How to Build a Solar Grill

Solar grills reflect the sun's heat onto your food to cook it instead of using fuels such as propane or charcoal. Since the sun produces no byproducts and does not cost money, it's one of the most eco-friendly and cost-effective heat sources you can harness. Plus, harnessing solar heat requires little more than a few household items. Try making a solar grill with your family for your next cookout.

Grill your food with solar heat instead of charcoal that gives off fumes.
  1. Cut away the top flaps on your larger box. Spray the inside and outside of the box black. Coat it thoroughly and let the paint dry for at least two hours. The black color will help absorb heat to cook your food.

  2. Cut away the two short flaps and one of the long flaps on your smaller box. Spray-paint the outside of this box black. It doesn't matter if black paint gets on the inside of the box, but you don't need to coat the inside, either. Let the paint cure for two hours.

  3. Spray the inside of the box and the underside of the remaining flap with spray adhesive. Press aluminum foil into the adhesive, making sure the shiniest side faces out. Cover the surfaces completely and let the glue dry overnight.

  4. Place the smaller box inside the larger box. The airspace between the two boxes will help absorb and create more ambient heat. Place your cooling rack on top of the smaller box; the rack should be slightly larger than the opening so it stays in place.

  5. Tilt the smaller box flap forward over the wire rack until sunlight hits the rack. Sunlight should also hit the inside of both boxes. Adjust the box until this happens. Prop the flap up at the ideal angle with a bamboo skewer.

  6. Wait for the box to heat before grilling. Place your grilling items on the wire rack; it should be very hot. Grill and turn your food as you would on a regular grill. Clean the grill inside and out after each use.


  • Never let children or pets play or sleep inside the grill. Cover and store out of the way when not in use.