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How to Make an Oven for Solar-Powered 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 oven and feed the whole group. Solar ovens work by bouncing sunlight off a reflective surface into a pot. The hotter the pot, the faster your food will cook. It’s easy to make—and cheap.



  • A pizza box
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic window covering
  • Permanent marker
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • String


reflector-1STEP 1: Line the inside bottom of the box with foil.

reflector-2 STEP 2: Cover foil with black paper and tape in place.

STEP 3: Set the plastic under the box and trace the outline of the box.

reflector-4 STEP 4: Remove the box and draw another outline 1⁄4-inch inside the first outline and cut along inside line.

reflector-5STEP 5: Close the box cover, and draw another line 1 inch from each side.

STEP 6: Cut along the lines on the front and sides—not the back.

reflector-7STEP 7: Open the cover and line the inside with foil.

STEP 8: Glue foil in place.

STEP 9: Cover foil with the cut plastic and tape in place.

STEP 10: All layers should be airtight and wrinkle-free.

reflector-11STEP 11: On the outside of the box cover, attach a string long enough to keep the flap open and let the sun shine in.

STEP 12: Once you have the oven, all you need is the sun. Choose a spot that will get at least several hours of direct sun away from any strong wind.


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



  • Graham crackers
  • Milk chocolate bars
  • Marshmallows

Place graham crackers next to each other on the bottom of a black cast-iron pot. Black pots are best because they absorb and retain the sun’s heat better than light-colored pans. Top each cracker with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Put a glass lid over the pot and place the pot in the center of your solar oven. When the marshmallow is gooey, take out the crackers and add the second layer of graham crackers on top to complete it.

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47 Comments on How to Make an Oven for Solar-Powered Cooking

  1. 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.

  2. It didn’t work!

  3. 😃

  4. Cool

  5. what about bugs!

  6. cool, I might try it.

  7. Pretty cool.I’ll try it.

  8. I cant find pedro anywhere help me

  9. 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

  10. sounds cool

  11. 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. 🙂

  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. wow this is really cool

  14. 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! 🙂

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

  16. cool making it right now

  17. does it work

  18. Like the idea,mom does too.

  19. 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?

  20. sounds cool

  21. 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 : )

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

  23. made a grilled cheese with this! awesome!

  24. cool

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

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

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. that rocks

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

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

    its more of a dehidrator than a stove

  32. it is very easy to cook…………

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

  34. what else can you cook with it

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

  36. I’ve cooked meat with it.

  37. 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!

  38. i made one it didnt go to well

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

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

  41. 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!

  42. koolio

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

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