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Save Electricity, Skip the Campfire, Go Old School and Cook on a Solar Oven

The hot, dry weather in Colorado has forced officials to enforce fire bans across the state. That means no campfires, no s’mores, no nuttin’. Or is it possible to harness the power of the sun using a technique that is used by Girl and Boy Scouts and other ingenious campers who want to spare the lighter fluid, charcoal or wood to cook a meal?

To make a solar oven, start by going out for pizza and keeping the cardboard box. Cut a flap inside the lid of the box so you have a lid inside a lid.

Cover the inside box bottom with aluminum foil and then place a piece of black paper on top. Cover the inside of the box lid with clear plastic wrap and the inside of the lid you cut out in step one with more aluminum foil.

It’s time to start cooking those s’mores. Place a few graham crackers on the black paper and layer with chocolate and marshmallows. Leave it out in the sun for about 10 minutes, more or less depending on the strength of the sun. BAM! S’mores for the family without a spark or fire.

The aluminum foil reflects the sunlight and harnesses the heat on the marshmallows and chocolate. The black paper absorbs that heat and increases the heat inside the box. The plastic also holds in the heat and protects the food from critters or dirt while cooking the food.

Here’s more on the science of the sun, sunscreen and step by step instructions on how to make our solar oven from The Spangler Effect –

3 replies
  1. Lian Nathaniel
    Lian Nathaniel says:

    My mom and I did this the other day. We upcycled crayons. I know this works for s’mores but what else can I cook in my solar oven. I was so happy that it worked right the first time. It was so awesome! Thanks for the great how to!


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