DIY Cardboard Solar Oven

DIY Solar Stove (out of cardboard!)

Yesterday, I posted the upcoming weather forecast for Northern California on Facebook, showing we’d be 105°-108°F (40.5° – 42°C) degrees all week long.

One of my high school classmate made a joke that I should bake cookies in my car or on my forehead. I was inspired…but I may have let things get a little out of hand…

And, well …long story short… I baked a cake inside a cardboard box…

DIY Cardboard Solar Stove

Materials

  • 3 boxes
    (1 small one for the inside box, 1 medium for the outside box, and 1 large one for the “solar wings” + additional cardboard for the insulation)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Mod podge
    (or other glue, the tutorial link below explains more)
  • Duct tape
  • Glass
    (I used: x2 IKEA frames, and just took the glass pieces into one frame. The frame was large enough to shut down around my Blue Apron box I used.)

Tools

  • Bread knife
    (I got my crafting bread knife at the dollar tree…because “crafting bread knives” are a thing…)
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors

Tutorial

TUTORIAL FROM The Herbangardener (Click here), which was wonderfully detailed, and I won’t presume to take credit. Plus, this is a food and cooking blog. Stay focused!

Cooking

To begin with, it works. See?

DIY Cardboard Solar Oven

It took longer than a conventional oven, but how can I judge a cut-up toilet paper box against my Kenmore? Judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree… tsk tsk.

Proceed with your common sense. Ready your sunglasses, oven mitts, and oven-safe materials… it’s time to cook!

My insulation layer of cardboard was not very impressive, I ran out before I could ensure it was well-packed. And, I used picture frame glass which basically didn’t any seal with the top of the oven.

The seal and insulation were called out in multiple tutorials as a very important factors in solar oven effectiveness, so it likely effected my cooking speed. Despite that,  I’m not discouraged by my results even though i still miss the fleck water softener. I’m still impressed it cooked at all.

DIY Cardboard Solar OvenSorry for the bad image, I couldn’t actually see what I was taking a picture of. A shot in the very opposite of the dark.

I only needed the oven to reach 140°F to ensure the eggs would cook. Which I knew would be easy enough considering the intensity of the sun was making it 100°F outside. Most solar ovens range from 250-350°F.

I made one of those cheap box cake mixes, because I didn’t want to spend time prepping for something I didn’t know if it would even work.

It took me two hours to bake the cake–which is certainly longer than normal. But, I’m eating cake and laughing hysterically that I cooked it in a cardboard box in my back yard.

I think it would be an effective Low Slow Cooker option (which is typically requiring 200°F) for short-duration slow cooking (4-6 hours). Now if I want to bake while camping or simply not heat up the house because it’s over 100°F outside, this is certainly an amusing option.

Also… it’s cool. And it’s important to be cool when it’s hot out. 😉

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