As more people are becoming aware of the environmental impact of their choices, renewable energy solutions are gaining in popularity. Solar energy, for instance, is becoming more common because it’s renewable and clean. A Solar Oven is a great, inexpensive way to use the heat of the sun to prepare food.
Not only is a cooker that uses the sun’s heat a cheap alternative that saves electricity, but it also provides a solution for making a warm meal when you don’t have access to other types of energy. In many developing countries, it can even prevent water-borne diseases because it enables people to boil water and make it potable. In addition, it’s very easy to make your own cooker.
Making your own cooker is so easy that even a child can do it. You will need a cardboard box big enough to accommodate a pie tin or pot. You’ll also need some aluminum foil, black construction paper, old newspapers, clear plastic wrap, and tape or glue. The tools to have on hand include scissors or a box cutter as well as a ruler, stick or wooden spoon about a foot in length.
To start, mark a line along three sides on the top of the box, a minimum of an inch from the edge. Then carefully cut all along the line. This will form a flap that you can lift.
Once you have made a flap at the top of the box, you need to line the inside of this flap with aluminum foil. You can tape or glue the foil to the cardboard. What is important is that the foil should be as smooth as possible. The idea is that the aluminum will reflect the sun’s rays into the box.
Once you have assembled the flap, you need to add the lining. Place construction paper in the box to line the bottom. The paper should be black in order to absorb more heat. Then roll up sheets of newspaper and place them along the sides to add insulation.
The oven will be most effective from around eleven in the morning until three in the afternoon, when the sun is overhead. Place the cardboard box in a spot that receives lots of sunlight and then put the food inside, on a plate, in a pie tin or in a pot. Now place a double layer of clear plastic over the opening where you cut out the flap and tape it securely to the box. The plastic will allow heat to go in but will trap it inside, forming an oven. Finally, use your foot-long stick to hold up the lid at an angle which reflects the rays into your box.
A solar-heated oven is best for slow-cooked food such as soups, stews or baked potatoes. You can also use it to cook eggs, toast, vegetables, rice, hot dogs or cookies, to heat up leftover food or even to melt cheese or marshmallows. The secret is to keep checking the flap and adjusting the angle when necessary, so that you can get as much heat as possible to go into the box.
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