Solar Cooker Building

My solar cooker was easy enough to build, that is, if I did it right.  All there is to my new cooker is two cardboard boxes plus scrap cardboard, tin foil, duct tape, glass or plastic, and newspaper.

You take the first (smaller) box and cover it inside and out with aluminum foil.  Do this first because you have to wait for the glue to dry.

Cooking chamber with tin foil

This smaller box is going to be your cooking chamber, so be sure that your pot or pan will fit in nicely.  There should not be too much space between the top of the box and the top of the pan as this will waste heat.  The pan should be black to help absorb sunlight.  A short fat pan is better than a tall skinny pan, greater surface area directed at the sun helps absorb more sunlight also.

Cardboard stacks and some newspaper

While you are waiting for the glue to dry, make some small stacks of cardboard about 3″x3″x2″ to put between the two boxes so you can fill the space with crumpled newspaper for insulation. The first box now goes inside the larger box, sitting on the cardboard stacks, with the crumpled newspaper filling in all the gaps between the two.  This insulation should be closed in by more cardboard.  I duct taped it all around to get a pretty good seal.

The first side taped and the newspaper all around

The glass or plastic is going to be the lid to your cooker. It sits on top of the whole box you just finished and it covers the pan and cooking area.   It has to be cleat to keep the heat in while letting the sun shine through.  I used an old storm window I found.  The last step is to cover one more piece of cardboard with aluminum foil to function as a reflective backboard.  It gets propped up at an angle to reflect the sun into your cooking area.  Done!

Finished product minus the glass
Pretty ugly, isn’t it?

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