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Solar Sweets from a Solar Pizza Box Cooker

Assemble the pizza box, and open it up.
Glue aluminum foil to all inside surfaces of the sides except the top of the box, with the shiny surface facing in. This will create a "radiation trap" that will trap, by reflection, invisible (low-frequency) radiation that is radiated by the food and air inside the box.

On the top flap of the pizza box draw a square with a marker with edges spaced 1" from the four sides of the box.

Cut along three of the lines, on the sides and on the front edge of the box, leaving the fourth line along the box's hinge uncut. Then fold open the flap, making a crease on the fourth line (see the figure above). Note: Extra supervision may be needed during this step, because students often cut along the fourth line as well by mistake.

Glue aluminum foil to the inside surface of the top flap, with shiny side visible! This will form reflector, to reflect sunlight into the oven. Be careful to make as few wrinkles as possible, and smooth out whatever wrinkles occur.
Tape the black construction paper to the bottom of the box. This will help to absorb the incoming sunlight.

Carefully stretch the plastic wrap over the opening of the box, sealing the edges with tape to seal the air in.
Cover any air leaks around the box edges with tape, except while making sure that the box can still be opened, so you can place food inside the box and remove it later.

Go outside in the sunlight and place oven on a flat, level surface.
Place food on some foil (or a paper plate) and place inside the oven.
Use string and masking tape to tie back and adjust the reflector, so that sunlight is reflected into the oven, and especially onto the pie tin.
Let food cook, and check reflector angle now and then to make sure sunlight is getting inside the oven.

Enjoy your solar treat!


Greetings ??

Thank you for your very detailed write-up of your solar pizza box cooker project.
How well did they work?
Anything you would do differently?
What did you like most about this solar cooker project?

Thanks for adding the photo.


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I love the simplicity - however....
by: JIm La Joie

This is a great beginner's solar cooker..
Suggestion for improvement would be to improve the reflector. The glue that you used was absorbed into one side of your cardboard. This causes the cardboard to warp away from the glue side and you end up with a convex curved reflector which is not nearly as efficient as a flat reflector.
To resolve this, try painting both sides of the cardboard with glue at the same time. Equal glue absorption on both sides will give you a flatter (and stronger) reflector.
Alternatively, you can use aluminum foil tape. The glue on the tape should not cause your cardboard to warp.

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