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Get Cooking With A Sun-Powered Solar Oven

Soak up the last of the summer sun by making scrumptious sweet and savory snacks with your own DIY solar oven!

Solar ovens include a Copenhagen Solar Cooker (left) and a shoebox oven. (Photo by Angela Rafac)

Solar ovens are not only fun, they can be practical too. In fact, there are many solar ovens on the market capable of roasting chickens and boiling water. They can be used when camping, if you lose power or to prevent heating your house up with a hot oven in the summer months.

Some of the different solar oven designs include a traditional shoebox oven insulated with newspaper on the sides and a DIY Copenhagen Solar Cooker. Here’s a video with instructions on how to build a Copenhagen Solar Cooker. (The example above was made with tinfoil, not mylar.)

When tested recently, the Copenhagen Solar Cooker produced very good results, especially compared to the shoebox model. Both ovens were used for making quesadillas and dulcedillas (sweet-filled tortillas) with just one tortilla to better see how quickly the food melted and cooked. The cheese and veggie quesadillas were ready in 15 minutes in the Copenhagen Solar Cooker.

Quesadillas made with a Copenhagen Solar Cooker. (Photo by Angela Rafac)

The shoebox oven did not cook as quickly. It took almost 40 minutes for the dulcedilla’s chocolate and butterscotch chips to melt.

A dulcedilla ready for cooking in a solar oven. (Photo by Angela Rafac)

Here are some tips for solar cooking.

  • Solar cooking is effective, but it takes longer than traditional ovens. Keep that in mind when planning your meal. Don’t wait until you are hungry to start cooking!

  • The ovens will get hot! Have a potholder or tongs ready to remove your dish. And do not leave the oven unattended.

  • The prime cooking time for solar ovens in between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun is shining close to overhead. At other times, you may need to angle your oven to better receive the sun’s rays.

  • A dark-colored pie tin is better than glass for cooking. Dark colors absorb the heat.

  • Use a large zip-lock bag or a turkey bag to place your pie tin in to help the trap the heat. Bonus: It will also keep bugs off your food!

  • You may want to have a thermometer handy, to see just how hot your oven gets.

You can find more solar oven recipes online. Search for recipes on Pinterest or Google or check YouTube for videos. There are so many tasty meal ideas to try. Get outside and get cooking!


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