Windshield Sun Shade... or Solar Oven?

We all overlook the versatility of certain items or objects. Sometimes, we find an item that’s better or newer than another and throw the old one out. However, watch what you toss because certain objects are more useful than you might think.

Check it out:

That’s right, a windshield sunshade can become a heat source capable of cooking food, an idea that may seem crazy at first, but holds true. The windshield shade, combined with a black bucket, some clips, fishing line or black electrical tape, makes a great solar-powered oven.

Take the sunshade and locate the spot for the rearview mirror, which is the center of where you’re going to make a cone shape. Move the bottom of the newly formed cone, where the hole is, into the bucket. Take a grate or plate and put it at the bottom of the sunshade; the more level you can get it, the better.

Next, place items in the bottom to create space, such as a grate or canning rings, and set a pot or kettle on top of the bucket, at the bottom of the sunshade. Place whatever you’re cooking, baking or boiling inside the pot and replace the lid. Do your best not to open the pot, even to check on the food, until you’re certain it’s cooked. Place it directly in the sunlight; the shadow should be behind your contraption.

A tip when creating this type of oven is to use as much black as you can including the bucket, pot, lid and whatever you use as a platform for the pot. Black absorbs the light from the sun, allowing it to heat up more than other colors. To further this effect, use matte black rather than gloss black.

The biggest downfall to this method of cooking is that there’s not always sunlight. Learning other methods of cooking is invaluable. You’d be surprised at how useful an everyday object can be — even a soup can.

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