My solar oven experiment

If you've ever thought of making a solar cooker from scratch then start with this page, it will hopefully give you some ideas about designing your first cooker

Over the years I’ve been experimenting with solar energy, certain designs and materials have emerged clearly as front-runners in the temperature/ heating up/ cooking ease ratios.

The cardboard solar ovens (lot's of plans on the internet) are quick and easy to make, but after a few spills / rain become a bit mushy and lose their charm. So with a little wood and metal working experience, I decided too design my own to cook delicious meals over the summer months with a bit of upcycling thrown into the mix of ingredients.

My solar oven experiment stage 1

First off it was the frame; Atlantic Pine and Marine Plywood to make ”the inner box”.

If you want to be 99% green / eco / up-cycling, save your wine bottle corks over the year ( I got a local wine bar to be my supplier), this will be the base for the insulation of the oven mixed with silver foil from the kitchen (Heat reflective film), some insulating felt (leftovers from my next door neighbours new house - Sealing and finishing to provide a water proof level of protection) and a bit of straw to stop it all rattling around!

Before covering with another layer of Marine Plywood to make ”the outer box”.


Now it’s time to make the refractory ceramic level to absorb conduct store the heat. First I tried a home made clay-based mix. (The clay is from the beach). First step was to dry the clay, before sieving out the stones from the clay. Next mixing it with water and a bit of sand (lot's of fun for my son) before firing it in the BBQ.


A bit of trial, error and good science the clay-based mix worked, but after a few cracked “bricks” we decided that professionally made stoneware bricks would be the way forward. So off to Gres Medocains in Brach, with diagrams and plans, and 15 days later the oven was ready with 4 black glazed terra-cotta bricks.


YES and the oven poaches an egg in under 30 mins on a sunny day so we must be under way!

No mess.. Apple, sugar and cinnamon and 2hrs later you have a SPICY APPLE on the table

hot box!