Every child needs to build a solar oven at some point in the summer! Making a pizza box solar oven is easy, fun and full of science…and s’mores {giggle}. Kids of all ages will delight in this solar oven science activity at home or in the classroom.

solar oven title
How to Build a Solar Oven

Supplies Needed

  • Pizza box {empty}
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Paper Plate
  • Food to cook

We are making sun-baked s’mores today using:   graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows.

Considering the Texas summer temperatures are nearing 100 degrees, I was pretty confident that we could cook almost anything.

This is what we did to make our summertime s’mores:

solar oven diy stepsDirections To Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven

  1. Cut a flap in the top of the pizza box leaving a 2″ border on the sides and front.   Wrap the bottom side of the flap and the interior of the pizza box with aluminum foil “ shiny side out “ and tape in place.
  2. Cover the opening created by the flap with plastic wrap and tape into place.
  3. Place food to be cooked on a paper plate inside the solar oven.   Prop the flap open with a ruler in position to reflect the sun into the oven.
  4. Let the sun bake the food.   Depending on the time of day, heat and other variables, it may take up to an hour.
  5. Be careful removing food {it will be hot!} and then add crackers and chocolate for a yummy s ™more.

sun baked smoresWhy does the solar oven work?

The sun’s light rays are collected by the foil flap and concentrated inside the box.   The rays are transformed into thermal energy that slowly raises the temperature inside the box, causing the food to cook. ”

Museum of Science and Industry

We put a thermometer into our solar oven and found that the cooking temperature of our marshmallows was in excess of 165 degrees.   It did bake slower than I expected considering how hot the day felt.

There are quite a few additional activities suggested to expand the solar oven experience in the Museum of Science and Industry’s activity guide.

Make a Solar Oven Video


How did your solar oven turn out?

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  1. Could u please roughly estimate how long does it takes for the smores to bake?? Hope you could reply as soon as possible 🙂

  2. hi, this is good stuff, Im happy I found this article because i was looking for something like this since last week. much appreciated.