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Aluminum Roasting Pan Solar Cooker?

by Karen


I have an antique roasting pan (a large turkey pan with removable grate on the bottom, and side lifters attached to the grate). It also has a nice thick top, and closeable air vents on the sides.

I also have some dark enamel Nesco pans with lids that fit inside the roaster perfectly, and some glass panels outside from old windows that I'm not using.

I would like to make a solar cooker out of it, because I don't use it much, and it's just sitting in my cabinet. However, I don't want to destroy the pan with paint; I would like to set up something with removable panels.

Since I am new to solar cooking, I would like to try this, with your help...


Thank you for your question on how to utitlize some older pots/pans and glass for making a homemade solar cooker.

It sounds like you might have the makings of a solar oven chamber with the turkey roasting pan, if it is as large as I am imagining.
You would probably do well to use the pan as the interior of the solar oven and you can use your small dark pans for cooking inside of the oven. You would need to find another box into which you can place the roaster and still have enough space around the turkey roaster and the box so that you can place isulation in the gaps or spaces in order to be able to retain the heat you generate. The roaster would form the inner shell and the box (cardboard or wood) would form the outer shell of your solar oven.
The glass could be laid over the roaster (without lid) to form the glazing through which the sun will penetrate into the interior of the oven.
If the glass is just a standard window pane you will have to be very careful not to crack it through rough handling and you will need to realize that this kind of glass (non tempered) will not withstand very high heat for lengthy periods of time before it might start to crack.
Tempered glass is best for this type of use.

Of course you will also have to find a method of attaching reflector panels to the box so that you can reflect the suns rays into the oven chamber.
You could use coroplast, or cardboard or sheet metal to form the reflector panels and then you would have to line the reflectors with aluminum foil or some other reflective material in order to be able to reflect the suns rays.
On our site we carry some good reflective vinyl if you decide to pursue this course of action.

This is just a basic idea of how to construct a homemade solar oven. It might even be helpful to be able to see the items you describe in order to have a better idea of how they might be utilized in the construction of the cooker.

I would also invite any other site visitors that would like to contribute any other suggestions or ideas to help with the construction of this solar cooker.


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Jun 02, 2011
by: Karen

Thanks, we are going to work on this next week-I'll post pics as we go thru the project....

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