Make Your Own Solar Oven

Believe it or not, it’s actually not absurdly complicated to create your own solar oven. Solar ovens are not only down-right interesting and impressive to have made, they’re also a bit of so-called “green technology” that makes it possible to cook outside without weighing down your energy bill too bad. After all, why let all that free solar energy go to waste? If you’re convinced and want to know more about how you can create and install a solar powered oven in your very own backyard, read on:

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First off, you’ll need to collect the right materials. That means you’ll need a pizza box, black construction paper, aluminum foil, clear plastic, scissors, a ruler, non-toxic glue, strong tape, and a magic marker. Once you’ve assembled all your necessary building materials, you’re ready to begin construction.

First, close your pizza box. Whatever part of the box closes around the other bottom box is the top of a pizza box and that’s the side that you should keep on top. In fact, if the bottom side, which tucks inside,has only three flaps instead of connected sides, you’re going to need to reinforce those flaps with construction paper and non-toxic glue before going any further. Let the glue dry, then you’re ready for the next step.

Now you can craw a 1-inch border around the top of the box so that there’s a smaller box drawn inside the top. Cut along three sides of that border, then leave the line at the back (the side that’s furthest from you) intact so you have a flap that you can open yourself. Fold back that flap and make sure the fold is straight, meaning parallel to the same side it’s on and perpendicular to the sides on either side of the line.

Now glue aluminum foil to the inside of the flap. Don’t wrap the foil around the top of the flap because it’s going to heat up when you’re cooking with it and you don’t want to accidentally touch it and burn yourself. B

Be sure to form an airtight seal around the window by covering the opening you gut out of the box in step 3 with a layer of clear plastic. Wrap the plastic around to the sides of the pizza box so you can tape it to the inside of the box top, open your box, glue aluminum foil to the bottom of the box, and make sure the netire bottom of the box is completely covered.

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Now you’re ready to tape black construction paper over the aluminum foil layer. The paper must be black, as that is the color that absorbs the most heat from the sun when directly exposed to sunlight. This will act as your solar-powered heating element along with the foil.

You’re all set! When you’re ready to cook something extremely small and flat, open the flap on top so that as much sunlight as possible is reflected through the window, into the oven. You may want to prop this flap open with a straw or dowel. You now have the coolest backyard appliance around!

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