Why use electricity when you can use .......................sunlight?
Why buy and oven when you can .................make one?
This is a fun project for any family wanting to combine a love of solar cooking with a love of recycling. Yeah. Solar cookers capture sunlight and insulate the heat inside. This one is very basic - there are plenty of more complicated ones around, but this is a good place to start.
1 Pizza Box
Aluminium Foil (we used the shiny inside of a chip packet)
Clear Plastic (overhead transparency or see-through oven bags)
Step One: The Oven door:
With the pizza box shut, mark a square "window", leaving about 2cm gap on three sides. Cut along the "window" and sticky tape the clear plastic into the space left behind.
NB. Do not cut the third side, as this will form the "reflector".
Step Two: Painting inside the oven:
Paint black inside and outside the pizza box. The paint needs to be very thick and/or dark, as it helps with insulation.
Glue your aluminium foil onto the inside of the flap left in the pizza box lid.
The finished product - now you are all ready to bake some cookies using power from Father Sun.
Using a dark baking tray (if it's too shiny it won't keep the heat in), place your cookies/muffins/chocolate etc on the dry black paint surface. Choose a position in full, strong sunlight.
Close the oven door with the "window" open, set up your reflector with a stick (photo at top of article), so it shines sunlight straight onto the cookies. The temperature can reach 140 degrees Celsius, so the food gets warm but takes a bit longer to bake.
Solar Cooking is becoming very popular as a strategy to reduce deforestation and prevent respiratory disease resulting from cooking with wood. China and India are leading the way in implementing more and more streamlined technology in the field of solar. 848 000 people in China use solar cookers each day to cook and I would love to visit Villaseca Solar Restaurant in Chile's Elqui Valley.