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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Our First Try with a Solar Oven

This summer our son Zachary made me a small solar oven for the first time upon my request.  It has been something that we’ve wanted to try for a while now.  My intention was for us to learn how to make a solar oven and learn to use a solar oven.  The benefit I saw was to help cut down on costs of electricity from the use of the stove and the oven and to also cut down on the costs of conditioning since using these appliances can heat up the house.  I also wanted to make a solar oven for the least amount of money. So we decided to use items we already had with the exception of the hinges without big spending a lot of money.

Zachary researched solar ovens and the making of solar ovens before he started down the path of building it.  He did follow a plan to some extent. Here are some photos of the solar oven trying to cook some eggs and veggies, an omelet type dish.  This was a simple construction which asked for a box lined with foil paper and a glass piece covering the box with the intention of holding in the sun's heat.

Supplies used to Make the Solar Oven
  • A wooden wine box and lid given to us from Costco.  $0.00
  • A piece of glass given from a generous window repair man.  $0.00
  • Hinges and screws, purchased at Home Depot.  under $3.00
  • Foil paper.  We had some at home already. $0.00

At the end of the day when time was fast approaching for dinner time, we realized that the eggs were not cooking fast enough.  There wasn't enough heat radiating to cook the eggs.  We realized there were a few things we did wrong.  And if we wanted to eat our eggs for supper, we would have to find another alternative.  I was happy to be able to finish cooking the eggs in my kitchen.

A few things we learned to do differently next time:
Zachary says, whatever we make it can't be a hodge podge. The Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."  The next time the solar oven needs to be made properly, it needs to be air tight and have some sort of radiant piece at the bottom to radiate heat for better cooking.  Using a ceramic quarry tile would be good and inexpensive.  For me, I need to give my dish plenty more time to cook or bake. 

We are grateful we've tried this and I look forward for Zachary to constructing another solar oven for me again.  Nothing lost, Failing is good, the key is to know how to fail positively.  To learn from our mistakes and move forward.  Our experience over all...... we are continuing to learn from our mistakes and to also persevere!  May we all remember Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Thank you Zachary for giving it a try.

Who uses a solar oven and has it been successful?

This post was shared with  Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFLINS


  1. Hi there! Great pictures!!! The box construction looks very nice! If you are up to trying this again??? I would say try covering the pot with a lid, aluminum foil,or plastic wrap. Anything to trap in the heat and steam, sort of like a crock pot. We made one about a year ago out of cardboard and foil(it didn't look near as nice as yours), it worked fine, But we had to keep an eye on it, and move it along with the movement of the sun.(I noticed in one of your pictures the box is creating shade on the food, and that can reduce the temperature).I hope you try again!!!(we found a book at our library that helped)

  2. Thanks for the great tips Moira, we did move the box around, it was funny watching me move it. Covering it sounds like a great idea.
    much love ~ Carmen

  3. Awesome work Zachary. I absolutely love the concept of solar oven. Maybe one day, I'll ask Micah to make one for us too.

    ~ Claudia

  4. I love the idea of solar ovens! I understand they even work in Seattle but only when the sun comes out of course. Which may happen again next summer. Thanks for sharing your pictures and description. What a fun project!

  5. I like this! I think this may just be something we might want to get the hang of.

    Thank you:)

  6. Have you had a chance to play with some more since this post? If so, I would love to hear more about it!


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