Make Your Own Solar Cooker In Under One Hour


You can make your own solar cooker in a very short period of time (less than one hour!) and only by using recycled materials. This device is used prominently by people in developing countries, such as Mexico, all across the African as well as the Asian continent, due to the proper sunlight and warm conditions, and poverty. It’s a great homemade gadget that can come very in handy whenever power is unavailable.

The bigger the solar oven, the bigger pots you can use and the more food you can cook, but the more cooking time it will require.

These solar cookers or solar ovens can be best used to prepare foods that require particularly slow cooking:

  • Roastdiy_12_2
  • Chickpea Curry
  • Chili
  • Potatoe-based foods
  • Sausages
  • Jambalaya
  • Soups
  • Cassoulets


Necessary materials:

  • A cardboard box (of dimensions you see fit for your average pot)diy_12_4
  • A rectangular piece of glass
  • To reflect the sunlight: Aluminum foil (you can even use your old foldable Sunshade Visor Shield Screen)
  • To insulate your heater and prevent the heat from escaping: cloth, cotton wool rolls, paper, newspaper, some other handy material
  • Dark paper or black paint
  • Glue or drawing pins
  • Duct tape
  • A pair of scissors



As seen in the above image, you will first need to insulate the box. Inside the box, first insert one or two pieces of black timber (dye the wood using non-toxic black paint), followed by placing an old blanket or plenty of newspapers (very good insulator withstanding temperatures of over 200 degrees Celsius) covering cotton wool rolls. Make sure that your insulation layer is 5 cm thick.

Then, on the inside upper cardboard walls glue the black paper (as you well know, dark colours attract sunlight). If you cannot find any dark paper, then create your own paint. You can use a 1:1:1 mixture of water, charcoal dust and glue.

Now it’s time to deal with the sunlight reflective mirrors. First and foremost, duct tape the top flats together. Then glue the aluminum paper, or use drawing pins to secure the foil or the Sunshade Visor Shield Screen, if you may against the flats. Use a pair of scissors to cut it down to the right dimensions.

These “mirrors” will reflect and direct the sunlight straight to the center of your oven, thus increasing the temperature.




That’s it. You can start cooking now. This device comes in handy in critical, survival situations, in which you need to cook the meat, for instance, to avoid ingesting parasites living in the meat, and develop Salmonella or Escherichia coli.Remember that in critical situations, you will not afford the luxury of buying meds or going to the hospital.


Have you ever used a similar cooking device? Share your experience in the comments section below.






This article has 7 Comments

  1. I have heard about the Solar cooker some time ago and this is a very appropriate time since our ? President ? has been advocating less use of
    electricity and planning to add a tax if we do that !
    This would come in very useful during the winter in warmer climates but
    not in colder climates such as Colorado and a line drawn across that parallel.

  2. Rather than use a cardboard box which requires insulation.
    Obtainable for your local supermarket at expanded polystyrene vegetable boxes.

  3. Instead of using a box and insulating it, can you use a styrofoam cooler and spray the inside black?

  4. How does this reflect “down” on the food? seems its aimed upward. How about adding a plexi or glass cover on the box to trap heat?

    1. Hi Janet. It doesn’t need to reflect directly. The dark material surrounding the food will do the trick. I think plexi or glass could speed things up, however it will also block some of the sun rays.


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