Tag Archives: aluminum foil

How To Make A Solar Oven

12 May

I have been thinking about solar cooking for a long time, ever since I found out about it.

Last week I finally found a piece of cardboard large enough to make a solar cooker according to these plans from solarcooking.org

So yesterday, after I had finally finished planting my garden, and had run out of plastic bags for a carpet I’m making (more on that to come) I decided it was time to make my Cookit. Solar cooking .org has a pretty detailed layout, both in metric and inches, though the inches are easier to go by in this case and your result will be more accurate (the grid under the layout plan is by inches).

Anyway, I don’t have inch rulers, so I had to calculate the measurements when not clearly stated in centimeters, which was a bit of a pain.

While measuring cutting and measuring again, I also had to contend with our local lion, which deemed the cardboard, the ruler, the exacto knife and everything else worthy of battle.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I will not go into the whole process of making it – the instructions on solar cooking org are quite clear but I will offer a few tips.

1. make sure your cardboard is flat. Mine got warped from being outside in the dew and the sun for a few days, so I had to take time to flatten it first (if it’s warped, the sun won’t bounce of it in the right direction)

2. Unlike me, take time to glue the aluminum foil on properly. As I was making it, I realized that I was being a bit lax with it. If the foil isn’t glued on properly it will have a marked effect on how long the solar oven lasts.

3. Have wipes handy and close.

4. I don’t know why, but my foil, crinkled after I had glued it. I was fine when I left it yesterday afternoon, but when I came to check on it and put it into action this morning, the foil was a bit crinkly. I am sure this is not a good thing, and will have an effect on how well it reflects the sun and what direction it sends the rays, but the extent of the effect remains to be seen.

Another problem I had was finding a cooky bag big enough to hold my pot, (which is not a very big pot). I am sure that if I search the internet hard and long I will be able to find some for purchase, but since I  am impatient to start solar cooking, I just took a couple of the oven bags I had on hand, opened them up and sewed time into a double sized bag. Once again, the needle pricks might make this less efficient than a factory made bag, but it seems to me that the effect will be minimal.

As I write this post, my cake, is busy baking in the sun…..Stay tuned to see if it baked well!

Also, while you are biting your nails in suspense, waiting to see if this worked or not, check out Julies solar box cooker.   I might  give that one a try too.

Anyone got a good source for slow cooking recipes?