Make a Cardboard Box Oven for Baking without Electricity or Gas
This box oven is great to have on hand for emergencies. I have a large bin that is filled with charcoal briquettes to use in case we are ever without power and I need to make a meal. This is a very inexpensive and easy way to have an alternative fuel source for your self-reliance.
Needed to Make a Simple Box Oven:
• One cardboard box with fitted lid (such as a standard “file” or citrus box)
• Heavy duty aluminum foil
• Hanger wire or metal cookie rack (a cookie rack can be more stable)
• Duct tape
• Optional: small cans (e.g., tomato paste cans) holding up a cookie rack
Begin by completely lining the inside of the box and top of lid with foil. Secure the foil to the outside of the box with duct tape. To allow air circulation, cut 4, 1 inch holes on sides of the box (at the base of the box and through the foil). If using hanger wire for the baking shelf, follow diagram below (however, it is much easier to get a metal cookie sheet and place it on empty cans above the charcoal).
Diagram if using hanger wires for the oven rack:
In an empty #10 can or in a fire pit, light your charcoal briquettes (use lighter fluid).
- When charcoal turns gray and is ready, move it with long handled tongs into the bottom of the box oven, spaced evenly.
- Place rack (or hanger wires) into the box.
- Cover with the foil-coated lid to pre-heat the oven for 5 minutes.
- To make a 350 degree oven you will need approximately 7-8 briquettes. To make oven hotter, add additional briquettes. The temperature will not be exact; experiment with it.
- I usually only need 8-9 briquettes when I bake cookies (6), muffins (6), cupcakes (6), or 9” square or round cakes, etc. I have also made mini pizzas using dough from refrigerator biscuits and a frozen lasagna.
- Empty box when cool, store for re-use later.