Solar Cooking

Today is Memorial Day and the start of summer vacation.  This summer my goal is to have a Summer with a Purpose.  I don’t want the kids summer to consist entirely of video games and working. Hence, the Summer with a Purpose.  Today we are experimenting with solar power. We are cooking hot dogs and s’mores in a solar oven we built ourselves.

Day 1 Oven start

Starting the oven by covering the inside of the pizza box with foil and cutting a flap in the top of the box

We built a solar oven out of a pizza box, tin foil, and plastic wrap. The flap of the oven concentrates the sun’s rays onto the food to cook it.  But since we’re mildly scientific we have a control hot dog cooking outside the oven to see if the oven gets the food hotter and/or cooks faster.

Hot dogs ready to go in the oven.

Hot dogs ready to go in the oven.

We cooked the hot dogs 30 minutes. I turned them and they are heating up nicely, but we decided to keep them cooking for 15 more minutes.

Hot dogs cooking in the oven.

Hot dogs cooking in the oven.

The hot dogs were done at 45 minutes. The temperature was good in both the control and oven hot dogs. Actually the pan that was not in the solar oven was hotter than the pan in the oven. We cooked one control hot dog and 6 regular hot dogs and they all were eaten and enjoyed.

S'mores ready to cook

S’mores ready to cook

The s’mores also cooked about 45 minutes. They went in the oven after the hot dogs were done. The chocolate chips melted, and the marshmallows softened up, but didn’t get brown. The s’mores were okay!

All in all I don’t think I would cook with a solar oven again. The hot dogs heated up just as quickly without the oven and s’mores definitely need a campfire to get the marshmallows brown and toasty and deliciously melted. But it was interesting to see that the sun can cook/heat up food in a simple oven.

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About momof4boyz

I am a stay at home mom of 4 boys ranging in age from 14-20. They are growing up! I have a new hobby - running! I am also President of a non-profit organization.
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