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Sun-cooker

Kitchen Laboratory

Did you know that you can cook up a delicious meal using only the Sun’s energy? Many people use sun-cookers to heat up food and water by capturing sunlight inside a reflective dish or box to create a small oven. This activity will show you how to make your own sun-cooker to create some tasty recipes.

Material

  • large lidded box, such as a clean pizza or shoe box
  • 1 metre of aluminum foil
  • sharp scissors
  • glue stick
  • black construction paper
  • plastic wrap
  • 1 drinking straw
  • tape

Let’s Get Started!

Cut away three sides of a square around the lid of your box, to create a flap as shown in (a). Leave 2–3 cm of the lid around the edges of the flap.
  1. Cut away three sides of a square around the lid of your box, to create a flap as shown in (a). Leave 2–3 cm of the lid around the edges of the flap.
  2. To create a reflective surface inside the box, open it up and cover all sides with aluminum foil, including the flap piece you just cut out.
  3. Inside the box, glue one sheet of black construction paper to the bottom. The black colour will absorb any reflected light or heat from the inside of the box, keeping your food toasty warm. [photo left justified]
  4. To trap the heat inside your cooker, close the box, lift up the flap and cover the flap opening with plastic wrap. Tape it tightly in place to keep the heat in, as shown in (b).To trap the heat inside your cooker, close the box, lift up the flap and cover the flap opening with plastic wrap. Tape it tightly in place to keep the heat in, as shown in (b).

    Using Your Sun-cooker
  5. Place your ingredients on an open plate or in a bowl, then open your sun-cooker to place the food on top of the black paper. Close the box lid and lift up the flap.
  6. Place your box in the sunlight and angle the reflective panel to collect as much light as possible. When it is in position, prop the flap open with a drinking straw, as shown in (c).Place your box in the sunlight and angle the reflective panel to collect as much light as possible. When it is in position, prop the flap open with a drinking straw, as shown in (c).

Cooking time will depend on how bright the Sun is, and what kind of food you’re cooking. Keep an eye on your food through the plastic lid to see when it looks done.

Take Note!

Do not use meat, eggs or fish products, which may be dangerous if not properly cooked. Instead, try warming up some yummy s’mores, mini-pizzas, baked apples or nachos.

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Playing With Energy