Paul shows off his sun oven design

It’s summer and that means dusting off those solar ovens.  No need to heat up the house hotter than it is for cooking simple foods.    We built our first sun oven back in the mid 90’s and have been harnessing the sun’s free energy ever since.

Solar cooking is fun, easy and better yet you can make solar ovens simply and cheaply – with free “cast offs.”

Like our friend here (shown in picture) did for a class project (he got an “A” btw!)

“This was an old plastic file cabinet on a stand. It can look straight up or usually best at a 45 degree angle as the Sun’s path changes throughout the day. I used Hardibacker concrete board for the thermal mass layer cut to fit on the inside of the plastic box, Sealed as a complete concrete board box prior to pressing it in with gaff/fabric tape.

This is all sprayed black with toxic free black paint. (Flat black is best. It has a low Albedo. High absorption, low reflectivity.) I replaced the original plastic lid (which melted on the first test) with a double paned glass & wood lid, using an old picture frame glass and hardware and an old wood TV table tray top… The new wood lid frame was cut and routed to fit tightly in the oven opening, the glass installed matching the original picture frame template glass size using the original picture frame hardware to mount the glass. Old hinges served for the new lid, but is not necessary.

You want a tight fit to keep the air trapped. This is important and pointing the oven directly at the sun is best. The reflector dish is cardboard covered with aluminum foil. If you look at thes DIY videos you’ll find the info. There are some good ones there. ”

– Paul

:: Resources ::

DIY Solar Oven

Solar Oven Plants

Solar Cookers World Network

Pre Built Sun Ovens

Solar Oven/Cooking Books


  1. Monica says:

    Great! I saw some solar ovens cooking chocolate chip cookies at a back to college event in Bakersfield, CA. I can’t wait to build one (or buy one lol)

    Thanks for the share ;0)

    • Anais says:

      @Monica: Cookies are sooo fun to make in the solar oven. Under the right conditions you can bake dozen and dozens of them!

      • mitchell says:

        we have to make ones for school I am doing researhe

  2. anita says:

    I’ve had my solar oven for 2 years and love it. Today I cooked a roast with potatoes and carrots from my garden. Yum !

    I don’t think you realize at first just how hot it can get.The first time I used it I accidentally touched the black interior and had a burn on my arm.

    • Anais says:

      @anita: Ooooh, sounds yummy! I know, I still burn myself once and awhile. Those things get HOT!

  3. Jeni Vandall says:

    I have to say when I first saw that you cooked in solar ovens I was like oh I could never do that, but the more and more I read the more and more I really can’t wait to get one and try it!!!

    I haven’t looked into them to much so this might be a silly question, but do most have a temp. gauge so you know how hot it is inside?

    What if it gets to hot do you just fold those sides up so it can go back down to the right temp?

    • Anais says:

      @Jeni Vandall: The Sport Solar Oven http://www.peddlerswagon.com/p-173-sport-solar-oven.aspx comes with a temp gauge. In summer, it’s recommended that one not need the use of the reflector. For temp control, you either tilt or turn the oven. Or leave the food in a bit less. What’s good about solar cooking the food NEVER burns!

      • Jeni Vandall says:

        @Anais, Really it never burns!!! Wow that is it I will have to save for awhile but I will be saving for one for sure!!!

        • Anais says:

          @Jeni Vandall: Nope! Might get dried up and dehydrated but never, never burns.

  4. Beth says:

    I would give Paul an A+++ too. Excellent job. Hey Anais, seems like you not posting as much. I miss you.

    • Anais says:

      @Beth: Hi Beth! Awww thanks! I miss myself too. Yes, you are most certainly right. I think after 10 years blogging, I’ve gotten a bit run down lately. I have been busy, enjoying some “me time” cooking, canning, practicing guitar, knitting, crocheting and more. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon! Hugs

      • Beth says:

        @Anais,Enjoy your me time. We all deserve that. Just miss you and everything about you. Your such an inspiration.And greatly appreciated.

  5. Isabel says:

    Do you guys have any tips on building a solar grill?

  6. mitchell says:

    we have to make a solar oven for school

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