How to cook with the sun at home : Making a solar oven

Solar energy can be used to replace other form of energy such as electricity, gas, charcoal.


Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator - Chelsea Green Publishing

A solar oven is an example where the sun is used to cook at home. I can be built  from pizza boxes, newspaper sheets, duct tape . Please see below a complete list of the materials required:



  • One large and a smaller shallow cardboard boxes (pizza boxes are an excellent choice).
  • A loose piece of cardboard to build the lid. It should be 6″ wider and longer than the outer box.
  • Plexiglas as large and long of your outer box
  • Roll of aluminum foil
  • Black paper as long and large than the inner box
  • Glue, duct tape, sharpie
  • News paper sheet crumpled up
  • Scissors
  • Wire hanger or stick



1-Create an insulation chamber

  • The larger box will be used as the outer box and the smaller box will be placed inside of the larger box with 1″ or 2 ” apart of each other.
  • Turn the outer box upside down (with the flaps down) and center the inner box
  • Trace a shape around the inner box to create a window of 1- 2″ on all 4 sides.

2-Construct a lid with a flap with the loose cardboard to place over the top of the bigger box. This flap will be used to set the food to cook.


3- Line the box with foil to reflect sunlight into the oven and insulate with newspaper in order to trap the heat.

A- Glue the aluminum foil with the shiny side out to line up all 5 sides of the inside of the outer box and the inside and outside of the inner box. Cover the base of the flap with foil

B- To create the insulation, fill in the gap between the two boxes with rolled-up newspaper sheet on all 4 sides up to the top.

Duct tape a double layer of plexiglas to the base of the window.

Add the black construction to the bottom of the inner box to absorb the heat.


4- Ensure the foil-lined flap is reflecting light into the window and reposition as necessary.  Then to test the oven, set a plate and keep the lid open with a stick or wire hanger.