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Sort of worked...

by Eric
(Spokane, WA)

We just made a solar oven out of a pizza box. We painted the outside black and lined the inside with foil. We stuck a meat thermometer through the front. We also added an additional reflecting surface.
The recipe we used was great! You'll find it below "Mark's no fail Solar Cookie Recipe"

Outside it was a warm day, low 80's. The highest temp the oven reached was 178, and in maintained around 170. After 2 1/2 hours, the cookies were mostly done, though some were kind of doughy.

Mark's "No Fail" Solar Cookies: Solar Cooker Desserts

1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or raisins
1/2 cup water

Note that the recipe calls for BAKING SODA, not baking powder. However, sometimes I put in 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for additional fluffiness. Mix ingredients together and then form cookies. Comfortably makes 12 cookies spread over (2) 11 x 7 inch baking pans.


Greetings Eric,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with our site visitors.

And thank you for the great recipe.

Solar cooking can be an enjoyable adventure as well as a great learning experience and it sounds like you learned a bit.
I will have to admit though that the "infamous pizza box solar cooker" can be a trying method of learning to solar cook. The plans and suggestions for pizza box solar cookers are all over the web, but it is probably the leas effective way of truly using the power of the sun to cook ones food.
In fact today I was solar cooking some cookies and I left mine in for about 20 minutes rather than the customary 10-12 minutes and mine ended up being very crunchy.

The problem with the pizza box cooker is that it does no have any insulation and so does not retain very much heat at all.
And the transparent window (glazing) is usually made of something that is not designed to withstand much heat and thus will melt and loose much of the heat needed to cook with.

If you would like an easy and inexpensive method of building a simple solar panel cooker that can bake as well as cook meat, veggies etc. you can do so for just $5.00 worth of material.

On this page you can find several methods of building some homemade solar cookers that are very effective and will cook anything you want.
The Heavens Flame is a great solar cooker as well as the All Seasons Solar Cooker, just for starters.
You will see how powerful these solar cookers are once you use them.

Thank you for sharing.


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Nice start
by: Jim La Joie

Hi Eric,
You probably learned a lot from the pizza box cooker. To be really successful in solar cooking... follow Nathan's advice. Take a look at some of the simple panel cookers. Also, there is a post regarding understanding power and temperature of solar cookers elsewhere on this website.
Solar Cooker

Effective Solar Cooker Prototypes

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