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Haines Foam Insulation Cooker

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Last updated: April 3, 2014      
Haines Foam Insulation Cooker, 2-10-14

The Haines Foam Insulation Cooker

Haines Foam Insualtion Cooker folded open, 2-10-14

The cooker is shown cut and folded before final assembly.

Haines II New Template 001

Haines Foam Template

The Haines Foam Insulation Cooker was designed by Roger Haines, a resident of San Diego, California, USA. The cooker is made of IXPE (cross-linked polyester) foam insulation bonded with reflective metalized polyester film (MPET film / 3mm IXPE foam / white PET film). The reflective polyester will not oxidize, cannot be scratched off, and has a high melting point. Importantly, the new material is easy to recycle and is environmentally safe through the whole production and recycling process without pollution. In the U.S., this material is used to make high-end auto windshield sunshades. In bulk, the material can be purchased in China for about $3.60 USD per square meter. Alternatively, the reflector can be made from reflective bubble insulation, or any other flexible reflective material.

The reflector is made from a 61 cm. x 122 cm. (2-foot by 4-foot) rectangle of reflective material, with three scissors cuts as shown in the template. Overlapping the cuts as shown produces the proper shape, and the material is then secured with two brass paper fasteners (brads) inserted through holes punched with an ordinary paper punch. When the sun is low, moving the pot forward will "rock" the front of the reflector down, and the back up, to catch more sun.

Haines I Windscreen alone

Haines Windscreen

The windscreen is made from a 30 cm. (2-foot) diameter circle of 0.5 mm (.020-inch) UV-resistant polycarbonate film. For increased rigidity, a radius cut is overlapped two inches to form a flat cone like a sun hat. The overlap is secured by an "R-clip" (a cotter pin that looks like the letter "R"), which is inserted into holes (punched in the windscreen with a paper punch) and then attached to the reflector material. The windscreen makes the cooker quite rigid in windy conditions, and creates an "oven-like" atmosphere around the cooking pot. The cooker itself can withstand strong winds if a stiff wire is inserted through the natural holes at the bottom, and held down with bricks or rocks.
2014 windscreen

Windscreen for Haines Cooker

2014 Cooking sleeve

Cooking sleeve for Haines cooker

Haines II pot&sleeve
Cooking sleeve. Instead of a cooking bag, the black cooking pot is enclosed in a "sleeve" of .020-inch (0.5 mm) UV-resistant polycarbonate film. A 15cm x 92cm (6" x 36") rectangle of polycarbonate film is rolled into a cylinder slightly bigger than the cooking pot, and secured with ordinary paper clips. The top rim of the cooking pot rests on the top edge of the cooking sleeve, which insulates the cooking pot and elevates it off the surface of the reflector, allowing the sun to be reflected onto the bottom of the pot.

Roger Haines (858) 736-5505

Recent news and updatesEdit

  • April 2014: Building material supplier in Kenya imports solar cooker supplies - Roger Haines reports that Global Hardware, Ltd., a prominent Nairobi, Kenya building supply company, (, has agreed to purchase a large quantity of reflective foam insulation and polycarbonate plastic film for resale at low cost to solar cooking entrepreneurs. This is expected to reduce to less than $10 the wholesale cost of materials in Nairobi for the newly-designed Haines II foam solar cooker. The hope is that the availability of these inexpensive materials will promote the creation of new solar cooking entrepreneurs in East Africa. Haines' San Diego Rotary Club will purchase materials for 500 of the new cookers for distribution by the Rotary Club of Gulu, Uganda.

See alsoEdit


See Roger Haines.

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