Creating a Solar Hotdog Cooker

A solar hotdog cooker is easy to make and is just as easy to use.  One may wonder why you may need a solar cooker when you go camping and the answer is simple.  In many areas, burn bans are being enforced due to dry conditions.  A solar cooker can give the camper the option of cooking without violating the ban.

Below are the directions for this hot dog cooker.  While this project is great for kids, always supervise them during the construction of this solar cooker.


Utility knife






2 sheets of corrugated cardboard that are 7.5 by 30-inches

Two 2 by 2 by 12-inch connector boards

Large piece of poster board

Aluminum foil that is 12-inches wide

Two 1 by 1 by 13.5-inch uprights

Coat Hanger



  1. Draw out a curve on one piece of the corrugated cardboard.  Cut it out using the utility knife.  Using the cut piece, trace the curve shape onto the other piece of cardboard and cut out.
  2. Connect the two curved pieces together by gluing and nailing the two connector boards to the end of the curved pieces.
  3. Lay the curved piece on a table so that the straight edge is on the bottom.  Take the poster board and cover the curve.  Using a pencil or pen, trace the bottom of the curved piece onto the poster board.  Cut along the lines and secure to the curved piece with glue and tape.
  4. Next, unroll the aluminum foil and place on the inside of the curved piece.  Once it is a good fit, carefully remove and lay down a thin layer of glue.  Replace the aluminum foil and smooth out as much as possible.  This step is very important because the smoother the surface the better the reflection.
  5. Take the uprights and drill a hole all the way through both pieces of wood.  This hole is where the coat hanger and hotdog will be placed.
  6. Once the hole has been made, glue the uprights to the outside of the curved box.

After the above steps have been completed, it is now time to cook.  To do this, straighten out a coat hanger and run it through one of the holes on the upright.  String your hotdogs and then continue to run the coat hanger through the other hole.  Leave a curve on one end so that you can turn your hotdog for even cooking.  To maximize the solar cooker, prop up one end of the cooker with a piece of wood so that the sunlight is intensified in the center of the cooker.

While this solar cooker is designed for hotdogs, you can cook other items, such as marshmallows, and other precooked link type meats.

So this year, do not let a fire ban limit you to cold cans of food.  Instead, give a solar cooker a try and in doing so expand your camping cuisine.