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9 Free DIY Solar Oven Plans You Can Make Today

DIY Solar Oven

A solar oven is a tool you can use to cook food solely using the power of the sun! Whether you are a survivalist, living off the grid or just looking to save some money on electricity, knowing how to build you own solar oven is a useful skill.  Most solar oven designs are quite affordable and easy to make. Almost all of them involve using simple materials such as aluminum foil and sheets of plastic.

Not only can solar ovens reduce your energy bill, but they are also great for lowering your environmental footprint. To boot, they can be nearly as effective in cooking most foods as any other oven!

We’ve gathered a list of 9 free solar oven plans. There are plenty of styles to choose from, ranging from very simple and cheap to more advanced plans. We’ve also made sure to include lists of all the supplies you’ll need for your project. Get ready to harness the power of the sun!

1. DIY Solar Oven -from Instructables

DIY Solar Oven -from Instructables

Instructables provides a durable, long lasting design using wood for the outside cover. The designs include optional handles on the side, which makes it more convenient to move the oven to wherever the sun is. The box design also allows the oven to be protected and even resist rain when closed.

Skill Level: Medium

Materials: Sheets of OSB or plywood, Glass or plastic plate, Rubber tube, Aluminum foil, Silver tape, Plasterboard, Black pots and pans


2. Cardboard Solar Oven -from Popular Science

Cardboard Solar Oven

This cardboard design is very simple, affordable and easy to make. Using only a few materials, this oven costs only 30 dollars to make and can be assembled in a couple hours.

Skill Level: Easy

Materials: Cardboard boxes, Silicone adhesive, Foam insulation, Black gaffer tape, Bamboo skewers, Aluminum tape, Plastic or glass sheets


3. Solar Cooker Made from a Tire

This man from Uganda made a solar oven using a tire, and other assorted scraps of material that you can find for free or very cheap. Not only is it a thrifty way to make an oven, it takes very little time to assemble!

Skill Level: Easy

Materials: Tire, Aluminum foil, Black pot, Tape, Cardboard box, A sheet of glass or plastic, 2 water bottles, Crumpled up newspaper


4. Pizza Box Solar Oven

Howcast has a pizza box design that is fun and easy. This one’s a great project for kids as well! It’s made with things that are easily found around the house, saving you time and money.

Skill Level: Easy

Materials: Pizza box, Aluminum foil, Glue, Plastic wrap, Tape, Black paper


5. Simple Cardboard Box Solar Oven

Simple Cardboard Box Solar Oven

This solar oven uses a straight-forward design that is simple and affordable, costing less than 20 dollars. It’s a little more involved than the pizza box, but will last a bit longer and is still easy enough to complete in a few hours.

Skill Level: Medium

Materials: Cardboard boxes, A glass or plastic sheet, A sheet of think black metal, Aluminum foil, Leaves or straw, Newspaper, Silicon caulk, Rigid Wire


6. DIY Parabolic Solar Oven

DIY Parabolic Solar Oven

This prepper website provides the plans to build a very detailed, elaborate solar oven that uses a dish design to capture the sun’s energy. It focuses the sun’s energy on a small area, which creates concentrated heat very quickly. You’re going to need access to a handful of tools, and it will definitely take a lot longer to complete, but you’ll be rewarded with a long lasting and effective oven. This design is in-depth and not for the faint of heart!

Skill Level: Advanced

Materials: Plywood, Wood boards, Paper, Large cardboard boxes, Sprah adhesive, Aluminum foil, Metal drywall corner, Screw, Bolts, Washer, Nuts, Electrical conduit, Grill grate and binding wire


7. Funnel Solar Cooker

Funnel Solar Cooker

This solar oven is absurdly simple. It’s exactly what the name entails, a cardboard funnel coated with aluminum foil. These plans include the full design, plus some recipes for you to try out!

Skill Level: Super easy

Materials: Large piece of cardboard, Aluminum foil, Glue, Wire, Canning jar, Black spray paint, Block of wood, Plastic bag


8. Shoebox Solar Cooker

Shoebox Solar Cooker

This shoebox solar oven is highly convenient, using a minimal amount of materials. Despite its simplicity, this oven still can heat up to 250 degrees or more! It is great for camping or traveling due to its size and portability. This is another design that can be made almost exclusively from items you can find in your house, so get ready to save some money.

Skill Level: Easy

Materials: Shoe box, Aluminum foil, Glue, Black paper, Plastic wrap, Packing tape, Thin wire


9. Simplest Solar Cooker Ever

This YouTuber made an extremely rudimentary solar oven that only uses the bare minimum of materials. It consists of coating a piece of cardboard with aluminum, and that’s it! This just goes to show how easy it is to make a solar oven. If you’re a minimalist or just don’t want to spend money on lots of materials, this oven is for you.

Skill Level: Easy

Materials: 1 piece of cardboard, Glue, Tinfol, 2 cooking pots


Featured image credit: DIY Solar Oven, Instructables

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