How to Make a DIY Long-Lasting, Durable, Affordable Solar Oven

When I was looking at solar oven designs, I kept coming across designs that were made of cardboard. Well, for me, I plan on using my solar oven more than just a couple times. This is more than just an experiment to me, it’s a way of life.

This DIY solar oven is going to be a legit way to cook and bake in my southern climate.

So we eventually had to take the basic idea from a cardboard box version and make it a legit wooden box version.

Below you’ll find the instructions on how to make your very own solar oven. Thanks to my husband for his hard work to build this.

Here are the supplies for the DIY solar oven:

1 – 4ft x 8ft x 7/16th OSB Plywood

2 – 2 x 2 x 8’s

1 – .093″X18″X24″ Clear Acrylic Sheet

1 – 24” x 16” flat bottomed food grade styrofoam cooler

6 – 1.5” hinges

2 – Door hook and eyes for connecting the 3 reflectors together

1 – box of #6 x 1” Screws

2 – Black spray paint

Aluminum foil

Tape of almost any kind

    How to build a DIY solar oven:

    Cut out the OSB to these measurements:

    for the front and back:
    2 pieces – 29” x 14 1/4”

    for the bottom:
    1 piece 29” x 17”

    for the left & right sides:
    2 pieces – 17 1/4” x 14 1/4”

    for the top doors:
    2 pieces – 14 3/8” x 17”

    to attach the top 2 reflectors:
    2 pieces – 3” x 17”

    for the top single reflector:
    1 piece – 27 3/4 x 17”

    Cut out the 2x2s to these measurements:

    4 pieces – 13”

    4 pieces – 14.25”


    Screw the 2×2 pieces together to create internal side frames then connect the front, back, bottom and sides of OSB to the 2x2s

    Connect the three reflectors with two hinges each board.

    Connect the eye loops so the top single folds in first and then two top reflectors fold in on top, there will be some overlap.

    Spray paint the outside black.

    Place aluminum foil on the inside of the reflectors and the cooler.

    One last thing that I didn’t add to mine, but did, later on, was to add locking wheels to the bottom and handles on the sides to make it easier to move around.

    Test and enjoy!

    When you’re ready to cook, open the reflectors, place food inside then place the clear acrylic sheet on top.

    I like to use eggs as the first official food test my DIY solar oven experiments because they’re cheap-ish and easy to tell when they’re done. I use two eggs, but you can just as easily use one egg. They should take about 2-3 hours to hardboil.

    Placing food in black pans or pots will help to cook the food faster and better. You don’t always need to cover things, I bake and cook plenty of things uncovered and they still cook or bake just fine.

    Make sure you’re moving the solar oven with the sun, the shadow should be directly in line with the solar oven behind it.

    Enjoy your new solar oven!

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    Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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