Build Your Own Solar Oven And Make a Dessert Worthy Of Braai Day

By September 22, 2017Energy Partners Knowledge Base

It is Heritage Day – also known as Braai Day – on 24 September, and the solar energy experts, Energy Partners Home Solutions, know exactly how to celebrate it in a way that is uniquely South African. Gather your loved ones, light the braai and use the power of the sun to cook your dessert!

“Braai Day is not only a great opportunity to spend quality time with your family, but to also save electricity. With this in mind, we have put together some simple instructions that anyone can follow to build a basic solar oven and cook sweet marshmallow s’mores with the kids,” says Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions.

“We have also included a recipe for the perfect solar cooked dessert. Just follow the instructions below and you will be amazed at the result,” he adds.

You will need:

  • Pizza box
  • Ruler
  • Black marker
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • NT cutter
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Cling film
  • Sticky tape
  • Black craft paper
  • Sosatie stick
Solar Cooker

Create a simple solar oven from a pizza box. Image source:

Step 1 and 2  – Cut an opening in the lid

Draw a square on top of your pizza box’s lid, making sure it is in the middle with a 2.5 cm border all around it.  Turn the box so that the part where it flaps open faces towards you. Use the NT cutter to cut through the two vertical lines of the square, as well as the horizontal line closest to you. Score, but do not cut, the horizontal line of the square that is furthest away from you (on the side where the lid is attached to the box).

Step 3 – Create a reflective flap

Fold the square open so that it stands upright. Cover the side that faces the opening in the lid with aluminum foil. Smooth out the foil as best you can. This shiny flap reflects the sunlight and is essentially what generates the solar oven’s heat. If needed, you can use a sosatie stick to keep the flap upright.

Step 4 – Cover the opening

Cut two square pieces of cling film so that they are slightly larger than the opening in the lid. Open the lid. Place one of the pieces of cling film over the underside of the opening and seal it on all sides with the sticky tape. Close the lid. Place the other piece over the top of the opening and seal it on all sides with the sticky tape. Note: When placing the pieces of cling film, stretch them as taut as possible and make sure the sticky tape creates an airtight seal all around their edges – This will help to keep the oven warm.   

Step 5 – Insulate the box

Now focus on the bottom of the box. Cover the base and sides on the inside with aluminum foil. (This step is optional, but it will insulate the heat better.) Cut the black craft paper so that it is the same size as the pizza box’s base. Place and glue the paper onto the aluminum foil on the base. The black paper helps to retain the heat.

Step 6 – Get ready to use your solar oven

Your solar oven is ready for cooking! Why not try some marshmallow s’mores for dessert? To create enough s’mores for six people you will need:

  • 12 chocolate-chip cookies
  • 6 marshmallows
  • 6 teaspoons of Nutella

Step 7 – Cook some s’mores

Take six of the cookies and place a marshmallow on top of each. Open the lid of the solar oven and put the cookies on top of the black craft paper. Close the lid and place the solar oven in direct sunlight. Wait for an hour or so until the marshmallows have melted. Once they are ready, open the lid and put a teaspoon of Nutella on top of the melted marshmallows. Sandwich the cookies closed with the remaining six cookies.

Tuck in and enjoy your Heritage Day braai dessert!


Author EPHS

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