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This Plain-Looking Box Is Actually A Genius And Cost-Effective Contraption

SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

Do you like cooking outdoors, but fear setting fires in dry weather? Well, there's good news. You can still do some fire-free outdoor cooking thanks to this deceptively simple DIY project.

This is a solar oven that you can make using simple, inexpensive materials. It's perfect for warm, sunny weather, and it'll help you cook up just about anything. Our tutorial comes from Iris, better known in the Instructables community as Teyla.

Iris and her family have used solar ovens like this to cook everything from rice and pasta, to muffins and meats.

The culinary possibilities are endless!

First, pick up an insulating box to make the inside of the oven.

Make sure that the sides aren't too high, or else they can block the sun's rays. Teyla used Styrofoam.

Build a wooden box around the insulator for stability and weather resistance.

Place a glass plate on top of the Styrofoam interior.

Any transparent material will do. It just needs to let some light in.

Lay the panel on top without bolting it down.

Create a few flaps on the wooden case.

These can be adjusted to accelerate cooking time.

Line the oven with a reflective material.

This will harness as much solar energy as possible.

You can do this with aluminum foil.

Use black pots and pans when cooking.

Dark cookware will draw in even more heat.

Most importantly of all, make sure you experiment!

The only limit to solar cooking is your imagination.

While cooking times will vary depending on where you live and what season it is, an oven like this can be used just about anywhere. It's a great, hazard-free alternative to grills and fires, and the only fuel that it requires is the sun itself.

If you're looking to up your outdoor cooking game, give this project a try!

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