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How to Make a Fun & Easy Pizza Box Oven

Make a pizza box oven with your kids! You can make s'mores without the campfire–all you need is sun. The pizza box solar ovens are quick and easy to make. This is a great STEM science project.

pizza box solar oven

When we think about outdoor cooking, most of us think about a grill or a campfire.  But did you know that you can cook in a pizza box oven?

One of the reasons I love this activity is because it is a fun science activity. It's always great to find STEM projects that are easy and educational.

This is a popular project–in fact, it's been pinned to Pinterest over 3,000 times!

All you need to build one is a pizza box, a few basic supplies and the sun, and your Cub Scout can make some cool “solar” recipes, including English muffin pizzas and s’mores.

Because the only heat source is the sun, this is a great cooking activity for younger kids.  You don't have to worry too much about them getting burned.  However, I would still supervise them especially when they take the food out of the oven because it will be hot.

You'll need a nice, sunny day for the project. Make sure the kids keep watch over their ovens while their food is cooking. The amount of time you need for the food to be heated will depend on a lot of factors.

Want something to eat before dessert? Use this solar hot dog cooker to make your main dish first!

Cub Scout Adventures Involving Cooking Outdoors

Cooking outdoors satisfies requirements for three Cub Scout adventures.

Bear Elective Adventure  Bear Picnic Basket Requirement 5:  With the help of an adult, select a recipe to prepare in the outdoors for your family or den. Help to select the needed ingredients, perhaps from a garden, grocery store, or farmers’ market. Cook and serve your planned meal. Clean up after the preparation and cooking.

Webelos Required Adventure Cast Iron Chef Requirement 2: Prepare a balanced meal for your den or family. If possible, use one of these methods for preparation of part of the meal: camp stove, Dutch oven, box oven, solar oven, open campfire, or charcoal grill. Demonstrate an understanding of food safety practices while preparing the meal.

Webelos and Arrow of Light Elective Adventure Castaway Requirement 1A:  On a campout or outdoor activity with your den or family, cook two different recipes that do not require pots and pans.

Cub Scouts making pizza box oven smores
200 Cub Scout day campers made pizza box oven s'mores!

Supplies for a Pizza Box Oven

Here are the materials that you’ll need:

Once you’ve got all of your materials together, it’s time to get started, so follow these simple instructions.

Steps to Make Your Solar Oven

pizza box oven step 1

Step 1:  Carefully use your knife to cut a square opening in the lid of the pizza box, staying within an inch or so of the border. Don’t cut the hinged side of the box—keep that side together, and fold back the flap.

pizza box oven step 2

Step 2:  Cut the foil to the correct size so that it fits on the flap that you’ve folded back. Using the glue, attach the foil to the flap, keeping the shiny side out and making sure the foil is smooth.

pizza box oven step 3

Step 3:  Put another piece of foil in the bottom of the pizza box, with the shiny side up. Cover the foil with the construction paper. This is the “heating element.”

pizza box oven step 4

Step 4:  Next, take the plastic wrap and stretch it over the open area (where the flap you cut used to be). Tape it well around the edges so that the wrap is sealed.

pizza box oven step 5

Step 5:  You’re almost ready to cook! Now you simply decide what you’d like to make—anything from English muffin pizzas to s’mores—and put it on a small foil tray, on top of the black paper. Close the plastic lid, being sure the seal is as tight as you can get it, with the box tabs tucked in.

pizza box oven step 6

Step 6:  Use the stick (i.e., long ruler or paint stirrer) to prop open the flap of your oven. The sunlight will reflect on the foil, plastic, and your black paper, cooking your food.

Step 7:  Check your food often by looking through the plastic wrap.  Try not to open the lid too much because every time you do, heat escapes.

Step 8:  When your food is done, open up the box and enjoy! 

pizza box oven smores

Tips for Making S'mores in Your Oven

  • The chocolate melts much more quickly than the marshmallows!  After having chocolate syrup on our first batch of s'mores, we decided to put the marshmallows in first then add the chocolate a bit later.  🙂
  • The really big marshmallows take a long time to melt.  Try to find these “stacker marshmallows” or cut the big ones in half.

What will you make in your pizza box oven?

Yield: 1

How to Make a Fun & Easy Pizza Box Oven

pizza box oven smores

Make a pizza box oven with your kids! You can make s'mores without the campfire--all you need is sun. The pizza box solar ovens are quick and easy to make. This is a great STEM science project.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

Tools

Instructions

  • Carefully use your knife to cut a square opening in the lid of the pizza box, staying within an inch or so of the border. Don’t cut the hinged side of the box—keep that side together, and fold back the flap.pizza box oven step 1
  • Cut the foil to the correct size so that it fits on the flap that you’ve folded back. Using the glue, attach the foil to the flap, keeping the shiny side out and making sure the foil is smooth.pizza box oven step 2
  • Put another piece of foil in the bottom of the pizza box, with the shiny side up. Cover the foil with the construction paper. This is the “heating element.”pizza box oven step 3pizza box oven step 4
  • Next, take the plastic wrap and stretch it over the open area (where the flap you cut used to be). Tape it well around the edges so that the wrap is sealed.pizza box oven step 5
  • You’re almost ready to cook! Now you simply decide what you’d like to make—anything from English muffin pizzas to s’mores—and put it on a small foil tray, on top of the black paper. Close the plastic lid, being sure the seal is as tight as you can get it, with the box tabs tucked in.
  • Use the stick (i.e., long ruler or paint stirrer) to prop open the flap of your oven. The sunlight will reflect on the foil, plastic, and your black paper, cooking your food.pizza box oven step 6
  • Check your food often by looking through the plastic wrap.  Try not to open the lid too much because every time you do, heat escapes.
  • When your food is done, open up the box and enjoy! pizza box oven smores

Notes

  • The chocolate melts much more quickly than the marshmallows!  After having chocolate syrup on our first batch of s'mores, we decided to put the marshmallows in first then add the chocolate a bit later.  🙂
  • The really big marshmallows take a long time to melt.  Try to find these "stacker marshmallows" or cut the big ones in half.
  • Yours in Scouting,
    Sherry

    P.S.  Need more information about outdoor cooking?  Find it here!

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