Solar Ovens

@Modestah (11192)
United States
February 28, 2008 6:23pm CST
Have you ever used a Solar Oven? you do not need any expensive and elaborate unit to give it a whirl. my son built a simple solar oven out of materials readily available around the house. He used two cardboard boxes newspaper plexiglass (can also use stretched plastic wrap) black spray paint aluminum foil to make it look shnazzier he covered the outside box in a spiffy contact paper. he did this project in 5th grade home school to enter in a city science fair. he took 2nd place. He cooked chicken for the judges during the fair, using his solar oven. here are instructions for the style of solar cooker that my boy made - very easily constructed and so much fun to use! http://www.thefarm.org/charities/i4at/surv/solarbox.htm here is another style of easy to build solar cooker http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html what do you think? are you willing to give it a try?
8 people like this
15 responses
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
29 Feb 08
I made one ages ago for a school science project. Cooked hotdogs on it. The science fair was indoors so I had to use a strong lightbulb instead of the sun, but it worked great.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
29 Feb 08
oh neat, a light bulb - sort of an easy bake oven, heh. do you remember what wattage of bulb you used?
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
29 Feb 08
I am not sure, maybe a 150, I know it was a bright light, but one you didn't have to hunt too hard for.
• Singapore
29 Feb 08
Nope. And wow, your son is such a genius! I think I would feel ashamed standing next to him. :P If a solar oven really works and can cook food, why not? I think I will use it and show it to all my guests when they visit! :)
1 person likes this
• Lithuania
29 Feb 08
Yes i feel better ;D
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
29 Feb 08
That looks like such a fun project to try. I wouldn't mind trying it sometime when we're out camping. I think everyone would be impressed.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
7 Mar 08
that is great that your son made a solar oven with things around the house. i have long been interested in cooking with solar energy. Congrat to him for taking second place. for those that might be interested in more solar cooking and recipes here is a good site http://solarcooking.org/plans/. They also show how to make on oven with a pizza box.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
8 Mar 08
hey Dee! thank you for adding the link with recipes, that's great! yeah, I've seen where you can make a little hotdog solar cooker out of a pringles can before...
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
5 Mar 08
What a great idea. I am going to have my brother make me one and my nephews may want to use this as a science project. I can't wait to try it. How do you know how long to cook things? Thanks for sharing the idea with us. Brightest Blessings
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
5 Mar 08
I am told you can not over cook in a solar oven - I do not know why that is - you can keep a thermometer in there to get an idea. you know how hot your vehicle can get when sitting in the sun - that is what happens with this box... you can direct your reflective lid to the best angle and then your plastic or glass top will refract the light
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I have been wanting a solar oven. Now that I have the plans I'm sure my husband will build it for me. Your son did a great project.I think I could save a lot of energy usage by using the solar oven to cook our dinners.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
4 Mar 08
there is also a method of placing a dark dutch oven in the ground and burying it - to cook. I do not recall the details though or where I read about it - maybe you had to set it on coals, sure wish I could recall.
@kingcrapper (1538)
• United States
1 Mar 08
wow! this is cool! I will really want to check this out! Can you imagine a fifth grader doing this kind of thing! I appreciate the ideas and the link! Have you tried this thing yet? Do you know of any other ideas that may work?
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
1 Mar 08
we've cooked chicken, beans, pizza, and cookies in it - can't remember what else, it was some time ago. That 5th grader is now 18 and preparing for university.
@jillhill (37379)
• United States
29 Feb 08
Sounds like a wonderful project and I am all into conservation but I don't think I would build one for the little amount of time I spend baking. Since I live by myself I don't use an oven alot. Mostly just for baking cookies with my granddaughter comes....and she's 2 1/2 I don't think she would approve!
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
29 Feb 08
:) We do not have air conditioning and our summers are so hot and humid. I am planning, now - thank you transdisc! to build a more permanent solar cooker and in this way we can keep the house from getting quite as hot - even cooking on the stove can heat up the house -
@peavey (16905)
• United States
20 Feb 09
I made a solar oven a couple of years ago, and it worked - sorta, anyway. Since the "technology" fascinates me, I wound up buying one and I love it. The first thing I made was cornbread and it was awesome. I have no fear of the electricity going out (my stove is electric) as long as the sun is out and I use it in the summer to keep the house from heating up and having to use the air conditioner more than necessary.
@jpso138 (7863)
• Philippines
8 Mar 08
This is great. Its nice of your child to come up with such idea. I will visit the site and see the instructions. Hopefully I could make one. It sounds great and very interesting to know.
@MsTickle (25051)
• Australia
5 Mar 08
How fantastic are those ovens. I've bookmarked both pages to check out properly at a later date, I'm sure my friend will be very interested and curious...it's a good blokey thing and it's good to have something to share with him. Thanks for that.
@gina_39 (35)
1 Mar 08
wow, thats great, save energy, maybe will try thats sounds fun..
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
1 Mar 08
Oh my goodness, that is incredible! What a great idea for a science project. Perhaps if all 5th graders across the country saw this or did this, we'd have more young adults in a few years who were determined to use solar energy in their homes! I don't know what is going to happen in our country if we continue to use the resources as we are doing today. We are going to just totally ruin our water and air and end up doing ourselves in. It is a sad state of affairs. Kudos to your son for his project and to your parenting skills!
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
29 Feb 08
I've never actually used one but have instructions for building one in my emergancy survival kit - you just never know when that may be the only option you have.
@Fishmomma (11375)
• United States
29 Feb 08
We made solar ovens in girl scouts many years ago. I don't remember what we made now. My girl scout leader took a picture and it was clear we all had fun making them. My most recent solar oven I watched my girl scout troop build it. They made a peach treat for everyone and the parents were so impressed with the results. I was so proud that they did everything themselves while I watched.