Jul 16, 2011

Guest Blogger & Solar Hotdog Cooker Project

Hi everyone! I'm Jenni, just popping over from DisheveledMommy to share with you guys a really fun mom & kids activity.

This afternoon Crystal had posted on Facebook that she was going to try baking cookies in her HOT car, and posted a link to a site with pizza box cookers as well. Those reminded me of the shoebox hotdog cookers we used to make in school growing up in Phoenix. While it was only 102 (ha!) here today, and not the 110+ we had growing up, I figured it'd work. I bet it was only 102ish while we were still in school ;-)

I'm going to give you more of a "process" type instructions, rather than set directions, so you can easily adapt it for the supplies you have on hand. No one wants to run to the store, kids in tow, in this heat!

First you will need a shoebox, or similarly sized box with the flaps cut off. I have a slew of these boxes, but could not find an empty shoebox! They were all filled with treasures, socks, extra toiletries, etc. So I grabbed one of my small Amazon shipping boxes. Nice & sturdy. Plus, I already had cut the flaps off because I was going to cover it in contact paper to store my make up palettes in. (I now have a basket for them...)

Ok, so we have a box (preferably from our stash, ) now we need to grab some aluminum foil, some plastic wrap, (or plexiglass...) a gluestick just-in-case, some tape, and a few wooden skewers. I was super lucky & had a small bit of plexiglass just the right size.
Optional: a paper towel tube to place under the dogs in case they drip, cut in half, then each half cut in half longways in a curved fashion. Cover with foil. (More reflection!) The little one loved doing this!

Cover the inside of your box with foil, securing with tape around the outside edge, using a bit of gluestick if needed. I also went around my plexiglass with some electrical tape in case the edges were sharp.

Mark with a pen in about equal intervals along one long side of your box 2-4 places for skewer holes.
Poke these with the tip of a screwdriver and slide the skewers through. Poke the opposite side with the skewer. I didn't go through the other side with the screwdriver so they'd be snug.

Place the "drip pans" under each skewer.
To use, pull the skewers halfway back out the holes, tilt up and skewer a hotdog. Slide the dog down to the middle, and place the skewer back into the hole. When your skewers have been dogged, cover tightly with plastic wrap, or your plexiglass "lid" and place into direct sunlight. It may take a couple-few hours to cook, but it's fun!
You may need to place a rock under the cooker to get a good angle, adjust as the sun moves. You may also have to tape your lid a little, as I did today! (Definitely tape it if using plastic wrap!)

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