Friday, June 5, 2009

My first solar oven

This is the first homemade solar oven I put together back in 1999. I pulled it out of storage so that everyone could see it. Little did I know that this little project would turn into a full blown excitement for solar cooking. It was made out of two cardboard boxes and insulated with rolled up newspaper. I loved this thing! I actually found the directions on the internet recently, here: How I built a Solar Oven. Thanks to my old High School buddy Darin for directing me to that site. It is the exact method that I used! How cool right? So now you can make one too.
It only had one reflective flap that was lined with Mylar to make it shine...yea the stuff they use to make the balloons. The glass was a cheap piece I found at the Home Depot. I lined the top of the box with felt to hold in the heat. On the bottom I placed a piece of metal that was painted black.

I used it to cook a lot of soups and staples but could never get it up over 275 degrees. Which was okay, but my bread was not what I wanted it to be. I've since graduated to the full blown industrial model. However, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of this one. In fact, had I not kept it, you wouldn't have any idea of the progression of my cooking. I didn't blog back then. I just started blogging in November. Up until that point I didn't even have a clue about the blogging world. Side note... Tara is the one to blame for anything you see here. She encouraged me to start this little project.

Even more random is the fact that in High School, I was in the same college prep. chemistry class with my sister who is just 1 year younger than I am. Our teacher was a dry old codger. However, he did manage to give us the nickname "sunshine twins". We've always been a perky little pair of girls. It wasn't until recently that I have come to know that there is a perfect shortage of light hearted souls. I wish there where more who could see the sunny side of life. So I guess I am a little sunshine girlie myself. Is it any wonder whatsoever that I use the sun to cook?

Solar cooking is becoming very popular. I'm excited to be part of the solar cooking movement. My first TV segment will be coming up soon. Specifically on the solar oven and light and fun summer desserts (that I baked in it). The latest word on the upcoming cooking segment with Fox is that it will be next Wednesday morning. Shortly after it airs, I will again post the link to the Fox 10 Phoenix website.


Jeri said...

how did you know how to build this? get the plans online or from a book??? I totally want one, but don't have the $$ in the budget to buy a "real one" yet...

Chef Tess said...

"Everyone should know that they can make their own solar cooker in about an hour from a single cardboard box, aluminum foil, a plastic bag, and a dark pot. Here is a link to free plans:The Fun-Panel" --Tom Sponheim Solar Cookers International
The link can be found here:

Chef Tess said...

Here's a good resource:

Mine was the box cooker. I didn't use their plans but it was pretty similar. I should do a tutorial Tuesday on these huh?

Anonymous said...

You can make your own solar oven a single cardboard box, aluminum foil, a plastic bag, and a dark pot.
how to make own solar panel