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.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE A SOLAR COOKER:
- Black paper
- Plastic wrap
- Square pizza box
- Utility knife
WHAT YOU’LL DO TO MAKE A SOLAR OVEN:
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.
TRY IT OUT
Solar cooking takes a little practice. Try this easy recipe first:
SOLAR OVEN S’MORES
- Graham crackers
- Milk chocolate bars
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.