Here is how to make a windshield shade solar cooker.A simple, reflective Accordion Windshield Shade can easily be converted into an effective solar cooker. The silver windshield shades are very popular car accessories in the Southwestern parts of the United States. They come in various sizes and can be purchased in most general merchandise stores for about $10.
A solar cooker of this nature falls into the panel cooker category. In order to cook, three things are needed : 1) a pot to cook in; 2) a heat trap; and 3) a reflector. When folded into a funnel shape, the windshield shade becomes the reflector.
How to Make a Windshield Shade Solar Cooker
You will need the following items to make the reflector:
- a small or medium sized silver, reflective windshield shade
- duct tape (or Velcro Sticky Back Tape )
You will also need these items to set up the cooker:
- a dark pot or cookware appropriate for solar cooking
- a wire rack
- a large cooking bag
- a box (cardboard is fine)
To make the reflector, shape the shade into a funnel shape by bringing one of the top edges over the other top edge, silvery side in, and tape together with duct tape. However, sticky back velcro strips can also be used. Simply place the soft side of the velcro on the top side near the top edge on the silvery side. Place the loop side of the velcro on the underneath side of the shade, near the top edge (on the less reflective side). The advantage of using velcro allows for the shade to be folded into its original shape, making it perfect for storage.
To set up the solar cooker, bring the two edges together into the funnel shape and fasten the velcro.
Set the funnel into the cardboard box to hold it. Placing it into the box allows the funnel shape to be adjusted to reflect the best sunshine.
Next, place the wire rack across the box. This helps hold the reflector in place and also gives a place to put the cooking pot.
Place your pot full of food into the turkey bag and tie shut with a twisty tie. The turkey bag acts as a heat trap to capture the sunlight, and hold it. The allows the air inside the bag to heat up and cook the food.
That’s it!! Just like with other types of solar cooker, for best results, this cooker needs to be directed into the strongest sun. For tips on how to cook in a solar oven, see Solar Cooking Tips & Techniques.
With these few simple items in your car or home, you will be prepared for unexpected or emergency situations. Now that you know how to make a windshield shade solar cooker, you will be able to cook a hot meal for yourself and your family.
This is also a great way to test out solar cooking for yourself without a large investment. Try it. You will like it. See My First Solar Oven.
Do you solar cook? Tell me about your first solar oven. Have questions and don’t know where to start? I’m here to help so leave me a message.