UncleMorgan's Cheap Solar Oven/Cooker

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by UncleMorgan, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Here's a solar oven/cooker/dehydrator/wonderbox that anyone can make for less than $10.00 if they are inclined to scrounge a bit.

    This information was originally posted at
    For Sale - Ultimate Sun Oven Package--Webinar Special--GREAT Deal! | Survival Monkey Forums
    in response to yeti695's comment that having the Ultimate Sun Oven Package presently being sold by SafeCastle for $318.95 (marked down from $482.95.) would be nice but that it was a little too expensive at the moment.

    I can understand that. A lot of us have budgetary limitations. It's a sign of the times.

    The Ultimate Sun Oven Package (at $318.95) seems very expensive to me, considering that you can by a brand new electric range for $299.00. (Home Depot Model # RB526DHWW, marked down from $359.10.)

    I just bought one last week. (Good stove.)

    Obviously, much of the high price is the custom-made nesting pots with both clear glass and solid enameled lids. And the dehydrator-style wire racks. And the special parchment paper you have to use with it. And some other accessories.

    My cooker, on the other hand, is simple, easy to make, delightfully cheap, and very effective

    You don't have to point it directly at the sun because the mirrors can be adjusted to reflect the sun into the box.

    You can make it any size or shape, and conform it to pots and pans you can buy inexpensively at yard sales or thrift stores. Made 24" X 24", it grabs a lot of sun.

    The picture below is really all a person needs to start building their own solar oven, but here's the text from the other post:

    "Sun ovens are pretty simple. Sometimes what you can't afford to buy you just have to make.

    Here's my cheap-o DIY solar cooker. It's endlessly adjustable in size/shape, etc. 2-4" of sawdust is good insulation. Anything can be used as a spacer. Matching shot glasses (usually 3) are cheap and easy to find. Or baby food jars--whatever's handy.

    The inside container should be large enough to hold another lidded cooking container. That keeps most of the steam in the smaller container, and avoids having to ever remove and wash the larger one.

    Bulldog clips are cheap & tenacious. Coat hangers are cheap and adjustable, and also very windproof.

    If you're cooking on the ground, just run the hangers right into the ground. If cooking on a table, wrap them around a brick or something similar. You could do a bungee girdle on the flaps, but that's not supremely windproof. You definitely don't want almost-vertical flaps blowing closed.

    Unclip the mirrors for storage. EZ.

    Total build time, once you have your materials is about two minutes."

    It's an expedient solution, but if it doesn't get rained on it's good for a few years at least."

  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have all of this but the shot glass and sawdust. Excellent @UncleMorgan
    UncleMorgan likes this.
  3. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Small flower pots work. You can use anything non metal & heat resistant that's about as tall as thickness of the bottom sawdust that you want. A few pieces of broken brick, or whatever. Or some pieces of 2X4 scrap.

    It's a flexible design. If you have some old fiberglass insulation lying around, it can substitute for sawdust.
    Put a layer of cardboard down over it to keep it neat.

    For people that want a LOT of solar heat for a large cooker, there is a way to get it without using mirrors.

    A water lens can put a huge amount of heat into a solar cooker, and they are super easy and cheap to build.

    Here's a video:

    (Happiness is a warm Death Ray.)

    For cooking, just adjust the leg-length of the frame to put the focus right inside the glass lid on the pot.

    You'll probably need a frame about four feet taller than the pot height.

    Then add a couple of gallons of water and watch a LOT of sunlight get concentrated right into the pot.

    A water lens can allow cooking as hot and fast as an electric stove.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2016
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