Cardboard box oven

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Hanzo, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    @Motomom34's last post on the solar cooking reminded me of our old oven.

    Many years ago, some friends and I made a cardboard box oven to use at camp. Normally, I do my baking and roasting in the ground. This was kind of a novelty because we had a big box. One of those heavy duty thick cardboard boxes about 2'x2'x2', something like that. So this was made with hand tools while at camp one evening. So multitools and headlamps it was. Sorry, no pictures. This was a long time ago and I don't know where the pictures are.

    Here are the instructions:

    1. line the inside of the box with heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure the shiny side is facing away from the cardboard. Elmers glue works best as it is not toxic and can handle the heat.

    2. cut slits on opposite sides of the box to run some L shaped aluminum bars through the box to work as a rack to hold metal trays. Optional, but recommended... drill a hole in the bars just outside the box and put a paperclip in it to keep them from sliding.

    3. cut a small hole in the center of the bottom and cut an X through it. This is where we put a Coleman propane single burner through it.

    4. punch a small hole near the top to put a thermometer in.

    5. on the bottom rack, put a small metal tray. Works as a heat diffuser. If you don't put this, your food can burn.

    6. on the top rack, put a large tray for whatever you are going to bake.

    7. we made an oven stand with an old broken folding chair I picked up that someone threw away. Took off the fabric and put the cardboard box on it. Adjusted by cordage around the legs, it fit perfectly and had just enough height to thread the propane canister onto the burner.

    That's it. Put your food in, fold the top down (we put another metal tray on top to keep the wind from blowing it open. Be careful, it will get hot.), fire up the burner, check the thermometer and get it to the temperature you want, and bake/roast as needed.

    This oven lasted a year with monthly weekend usage at camps. Survived light rains, lots of cooking, bumping around, and only failed when a piece of foil tore (that we didn't notice and repair) and it burned a little. Didn't bother fixing it as it already lasted a freaking year.

    We made cakes and desserts, I think pizza, all the way to a 10 pound roast with potatoes and veggies that slow cooked from morning until evening.
    Ganado, UncleMorgan, Bear and 4 others like this.
  2. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    @Hanzo excellent easy instructions and oven. Nice to see an item made from things on hand.
    Ganado, Hanzo and pearlselby like this.
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    And it works great! In the kitchen, it takes a while to preheat the oven. With the box, it is almost immediate.
    Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
  5. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Open it up and set a glass sheet on it and you have a solar oven.
    Ganado and Hanzo like this.
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Never tried. But do you need a black surface inside?
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Do you really think it would work to omit the Coleman and just use glass for cooking? This design sounds easier then some solar stoves I have seen. I have a Coleman burner but if I could use this with or without would be great.
    Ganado and Hanzo like this.
  8. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Can't tell you about the solar part, but the oven itself was easy to make and very very effective. I always thought you needed a black surface under glass to make the solar oven work. And the reflective foil makes the burner powered oven work.

    Watch for little tears that might happen in the foil. That caused the demise of ours. The glued on foil keeps the cardboard from burning.
    Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
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