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Talk:"Minimum" Solar Box Cooker

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This works very well! My unit gets to 275F in about 15 minutes. It does need strong sun light, however. I cook muffins from a mix that needs only 1/2c milk. They say 20min at 450F, I use 1.75Hr at 275F. The muffins will brown with the extra time. Also the temp rises at the end of cooking, reaching 290F. I did add 2 reflectors on the sides, which are about the same size of the lid.


Someone removed the Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag® from the list of "what you will need". I have put it back because you do need it (or something comparable - and an ordinary plastic bag won't work) unless you decide to use glass instead. It's pretty well buried in the directions where you use the bag, so maybe the person who made this edit didn't see that part on a quick read?[1] --Beth Ogilvie 18:57, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


I think you ought to add duct tape and/or box tape to the list of what you will need. If you have to reinforce the boxes; if one of them is the wrong size and needs to be cut down; if one is open on both ends (my case); you will need tape. - Leila A.


I can't follow these directions. Help , I would really like to cook solar. too hot to cook inside. currently combining barbercue &solar. have square glass window frame. large flat boxes not so easy to come by. Jackie sewjack@sbcglobal.net

Can you describe what part of the directions are confusing you? We'd be happy to answer your questions, and we'd like to improve the plans. Tom Sponheim 15:37, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I had som challenges with the directions as well. Here are a few specific examples:

"Decide how deep you want your oven to be. It should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deeper than your largest pot and about 1" shorter than the outer box so that there will be a space between the bottoms of the boxes once the cooker is assembled. Using a knife, slit the corners of the inner box down to that height" I am not sure what 'that height' refers to.

"Take the large sheet of cardboard and lay it on top of the base" Is this referring to the base of the outer box, i.e. turn the outer box upsidedown, or is it just referring to the outer box itself, or some other base?

"Next, turn the lid upside-down and glue the oven bag (or other glazing material) in place" I am assuming in place means in the top of the lid so that when you open the flap, there is a clear barrier in the resultant opening? A little clarity on exactly how and why the oven bag is used might help

It would also help to label the figures as to what they are, their component parts and what orientation they are in.

Thank you for doing all this great stuff, I am looking forward to trying this out. Most technical writers will agree (I am not one, I just know a few) that writing clear, correctly interperetable directions is the hardest type of writing there is. the preceding unsigned comment is by 65.208.210.97 (talk • contribs) 21:38, 28 July 2007

I'm looking for a way to make a solar cooking using no plastic bags or any other petrochemical product. Using glass sounds great and maybe the article could give that a little more attention in the "What you will need" area, rather than as an afterthought. After all, being environmentally conscious is the main idea here. _______________________________________

I followed the directions here and it has worked very well for me. I did use some duct tape to hold some things together, particularly around the top of the box where the 2 boxes come together. And also to reinforce the sides of the top lid. I added 3 more reflectors, and attached them with duct tape, too, being careful not to get it on the turkey bag window. I angle them all out at 60 degrees. I cooked dinner yesterday, of a small salmon loaf and a huge potato, and had it out in the sun for 4 hours. I live in Indiana. It all cooked very nicely. Thank you for the great plans!

solar cooking in the winter Edit

i am doing this for my science fair and rigth now it's winter so does anyone know how to make this thing work in the winter around -6 temperature. if you have any answers please send me them to my email address which is sagar2727@hotmail.com

Solar cooking at high latitudes may be helpful to you. Walter Siegmund (talk) 00:43, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Solar box cooking Edit

hello can i have simple and more detailed explantions with more colour pictures about how to build this solar box cooker email me at sagar2727@hotmail.com also can you tell me the easiest thing to cook which does not need alot of heat and sun to cook for my solar box cooker. also can you tell me by what it means when the instructions of building the base say about" glue the top flaps closed on the outer box. also can you explain what it means when the instructions say paint this foiled side back and allow it to dry. i am confused and i think i am suppose to paint the aluminuim foil so can you tell me if what i think is rigth. the preceding unsigned comment is by 99.228.204.40 (talk • contribs) 04:23, 8 December 2008

Recipes may be helpful. White rice is one of the easier foods to cook. I'm not familiar with the Solar Box Cooker design; perhaps someone else will be able to help. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:21, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Some one good in solar cooking desings Edit

hello walter who is the someone else can you give me his email address. my email is sagar2727@hotmail.com

Need help on building lid Edit

i dont now what is a lip.

The "lip" is the piece of cardboard that you bend down when forming the lid as in this image. Tom Sponheim 21:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

What to cook Edit

Can you list most of the easy things to cook in a solar cooker which is not meat and doesnt need temperatre that is higer then 190 degree. my other question is that if i color all the outside of mybox red will it work better.

It won't make any difference if you paint the outside black or any other color. The heat won't really make it through the insulation to reach the food.
Easy foods to cook are rice, cornbread, hard-boiled eggs, etc. Tom Sponheim 06:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

MY teacher asked me this question Edit

my teacher asked me why i need two boxes instead of one box to make the solar cooker. also i am doing this i am making diffrent lids with smaller reflector flaps and i am going to make a chart to show how much heat the oven produces in 10 minutes also can i cook veggie burgers. also why do we need the oven bag. what is the diffrence between using one oven bag with two layers and cutting the oven bag with only one layer. which is better. Thanks for all the help you guys! I appreciate it and I will be writing more questions for u guys later.

when to cook Edit

hello can u look at the weather forcast of Tornoto, ON, Canada and tell me some good days to cook my food using the solar box and estimate how long it will take for me to cook eggs.

Start cooking at around 10:00 AM. Lean the cooker forward to point at the sun. Cook the eggs in a small, light-weight, dark pot with a dark lid. Let us know how it works for you. Tom Sponheim 04:06, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

results Edit

i have tryed my and the temperature only gets up to 38 celsius can you explain why. if you were to estimate how much temperature a solar cooker would get with a lid as big as 58 x 58cm. in one hour can you tell me. also can you tell me the temperature for every 10 minutes in an hour.

The temperature is very variable depending on many things. Season is one of these. If you are in the northern hemisphere, then you are cooking in winter. That usually isn't too successful.Tom Sponheim 11:17, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Question Edit

is this true that the bigger the lid the faster and more effective it is to solar cooking? if it is can you explain why?

This is true. The larger the opening into the cooker, the hotter it usually gets.Tom Sponheim 11:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

An important thought Edit

why is solar cooking so important to the world. also can you answer why question for my teacher asked me this question.

You'll find your answer here: Why solar cook. - Tom Sponheim 11:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

CAN U GUESS Edit

can u please guess for me the tempertaure in celsuis this solar cooker will get me in one hour if i live in Ontario Canada. With a lid the size of 58cm x 58 cm.

This can't be guessed. There are too many factors. If the sun was very clear and there was no wind, I would image that it would get to 100°C.

cooking in house Edit

if u were to solar cook in a house through a window would it make a diffrence how so if it does. does it decrease or lower the temperature. Thanks for answering all my questions!Italic text' also is it true that the rate of the increasing temperature of the solar cooking goes down every few minutes. for example first 10 minutes the temperature inside the box goes up by 20 degrees and the next ten minutes the temperature inside the box goes up by 18 degree. so is that true i would like to know

HAVE A GOOD CHRISTMAS''Link title''

cooking in house Edit

will this solar cooker work if you cook in a house through a window or do you have to go outside and cook it. if it does will cooking in the house affect the temperature this cooker will go up to.

You can cook inside through a window. Tom Sponheim 16:38, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

You HAVE to try this! Edit

{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%20RTE%3A%3A%7B%22spaces%22%3A0%2C%22type%22%3A%22LINE_BREAK%22%7D%20%2D%2D%3EI built this today in 2 1/2 hours (not including shopping time for the materials). I used two moving boxes--one 16 x 16 and one 14 x 14. All in all it was an easy project...and I'm definately NOT "handy". The most time-consuming part was gluing on the foil. I also made a mistake and fastened the lid to the box using duct tape (which I had to substitue for glue when fastening the cardboard pieces together). Then I couldn't understand the directions about how to use the Reynolds bag. AFTER I had the oven assembled, I realized what was meant. Since the pot I intend to use fits easily into the opening, however, I'm just going to leave the lid fastened to the outer box and tape/untape the plastic each time I need to insert or remove the pot. I'm so proud of myself that I built this and can't wait to make a second (smaller) one with my 8 year old daughter so she'll know how to do it, too! Right now, I've got about 4 cups of chopped collard greens cooking in the oven. I didn't put it out until 2, however and don't know if I'll have enough sun to cook the greens enough. I just couldn't wait it to try it!! If I could change anything, I would use a more shallow box that's wider than it is deep to maximize sunlight.

108.220.120.171 18:45, March 26, 2012 (UTC)

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