DIY: How to Build A Solar Oven?

A solar oven is like a milestone in the development of modern technology with the application of solar energy. Solar power has become a widespread idea to apply in normal and regular activities of our life to make things easier.

The incorporation of solar power into activities like cooking, producing electricity has brought about innovation. A solar oven is a similar application of solar energy to make our lives easier.

It is an alternative to firewood, electricity, gas or fuel-derived cooking methods and is extremely efficient using its action. Solar ovens can be made at home using a few simple materials, and the quality is still efficient in every way.

Positive Sides of a Solar Oven

Before jumping to the main topic let’s have a look at some of the positive sides of a solar oven.

Use of Natural Energy

It uses sunlight by condensing the ultraviolet and electromagnetic rays of the sun to produce heat which is required to cook food. The energy derived from these electromagnetic rays causes the molecules of the solid or liquid to move rapidly and generate a huge amount of heat.

Solar ovens trap this heat and utilize it for cooking food. No gas, fuel or artificial energy is involved in the activity of solar oven.


The most important feature of a solar oven is that it does not require constant monitoring as a fuel derived oven would. It can be placed under the sun and kept in that similar position until the cooking is completed.

It can also be kept in a place randomly away from the sunlight and left like that for a few hours. The cooking is completed when the sunlight crosses the side of the oven at alternative phases of the day.


It is affordable as cooking, boiling, and baking; almost anything can be done using a solar oven. So, a single solar oven can serve multiple purposes. The materials required to create a solar oven are affordable and budget friendly. So, it serves as a cheap alternative to other cookers which are nowhere near the affordable range.


The use of a solar oven is hugely environment-friendly compared to other cookers available. The use of fuel derived cookers may be responsible for the emission of toxic substances which contribute to environmental pollution. Solar ovens do not involve such emission of toxic substances and are therefore environment friendly.

DIY Solar Oven

Nutritious Food Production

Cooking food using solar ovens tend to produce more moist and healthy food as they take a lot of time to cook. Thus, the nutrients are absorbed well, and the food produced is more tasty to savor as well as healthy.

Easy to Carry

Solar ovens are also very travel friendly as they are used for cooking food in any kind of situation or travel conditions and easy to carry as well. They can be used easily to cook food while camping and hiking.

The only requirement is sunlight and there is no obligation of the usage of firewood or any other elements or materials.

Building A Solar Oven

Now that you are familiar with the positive aspects of a solar oven, let’s jump to the main topic, which is how we can build one.

DIY Build A Solar Oven

Materials Required

Almost all the supplies that are required for a solar oven are easily available and come budget friendly as well. The requirements are listed below:

1. Cardboard boxes of variable sizes; pizza boxes or cardboard cartons can also be used

2. Scissors

3. Knife

4. Discarded newspapers; you can also use discarded papers that are not required anymore, but they should be dusted well before use (discarded newspapers can act as an insulator for the solar oven)

5. Aluminum foil (it acts as the reflector for the oven to take in and reflect the sunlight)

6. Plastic tape or white glue can be used

7. Ruler

8. Black paper (this will act as the heat absorber)

9. Pencil or pen may be required occasionally

10. Rods or sticks; they will be required to provide grip and attachment


A solar oven is easy to make if adequate knowledge regarding how to utilize the supplies are known. Most individuals can carry out the process themselves without additional help. The next few steps are a guideline to an easy solar oven making procedure:

Making the Frame

A larger cardboard box is taken, and the sides are evenly sharpened removing any excess ends. Then, a smaller cardboard box is placed inside it repeating the same process with the smaller one.

The space between the sides of the boxes should be 2-3 inches for better action. Space is filled with the discarded newspapers which are shredded first. This filling acts as an insulator for the oven. Place the black paper inside the small box gluing it inside with proper care. The use of this black paper would be to absorb heat.  

Preparing the Reflector

To make flaps, you can use the same kind of cardboard to cut slices in a square shape but slightly wide towards the end. The slices of cardboard should be measured with a ruler and should be at least a few centimeters wider than the sides of the box.

These slices of cardboard should be glued to the wall of the box, and they would be standing out like the coverings of the box. To create a reflecting surface for the sun rays, glue aluminum foil to each flap covering it entirely. Due to this, the sunlight is reflected inside the box and heat is generated to cook food.

A Solar Oven with Reflector

Ensuring Firmness

Place rods or sticks under the flaps by gluing the rods or sticks to the flaps so that a better hold is ensured during the wind. Even without wind, the flaps may loosen up and fall off hampering the action of the solar oven. So, it is essential to place rods and sticks to hold them in position.


Take a food container and place the ingredients in the container by adding adequate salt and little amount of water. Keep the container inside the box and allow it to cook under sunlight for a good few hours.

There is no need to stir and check now-and-then as the temperature adjusts according to the amount of sunlight reflected. Boiling water, baking food, cooking curry, rice, and other dishes are all possible in this solar oven made with just cardboard box and papers.


While bringing it to an end, it can be said that a solar oven has its benefits and merits considering the super-easy making process. With a few simple tools and ingredients, it can be quickly produced at home without any rare article involved.

Merely the use of sunlight with such simple tools effectively can be utilized to produce a solar oven with which you can cook your food effectively. The entire process is budget-friendly, environment-friendly and long-lasting. It also provides a better option against fuel derived cookers as well as gas or electric cookers.

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