. Optional: You can also line the inside of the opening with plastic wrap to ensure air won’t get through.

STEP 6: It’s time to cook! Once you have your food (s’more, cookies, etc.) inside your oven on a piece of foil or small aluminum pan, close the box. On one side, place the tip of a wooden skewer between the closed lid and the edge of the box. Tape the other tip of the skewer to the square flap to help prop it up.

STEP 7: Place your solar cooker outside with the flap angled directly at the sun. This will let the foil reflect the sun and cook your food. Time will vary depending on the outside temperature, the sun and the dish you decide to cook.


Solar cooking takes a little practice. Try this easy recipe first:



  • Graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate bars
  • Marshmallows

Place graham crackers next to each other on piece of foil. Top each cracker with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Put the foil in the center of your solar oven. When the marshmallow is melted and gooey, take out the crackers and add the second layer of graham crackers on top to complete it.

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49 Comments on How to Make a Solar-Powered Oven for Outdoor Cooking

  1. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Nate the Scout // March 30, 2017 at 11:12 pm // Reply

    If you put a piece of plexiglass on top of Where the food goes it’ll keep out the bugs.

  3. It didn’t work!

  4. 😃

  5. Cool

  6. what about bugs!

  7. cool, I might try it.

  8. Pretty cool.I’ll try it.

  9. I cant find pedro anywhere help me

  10. I made this for my science project and I also made other cookers and this cooker is called Box Cooker. THe other types of cookers are called Parabolic Cooker and Panel Cooker

  11. sounds cool

  12. This seams really cool! I might build it soon.
    I just don’t get questions 3-5 if someone could
    help me! Thanks to whoever does. 🙂

  13. This seams really cool! I might build it soon.
    I just don’t get questions 3-5 if someone could
    help me! Thanks to whoever does

  14. wow this is really cool

  15. Redneck's Rock // December 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm // Reply

    Thanks guys! I’m doing it right now for a science for for going green thanks a lot! 🙂

  16. I lost the 2005 issue and my dad has been looking for this forever! Thanks!

  17. cool making it right now

  18. does it work

  19. Like the idea,mom does too.

  20. BoyScout4Life! // June 9, 2012 at 8:56 am // Reply

    What should you use if you don’t have a pizza box? Should you use a shoebox?

  21. sounds cool

  22. best-sewing-machines // January 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm // Reply

    You can all ways find exactly what you need on the net thanks guys : )

  23. yo dudes thanks for saving me ten bucks plus shipping

  24. made a grilled cheese with this! awesome!

  25. cool

  26. gopal nigotiya // January 4, 2012 at 7:45 am // Reply

    very good post this topic .it is very easy to cook…

  27. Boyslife is the best i am going to try this.

  28. cool i wonder if you can cook an egg on it????? im gona try this when are boyscouts go camping next time. I hope it works.

  29. how dose it work

    • i heard that the black papper atracts the sun
      and the coil makes a reflection
      so then it heats whatevers on the papper.

  30. that rocks

  31. I’ve cooked an egg on a piece tin foil before but it didn’t go so well.

  32. kick ninja // June 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm // Reply

    its more of a dehidrator than a stove

  33. it is very easy to cook…………

  34. the faster your food will cook. It’s easy to make—and cheap.

  35. what else can you cook with it

  36. I’m using this for a project at school.

  37. I’ve cooked meat with it.

  38. I have a school project to do in which we only have a half an hour to melt the chocolate on a smore and make it drip on the grahm cracker. Does it work that fast, cuz i will be docked points if it doesnt? lets hope its fast! i will type my results when my projects over!

  39. i made one it didnt go to well

  40. I used this for the energy merit badge. Cool project!

  41. Is there anything else you can makefor food to put in there?

  42. thanks for this ‘hot’ tip lol we are going to try it out and pass it on to our friends, what a great way to go green!!! it is recycling at its best and uses no energy WTG!

  43. koolio

  44. i’m gonna try this on a campout,or maybe a picnic!!

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