I have found myself turning on my oven these past few days of hot weather only to hear the AC kick on. Inefficiency. Sure, it's 90 degrees outside, but let's try to work with nature for a hot minute.
A girl still needs her bread, her roasted veggies, and her baked sweet potatoes. Never go without. So, construction of a solar oven seems likes a means to an end.
A functional ( but slightly jank) solar oven only involves a few materials: 2 cardboard boxes, rumpled paper from the recycling bin, a piece of black construction paper, aluminum foil, saran-wrap, and packaging tape.
For a less budget-friendly but incredibly elegant design, commercial solar ovens run about $250. Yep, they can be pretty beautiful.
The HOW-TO: Fill the big box with rumpled paper and place smaller box inside; line small box flaps with aluminum; place your saran-wrap covered dish of food (the one inside here is an aluminum tray pumped with diced tomatoes, potatoes, onion, carrot, olive oil, oregano, and black pepper) into the small box and place the black sheet of construction paper on top of the food dish. Position the aluminum flaps at a correct angle so that light is reflected into the box, then secure flaps with packaging tape. Give it 3-4 hours of direct sun, and bingo: roasted veggies.
You can use this method for quick-breads (those that don't involve yeast...tray o' cornbread), heating up summer desserts (fresh pineapple slices topped with chocolate square crumbles and marshmallows), or steaming veggies.
Today, my heart aches for Arizona. 33 degrees North of the equator and PERFECT for solar ovens, among countless other things.