D-I-Why Not homeMADE homestead technology

Hot enough to cook an egg… in a cardboard box?

Solar oven — made from a cardboard box! Is it hot enough to cook an egg out there??

Solar oven side quest: Before work on our new chicken coop one day, I decided to try making a solar oven from our recycling. The heart wants what it wants.

✂️📦: Wired has a tutorial on making a solar oven from a cardboard box, insulating material (like styrofoam), duct tape, tin foil, and some cling film. I have those things!

👷‍♀️💭: I modified the Wired design a bit, making the front panel more easily removable (bungee handles), and punching holes and lacing string through the outside flaps, to help direct the sun.

☀️🌡️: After a bit of time outside, the oven temperature got up to a whopping 200F! Okay maybe not “whopping”, but… consistent! A slow-and-steady 200F! The black cast iron pot inside the oven got scorching hot. Too hot for bare hands.

🍆☁️: My first “dish” was half a squash. Which was… ambitious. I have to adjust the box to track the sun (cardboard can only do so much), and we had to go out that day. The shade drifted over and absorbed the oven while we were gone. The squash got sun-kissed, but not cooked through.

📦🍳: Yesterday I tried round two, this time with an egg. Once again, the oven stayed right around 200F.

And success! After about an hour the egg was cooked through. I didn’t think to check the internal temperature until the egg had been out of the oven for ~10 minutes. By then it registered around 128F. Safe temperature for eggs is 160F, so I’ll make this a “twice-cooked” egg (heating it up inside) before putting it in my face hole.

🍫🤢: Why mess around with a raw egg instead of just making s’mores you (and Neil) might be asking? You both make a good point, but here we are. Also I wanted to see what would happen. (To the egg, not my GI tract.)

Do you have any suggestions for (very) low-and-slow cooking? I make our granola at 225F, so maybe that is worth a go…?

🌳☀️: Here in the woods, our days of strong overhead sun are only just beginning. Let’s see how toasty I can get this ol’ pile of packaging!

Have a great day folks! ☀️