Solar Cooking FAQ

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General FAQs about Solar Cooking

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What items are NOT safe to use to construct the interior of a homemade oven?

  • Light-weight urethane insulation.
  • Rubber cement.
  • Spray adhesives.
  • Mylar
  • Reflectix (tm) duct insulation
  • Duct tape.
  • Anything that might melt or outgas.
  • Some people say to even avoid wood that might have been treated with formaldehyde or pesticides, though its likely many cookers have been made with standard commercial lumber.
  • Avoid acrylic or most plastics for the inner glazing as they will sag and/or outgas.

What items ARE safe? (note: these materials are believed to be safe but no scientific proof is offered. Use this advice at your own risk.)

  • oven cooking bags
  • aluminum foil
  • white glue
  • tempera paint
  • high-temperature BBQ paint (although some believe this is not safe. Some commentary: High Temp paint)
  • other paints labeled "non-toxic"
  • cardboard
  • glass (if handled safely), tempered glass (if handled safely)
  • non-treated wood
  • food-grade polycarbonate (if used below melting temperature ~250F).

Some ovens use isocyanurate based foam insulation. Trade names of R-Max and Thermax. This is not the light, inexpensive foamboard but instead heavy-weight, yellow-colored insulation. There may be some concern here, as some types of this insulation were manufactured with formaldehyde.

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