14 Simple DIY Solar Ovens You Can Make Yourself

diy solar oven

Want to cook food without having to spend money on LPG gas or electricity? DIY solar cookers provide a simple yet effective way out.

Here’s the deal. You only need to grab a few inexpensive materials and with one of the following plans, you’ll be on your way to owning a unit.

Sounds like something you want to explore? Let’s tag along on this journey.

1. The Simple Model Box Solar Oven

The Simple Model Box Solar Oven

This medium-sized solar cooker looks so professional you won’t believe it only requires basic assembling skills. 

Once complete, you will only need to place the cooker outside in the sun and prepare your favorite meal. Of course, this unit works best during summer. Its design aims to maximize use of solar.

The main materials required here include shallow cardboard boxes, cardboards, aluminum foil and window glass.

This simple project will take you 5 to 8 hours to complete at an approximated cost of $5-20.

2. The $30 Easy-To-Make DIY Solar Oven

The $30 Easy-To-Make DIY Solar Oven

Designed by high school student Brandon Spellman, this solar oven is capable of delivering over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire process is quite simple to follow and you will only need 2 hours to get off the blocks.

The materials will cost you about $30 although that may vary depending on availability.

You will only need two cardboard boxes, silicone adhesive, foam insulation (1-inch thick), aluminum tape, glass or plastic sheets.

The following 5-step guide is sure to get you moving in the right direction.

3. The Galvanized Iron DIY Solar Oven

The Galvanized Iron DIY Solar Oven

Building a solar oven does not get easier than this. The most basic materials required for this project are galvanized iron, fiberglass, window glass, black paint and aluminum sheeting.

The project gets even more interesting if you are familiar with metalwork. However, you can always hire a metalwork technician to get the metal stuff out of your way anyway.

The project is medium-level in complexity. In the end, you can expect to prepare an entire meal out of this savvy system.

4. NASA Climate DIY Solar Oven

NASA Climate DIY Solar Oven

NASA has been at the forefront of advocating for the reduction of harmful ozone gases on the earth’s surface.

True to that clarion call, they have gone ahead and designed a simple solar oven anyone can make at home.

You only need a cardboard box, oven bag, and aluminum foil. The good thing about this method is that you don’t need a large sheet of perfect board.

Besides that, the design allows you to cook at different sun angles. That includes low sun angle moments such as late evenings and early mornings.

5. Simple Homemade DIY Solar Oven

Simple Homemade DIY Solar Oven

This solar oven design is relatively simple and pretty straightforward to make. The basic materials are your around-the-house items meaning you don’t have to worry about cost.

We’re talking about one big cardboard box (larger than 2 feet in length), Styrofoam insulation, black spray paint, glass, baking rack among others.

No specialty skills are needed to follow this process. As long as you are willing to stick to a few instructions, there’s no reason why you should get stuck on the job.

6. Tin Foil Solar Oven

Tin Foil Solar Oven

This homemade solar oven is made using a wooden box, reflectors and a glass sheet which acts as a cover. The hardest part of this project is making miter cuts.

For that reason, this project qualifies more as a moderately professional task. This is because it requires a bit of professional carpentry skills, unlike other simple units.

Nonetheless, once the job is done, you will end up with a nice, professional-looking solar oven that you can even commercialize.

The beauty of this unit is that its sides are tall enough to allow for preservation of heat. Moreover, the food is protected all-round even while being cooked outdoors.

7. Box Solar Cooker

Box Solar Cooker

This DIY solar oven plan can be of help when one is looking to save energy. It does not require a lot of material to put together either.

Basically, you will require cardboard sheets, glue (all-purpose glue), aluminum foil, glass, coat hanger among other readily available items.

The process will take you anywhere between 2 and 4 hours depending on how good you are at following instructions.

Once complete, this system directs solar energy to your meals. No other sources of energy are required as the unit is self-sufficient.

8. The Old Tire DIY Solar Oven

The Old Tire DIY Solar Oven

If you have some old, unused tire in your compound, chances are that this idea will resonate with you.

All you need is a cardboard, scotch tape, aluminum foil, clear sheet of glass and some water bottles.

What follows after you have all the materials is a 5-step process. You don’t need any special skills to put this device together.

If anything, it takes a maximum of 1 hour to build, as long as you have all the materials in place. Once done, this tire solar oven can be used on any flat surface in direct sunlight.

9. Windshield Shade Solar Funnel Cooker

Windshield Shade Solar Funnel Cooker

If you are not using your windshield shade, then it probably is a good idea to try this one out.

The sunshade works as good as an aluminum film. Its job is to reflect sun rays and re-direct all the heat to the inside panel where the cooking takes place.

Other materials required include a cake rack, black pot, plastic waste bucket and a plastic baking bag.

The process is very simple and you can assemble this unit in as few as 10 minutes. If well built, this unit can achieve over 350 degrees Fahrenheit of heat.

10. The Minimum Solar Box Cooker

The Minimum Solar Box Cooker

As its name suggests, this solar box cooker takes a minimalistic approach towards design. The raw materials are readily available.

You will require two cardboard boxes. The inner box should be at least 38x38 cm. The outer box, on the other hand, should be at least 1.5 cm larger than the inner box.

In addition, you will require aluminum foil, black spray paint. The catch here is that you need to get the base right and then all other aspects of it will fall into place.

1 hour to 2 hours is all you need to put this together.

11. Scrap Wood DIY Solar Oven

Scrap Wood DIY Solar Oven

One good thing about this solar oven is that it does not require a fresh supply of wood. You can improvise with scraps of wood that may be lying idle in your backyard.

Ideally, you should get 9/16 inch scrap plywood. Other materials include insulation panels (you can get these from fiberglass bats), glass panel and hinges.

One advantage of the tilted solar oven design of this oven allows you to tilt the upper surface to maximize the angle of the sun.

This plan is a little complicated and you need to be passionate about woodwork to hack it.

12. Homemade Solar Oven Design for Dummies

Homemade Solar Oven Design for Dummies

This plan will cost you a little over $30 and in the end; you will be a proud owner of an effective unit. All it takes to put this together is an old cardboard (20x20 inches with at least 18 inches of depth), duct tape, hardboard insulation, aluminum foil and some glue.

The process involves gluing the insulation and aluminum foil inside the box. This helps capture as much solar heat as possible.

The upper surface should be made into a funnel-like opening to maximize the surface area of sun rays collection.

13. The Standalone Outdoors Solar Oven

The Standalone Outdoors Solar Oven

Sometimes all it takes to prepare a nice outdoor meal is a permanent standalone solar oven like this one. From a glance, the cob solar oven looks like an extraordinarily tough initiative to undertake.

However, once you get the hang of the individual steps involved, the job becomes much easier. Because this is a permanent oven, the job begins with excavation.

The base of the oven is set up on stones and lime mortar. This plan, therefore, sounds like somewhat technical to undertake.

Some knowledge of masonry and carpentry would come in handy. The following guide should help you out.

14. Photography Umbrella Turned Solar Oven

Photography Umbrella Turned Solar Oven

If you are not in a position to get the long list of materials typical of other DIY solar ovens, you just use what is available.

You simply need to re-purpose a photography umbrella. If done correctly, this simple innovation can boil some water, cook potatoes and even fry eggs.

It is also a wonderful way to train your little ones on the numerous benefits of solar energy. The project takes roughly 10 minutes to set up and one can start cooking with it almost immediately.

Life doesn’t get easier than that. Indeed, the 14 DIY solar oven ideas we have shared with you are sometimes all it takes to discover the beauty of Mother Nature.

The main benefit of this project is that the materials are readily available. And save for the fact that some projects require a bit of carpentry or masonry skills, the rest is easy to grasp.

So, go ahead and have lots of fun exploring with one of these plans!

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