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How to Build a Solar Oven That Can Boil Water

Misty S. Bledsoe

Solar ovens and solar cookers both have the capability of cooking food and boiling water, making them useful for emergency drinking water and conventional cooking. Building a solar oven that boils water can be done with supplies you may already have or can be obtained at any local grocery store. It should take about 20 minutes or less to make the solar oven once you have all necessary supplies. Making a solar oven to boil water can be done alone or as a fun project with family or friends.

Use black pots with clear lids to boil the water.
  1. Place the reflective windshield cover with the silver shiny side up on a flat work surface. Make sure it's lying with the notch for the rear view mirror at the top.

  2. Cut the Velcro pieces into 1½- to 2-inch pieces. Thread a needle with about one arm's length of sewing thread. Cut the thread and knot the end. Set the threaded needle aside.

  3. Grasp each side of the reflective windshield cover and bring both sides into the middle so that the edges overlap each other by about 1 inch. The middle of the notch should form a closed point and the whole thing should look like a cone. Mark a spot at even intervals on one side of the windshield cover and on the inside of the other half where the two meet roughly every 3 or 4 inches. This is where you will sew the Velcro pieces.

  4. Sew each piece of the Velcro into place, making sure that you are sewing opposite pieces of the Velcro to each side. If you find the knot at the end of the thread to not be secure enough to latch the Velcro into place, place the Velcro aside and secure the two sides of the windshield cover with duct tape on the outside seam instead.

  5. Place a box or bucket outside facing the sun. Place the point end of the cone shaped solar oven into the box or bucket.

  6. Fill a black pot two thirds full of water and cover it with a clear lid.

  7. Place a small piece of flat wood inside an oven-cooking bag and put the pot of water on top of the piece of wood. Secure the oven bag with air still inside it with a knot or some string.

  8. Put the oven bag and its contents into the bottom of the cone shaped solar oven.

  9. Check on the water at 30 minutes and then again every 15 minutes after that to see if the water is boiling.