How to Make a Solar Hot Dog Cooker

Harness the awesome power of the sun to cook up a juicy, delicious hot dog.

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School science fair coming up? Don't worry: We've got step-by-step instructions to dozens of science projects in this Howcast video series, including how to build an erupting volcano, how to make glow-in-the-dark art, how to make a weather barometer, how to make disappearing ink, how to make 3-D glasses, and how to make a marshmallow gun.

 
 

You Will Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Utility knife
  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Tin foil
  • Tape
  • 2 wood dowels
  • Drill
  • Skewers
  • Hot dogs

Steps

  1. Always use caution when using sharp knifes and power tools. When necessary, ask an adult for help.

  2. Step 1

    Select a large box

    Select a box with a large surface area to make your solar hot dog cooker. A long box will collect more sun rays, which will produce more heat.

  3. Step 2

    Cut a parabolic curve

    Use a utility knife to cut out a parabola that slopes down and back up from one end to the other like the letter "U." Do this for the two longest, parallel sides.

  4. Step 3

    Measure poster board

    Measure and cut your poster board to fit the curve in the box using a pair of scissors. Cover the poster board with the tin foil, shiny side out.

  5. Avoid as many wrinkles in the foil as possible; the smoother it is the more heat it will generate.

  6. Step 4

    Tape foil poster board in place

    Tape the foil-covered poster board in place. Find the focal point of your cooker where the heat is greatest using your hand.

  7. You may have to tip your cooker up to face the sun directly depending on your location and the time of year.

  8. Step 5

    Measure wood dowels

    Measure and cut your wood dowels to the right length so they can hold your hot dog at the focal point. Use an electric drill to create a hole in each dowel big enough to hold the skewer.

  9. Step 6

    Skewer hot dogs

    Skewer your hot dog and place the skewer in the wood dowel holes. Plunge the dowels into the ground on either side of the cooker and adjust to find the hottest spot.

  10. Step 7

    Wait for the hot dog to cook

    Wait for the sun to do its job.Give it between 6 and 12 minutes, and you'll be enjoying your solar cooked hot dog -- with or without mustard -- in no time.

  11. Scientists discovered the farthest known object from Earth in the universe over 13 billion light years away. In other words, light from the object took 13 billion years to reach Earth.

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