Make your own solar oven

As someone who works in the field of Education for Sustainability I’m often on the look out for fun inspiring things to do with my children that show them the power of the natural world and how we can utilise it with minimal impact.

I’ve been wanting to have a go making and using a solar oven and now that we have some real summer weather here in the south of NZ I have had the opportunity.

I was out with some girl friends at a pizza place one night and although we weren’t eating pizza I cheekily asked if they would give me a pizza box. I was pleased to find that they were more than happy to. We started off with something super simple that we would get success with even though it was a bit of a windy day. It was also a treat to inspire the idea of cooking with solar energy.

Solar oven treats copy

So basically you cut an A4 (mine was smaller) size flap in the top and line the underside with tin foil. Paint or glue black paper around the edges and stick black paper in the inside too. The hole you’ve created is ‘double glazed’ with plastic food wrap. As I don’t have these evil stuff in the house I used a thicker plastic that came off a couple of containers of berries that I’d bought at the Farmers Market pre Christmas. Lastly, ‘insulate’ the inside of the box. I scrunched up newspaper and held it in place with some tape. I also lined the underside of the lid with some wool material I had. For the actual instructions I used click here.

What I found tricky was getting the angle of the flap oriented correctly to bounce more of the suns rays into the oven. Melting chocolate was easy. Our second attempt was mini date scones. As we have a black car, putting it on top of the car helped but being anther windy day meant it took about an hour, maybe more to semi cook the scones. At which point we’d had enough and ate them like that! They were still yum.

solar oven NiwhaNiwha was pretty excited about the oven or maybe just the treats it held!

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