Monday, March 28, 2011

Now We're Cookin! With Sun!

I did it! After 2 years of researching, thinking, and just generally procrastinating, I finished my first solar oven. As soon as it stops snowing, I will attempt to cook in it, probably baking some bread first, using a recipe that I already use. No use wasting time attempting a new recipe! I first took 2 boxes, one slightly smaller than the other, and set the smaller one inside the larger box. I then cut off the lid/flaps of the smaller box. The space left between the 2 boxes were then filled with shredded paper from the paper shredder and covered with strips of cardboard to keep the paper in. I then made a top out of extra cardboard. Using an utility knife, I then cut an opening the same size as the smaller box and covered it with 2 layers of plastic (actually the liners from cereal boxes). Two layers is supposed to be better for the heating aspect. (Glass or plexiglass would work better, but I didn't want to waste $ on it if this project really bombs.) Next, I covered the opening lid flap and some other leftover pieces with aluminum foil to act as reflectors. Also painted the whole thing with black high temp paint that I actually already had on hand. The paint should also help preserve the cardboard, in the likely hood it gets a little rain on it. Here is a look at the inside. I did paint it all black, but will probably line some of it with foil for more reflective heat. I still need to get some kind of grate to put in the bottom under the pans for heat flow under the pans. But the oven is big enough for my 2 long loaf pans, Or a large-ish pot with lid and a very small loaf pan. I spent a whopping 90 cents on the whole project. All the items I already had on hand or was able to get for free(boxes), except for the aluminum foil (of all things.)

Will keep this updated with all my trials/errors, but this should be alot of fun. And energy saving! Thanks MJ for "egging" me on!

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Please be kind and don't shrink my jeans!