How to Build a Solar Oven

In an age where non-renewable energy such as gas is slowly depleting, people have found innovative ways of doing things we love to do that require large amounts of energy through alternative means.

One of these options takes the form of a solar oven which utilizes the sun’s energy for cooking food. It can be a bit slower than the conventional stove but when used this can greatly reduce your energy bill.

The materials are very inexpensive and could prove to be worthwhile in a time of need. Follow the instructions below and you will be on your way to make your own homemade solar oven.

Tools required

  • Tape or glue (nontoxic)
  • Scissor
  • Pencil

Materials required

  • Cardboard
  • Plastic wrap
  • 2 Boxes
  • Newspaper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Construction paper (black)
  • Stapler


  1. Use the two boxes; one should be bigger than the other. Crush up the newspaper and place it in the bottom of the larger box and place the small box inside it. When the small box is placed inside the other it should provide about 2 – 3 inches of space around it. Then fill the space between both boxes with newspaper.
  2. Use the black construction paper and line up the base section of the small box, then use aluminum foil to line up the inside edges. Fold the edge of the foil to cover the top of the box and use non-toxic tape to further secure it in place.
  3. Use a piece of cardboard and put it on top of the larger box and use a pencil to trace the shape of the box onto the cardboard. Then add 2 inches around the trace lines and cut it out to make a reflector.
  4. Cover the cardboard piece with aluminum foil. Smooth out any wrinkles and secure the aluminum foil to the cardboard with non-toxic glue or tape.
  5. Use a stapler to staple the reflector to the outside back of the large box. Take up the box oven and place it where the reflector is facing the sun to supply the maximum amount of heat.
  6. Place whatever food you want to cook in the solar oven. Use scissors to cut the plastic wrap to the desired size for the solar oven and stretch it clear across the top of the large box and secure the plastic with tape around the entire box.

Tips and Warning

  • Do not use any components for the solar oven that could release harmful toxins, these include Styrofoam and duct tape. But double-check whatever item you use.
  • Using a solar oven takes approximately twice the time it takes for a conventional oven to cook, but the benefit is that you can minimize the number of times you have to use fuel power. Analyze the times of the day when it is hottest and the heat is more consistent.
  • A solar oven requires you to preheat it, preheating takes approximately half an hour. Normally someone has to monitor the oven because sometimes the sun changes position and the box will have to be relocated. A device called a ‘heliostat’ can track the sun and show where the right amount of heat is.
  • You can also make the oven larger by using larger boxes if you wish.
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