How to Construct Your Own Solar Oven on a Low Budget?

The most surprising thing is not only that you can build a solar oven with common supplies you have at home but that a solar oven really works.

You can cook many different foods in a solar oven and enjoy hot meals on a camping trip, in the backyard or on a wilderness trail where cooking fuel is not available.

For years, Boy Scouts and tent campers have used pizza boxes and aluminum foil to build a solar oven. You can actually bake biscuits in such a simple oven but frying foods usually won't be possible.

If you want to build your own solar oven you'll find many plans complete with diagrams and measurements can be found online.

Fills a Critical Need in Some Regions

Many developing nations and third world countries are sun rich but fuel poor. There are places where the fuel to cook a meal cost more than the food being cooked.

In other countries, gathering firewood is a full time job and entire areas of the world have been stripped of foliage due to use of wood as an energy source.

In an area where forests have been stripped and fuel is expensive if available at all, solar cooking cuts down on the need to polluting cooking fires.

Instead of scrounging to find rare branches or twigs to burn, people can cook using a solar oven for their meats and vegetables. They can bake breads and can make their water safe to drink.

Developing nations have been the target of several programs that are spreading the news about solar ovens and the potential of utilizing the sun's energy.

This Is not only to provide an alternative. In countries like Nepal and Haiti, almost all of the natural forests have been cut for energy production.

The air is polluted by numerous fires which also contribute to the problem of greenhouse gases and global warming.

Lung and eye diseases are common for those women and children who spend hours each day breathing the pollutants of a cookfire and serious burns are common.

Improve Health

A solar oven could improve the health of people in such countries, conserve the few natural resources still left and provide a free source of energy.

Many of the most poverty stricken countries of the world lie in areas where strong, hot sun is a daily weather pattern. It is therefore a boon to build a solar oven in such areas.

It's easy to learn to cook full meals on a solar cooker in such hot climates. Water from streams and ponds can be boiled and sanitized by the sun at no cost. Smoke haze is reduced or eliminated and a solar cooker benefits health in many ways.

In developed countries, a solar oven may be the ideal choice for someone who wants to stretch his budget or wants to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the environment.

Global warming and climate change are a real concern for many people. If you start using a solar oven you can reduce your reliance on the electrical power grid even if for only one or two days a week.

Building a Solar Oven

Build a Solar Oven

Download Your Free Solar Oven Plan

If you are new to solar cooking, start with a simple plan. There are numerous environmental, camping and survivalists sites online that offer basic advice and plans for a solar oven.

A solar oven works much like your electric crockpot. It cooks food slowly and the result is moist, flavorful meals where vitamins have been preserved by lower temperatures.

Solar cooking does take some adjustment. You need to re-position your solar oven during the day to keep it aligned properly as the sun moves across the sky.

Solar cookers with a four sided funnel design will not need frequent re-positioning while a solar oven with a single reflecting panel may need to be moved a few inches every 30 minutes or so.

Researching Designs

Before building your solar oven, research the different oven designs to see which will produce the heat and cooking system that best fits your needs.

Not all solar ovens will fry foods and some styles cook faster than others. You will not be able to delay your meals or schedule dinner late in the evening as you need to use the times of the day when the sun is brightest to use your solar oven.

After you build a solar oven you need to use the proper cooking utensils. A clear glass or dark (black is best) pot or pan is necessary when using a solar oven.

Every pot used must have a lid on it to retain the heat. Using a pizza box solar oven you can heat hot dogs for lunch in about 20-30 minutes without starting a fire or using a stove.

If you want to make a stew you should have your pot filled with food and in place in your solar oven before 10 AM so you can take advantage of the strongest sunlight that occurs from 10 AM to about 3-4 PM in many regions.

Most home made solar ovens are not waterproof and while a brief cloud or two won't affect dinner cooking in a solar oven, a heavy haze of overcast sky is not a good day to use a solar oven.


Building a solar oven is simple and can be a fun family project. Start with a simple plan and progress to more detailed plans once you have an understanding of what you can expect from a solar oven.

You can find many free oven plans online as well as an increasing number of recipes from those who have been using solar ovens for some time.

P.S: Make sure you don't miss our informative tips on different renewable energy sources!