Camping Food Activities

Solar Cooker

A solar cooker uses the power of the sun for something truly worthwhile: heating up a tasty hot dog.

What You'll Need:

  • Cardboard box
  • Safe scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Shiny aluminum foil
  • Heavy-duty plastic wrap
  • Hot dog

How to Make a Solar Cooker:

Step 1: This solar cooker uses reflective surfaces and the "greenhouse" principle to generate heat from sunlight. It won't cook raw food, but it can heat a hot dog.

Step 2: Cut the top flaps off a medium-sized cardboard box and turn it on its side. Cut the sides at an angle from the bottom corner up to about the middle of the top. Use the cardboard scraps to make a slanted interior tilting from the top to the back corner. Hold it together with masking tape.

Step 3: Cut a hole in the back of the box to reach through. Cut a door in the back of the slanted interior and hinge it with masking tape. Use masking tape to reinforce weak points in the box.

Step 4: Line the inside of the box with foil, making a smooth, reflective surface. Cut around the door carefully and use loops of tape to attach the foil to the door.

Step 5: Cover the front of the box with clear, heavy-duty plastic wrap, pull the wrap tight, and tape it in place. Set your cooker in bright, hot sun so that the sun hits the plastic-wrapped front.

Step 6: Put your hot dog on a square of foil inside the cooker. Check after 15 minutes. Turn the box to follow the sun. Try moving the reflective portion to different angles.

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