This solar oven is adapted from a design created in 1976 by Barbara Kerr. The construction enables the user to cook anything that can be prepared on a conventional oven or stovetop and eliminates the need for stirring or basting. For a manageable project in the classroom you might try s'mores (graham crackers with melted marshmallows and chocolate) or English muffin pizzas.
The oven can reach temperatures of 275 degrees, hot enough to cook food and kill germs in water. A general rule for cooking in a solar oven is to get the food in early and don't worry about overcooking. Solar cookers can be used six months of the year in northern climates and year-round in tropical locations. Expect cooking time to take about twice as long as conventional methods and allow about half an hour to preheat.
What You'll Need
- one large box
- one pizza box, small
- old newspapers or other insulating materials
- black construction paper
- aluminum foil
- drinking straw
- heavy-weight clear plastic laminate (often available in schools)
- *avoid using any materials that could give off toxic fumes when heated, such as duct tape and styrofoam pellets.
How To Make Your Pizza Box Oven
- Take your large box and line the bottom with insulating materials like crumpled newspapers.
- Set your pizza box inside the big one (this will serve as your oven).
- Fill the space between the sides of the two boxes with crumpled newspaper.
- Use cardboard pieces to fold over the insulated space between boxes, secure tightly
- Line the sides of the inner box with aluminum foil adhered with non-toxic glue
- Line the bottom of the inner box with black contruction paper
- On the top cover of the small pizza box draw a square 1" from all the sides.
- Cut along three of the lines but leave the fourth line near the box's hinge uncut. Carefully fold open the flap.
- Wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the flap, smooth wrinkles, secure with glue
- Tightly stretch or lay your plastic over the inside top of the box. Smooth the plastic and secure it around the sides with glue or tape so no air can escape
- Use straws or another device to prop open the flap and allow aluminum lining to reflect the maximum sunlight.
Feel free to improvise and improve the design while maintaining its essential structure