Make s’mores with the sun! Follow the instructions to make a solar oven.
What You’ll Need:
- Cardboard pizza box (the kind delivered pizza comes in, or
- Aluminum foil
- Clear tape
- Black construction paper
- Ruler, wooden spoon or
- Graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows
What You Do:
- Cover the inner side of the top and bottom of the box with
aluminum foil so that it will reflect rays from the sun. To do this,
tightly wrap foil around it, then tape it to the back, or outer
- Line the bottom of the box with black construction
paper where the s’mores will be placed— black absorbs heat.
- Place the s’mores ingredients in the box as shown in the
- Use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window
for sunlight to enter into the box. Do this by opening the box and
taping a double layer of plastic wrap over the inside of the box as
seen in the picture above. Leave about an inch of plastic overlap
around the sides and tape each side down securely, sealing out
- The best hours to set up your solar oven are when the
sun is high overhead - from 11 am to 3 pm. Take it outside to a
sunny spot and adjust the flap until the most sunlight possible is
reflecting off the aluminum foil and onto the plastic-covered
window. Use a ruler, wooden spoon, or stick to prop the lid at the
- Reposition your solar oven when needed, so
that it faces direct sunlight. You should check periodically on your
oven to make sure it is in the sun. Make sure that the foil-covered
flap is reflecting light into the box through the plastic-covered
- Wait until the chocolate gets soft and the
marshmallows are warm and toasty. Then peel back the plastic,
combine the s’mores together and enjoy your warm, tasty treat from
The heat from the sun was trapped inside your solar oven, and it got
very hot in there. Ovens like this one are called collector boxes,
because they collect sunlight. As it sat out in the sun, your oven
eventually heated up enough to melt the chocolate and marshmallow!
How does it happen?
Rays of light are coming to the earth at an angle. The foil reflects
the light ray and bounces it directly into the opening of the box.
Once it has gone through the plastic wrap, it heats up the air that is
trapped inside. The black paper absorbs the heat at the bottom of the
oven, and the plastic wrap keeps it from escaping out the sides of the
oven. Your solar oven will reach about 200° F on a sunny day, and it
will take longer to heat things than a conventional oven. Although
this method will take longer, it is very easy to use, and it is safe
to leave alone while the energy from the sun cooks your food.