Make A Solar Oven For One Dollar

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build-a-solar-oven-for-one-dollarAs you can see from the picture that accompanies this article, it is quite possible to make a perfectly serviceable solar oven from a metallic windshield shade.  These windshield shades can be found at your local dollar store.  If you don’t happen to have access to one of these stores, you can also find them at the closest discount store.

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Just form the windshield shade into a kind of loose “funnel,” clip the shade with a clothespin or a bulldog clip to help it keep it’s form.  Point the top of the funnel toward the sun and place your cooking pot at the narrow end of the funnel – as shown in the picture.

The most important things to remember when cooking in any kind of solar oven that isn’t fully enclosed is to (1) use dark cookware that will absorb the radiant heat from the sun, (2) put the cooking pot in a turkey cooking bag to hold in the heat, and (3) plan on the food taking a bit more time to cook in a solar oven.

Here’s a great video with a better look at how the solar funnel oven should look.  Please note that the cookie dough is being cooked in a dark pan that is enclosed inside of a glass bowl with a glass lid on top and the pan is elevated somewhat on a metal rack. Allowing the sun to bounce under the pan will help distribute the heat more evenly and accelerate the cooking time somewhat.  (This setup is being used instead of the turkey oven bag mentioned above.)  It is absolutely necessary for successful solar cooking to seal in the heat.

The best part of cooking in a solar oven of any kind?  Well, besides the fact that you’re not using any conventional energy.  No burned or dried out food.  It’s pretty amazing, but a solar oven is a bit like a crock pot.  You can fix the dish you want to cook, point your solar funnel a bit “ahead of” the movement of the sun, go run errands, and when you get back, your food is cooked – without any chance of fire or crispy food.

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