How To Make A Solar Cooker With A Shoebox [Best Quality]

In this article, we will show you the easiest way to make a solar cooker with a shoebox that can go as high as 250 degrees Fahrenheit and include all the components you need before starting the project.

There are tons of instructions online, and ours will give you the most professional looking DIY product.

Let's take a look!

Materials & Tools Needed Before Starting

You can buy them at your local Walmart, Hobby Lobby or get them off Amazon.

  • A standard size shoebox
  • Glass plate
  • Plane mirror
  • Foam
  • Knife or scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Black paint or black construction paper

Simple Build Instruction

Step 1 - Build Leg Stands To The Shoebox Lid

Take a shoe box and add leg stands to the lid so it can stay open at a 90 degree angle as shown below:

add leg stands to solar shoe box oven lid

If the shoe box has an removable lid, please cut the edges and tape it to the box so it can be opened and closed.

CUT HASHMARKED AREAS OFF THE LID

Step 2 - Blackout The Bottom

Paint the bottom inside the shoe box black or use a black card board paper because it absorbs nearly all the radiant heat falling upon it. It does a better job attaining higher temperatures to increase solar cooker efficiency than most surfaces of other colors.

Step 3 - Build Aluminum Foil Walls

Measure the length and width of the shoe box and cut out 4 wall pieces out of a foam board, then wrap them with aluminum foil nice and neat.

place aluminum foil walls inside the shoe box

Finally, place and glue the 4 wall pieces inside the box.

Step 4 - Add Mirror To The Shoebox Lid Cover

attach mirror to the shoe box lid

Attach and glue the mirror that fits the size of the shoe box lid so it can deflect the sunlight into the inside solar shoe box oven.

Step 5 - Layer A Glass Cover In Between The Oven And Mirror

Finally, build a glass cover that goes in between the lid with the mirror and the oven as shown below:

layer a glass cover to the shoe box solar oven

It keeps dirt away and helps contain the heat inside the solar oven.

Step 6 - Use It

Place prepared food inside a clean cookware that fits inside the shoe box and take it outside to try it out. Make sure you get maximum amount of sunlight!

how a shoebox solar oven works

Key Takeaways

Making a solar oven out of a shoe box is a great science project for kids and high school students. It's very easy and educational.

However,

If you're interested in buying a factory made solar oven cooker for serious outdoor / survival use that has good portability, higher temperature, and faster cook speed, please check out the GoSun Portable Solar Cooker, or check out our Solar Oven Buyers' Guide for more information.

Ying Xu

Graduated from the University of Kansas with an Aerospace Engineering degree & served 4 years as an US Air Force officer. Experienced with basic survival skills, weapon system security,  technical disaster recovery, and system troubleshooting

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