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My simple solar cooker isn't working. It only reaches 200 degrees F and this is in Phoenix, AZ where the outside temp is already 102 degrees! Where did I go wrong? The inner box is 16"x19"x10" deep and the outer box provides 3" of dead air on each side and 1-1/2" of dead air on the front, back, and bottom. Is it too big, too deep, or is there too much dead air between the boxes? Does the top have to be sealed? Do I need a metal plate on the bottom instead of just aluminum foil painted flat black? Does the aluminum foil glued to the sides inside have to be very smooth? I had trouble with the glues I used and the inside perimeter is not real smooth. I think the directions said to glue aluminum foil to the inside of both boxes - is this correct? I am using a large oven bag. The reflector is 19"x21". I would like to build a neater simple solar cooker out of wood but first I need to know what is wrong with this first one. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. Scotdancer

Have you tried cooking in your cooker? It will get hotter with food in it. You can cook at 200F just fine. Was the sky clear? If the sky is white instead of blue, then there are high clouds cutting into the solar radiation. Your cooker sounds a bit deep, but that shouldn't matter this time of year. Are you using glass or plastic to cover the opening on top? Tom Sponheim 01:08, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

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