Cardboard Box Cooking

Cardboard Box Cooking

This is the ideal cooking method for someone who’d like to cook meals outdoors a little beyond the usual hot dogs on a stick, but doesn’t want to invest much money or take a lot of trouble. It’s fun for kids (with supervision) and makes it easy to bake brownies or cake at camp!


cardboard box oven

Cardboard Box Oven with door lifted

What you need to assemble:

1 cardboard box, copy paper size.

1 roll of heavy duty aluminum foil

1 wire coat hanger



3 pie tins

What to do:

Wrap foil on the inside of the box and the box cover. Allow enough foil to wrap around to the outside of the box. Secure foil with staples or rubber cement (allow plenty of time for glue to dry). It is very important that NO cardboard is exposed. If you accidentally tear even a tiny piece of foil, make a patch and be sure that the tear is covered. A pinhole can cause the box to spontaneously ignite and make a mess of supper!

OPTIONAL: create a small “door” to open and peek inside to see if your food is properly brown.

The inside of the door and its hinge must be carefully covered with foil.

How to use it:

Place about 10-12 briquettes in a pile and light as you normally would. Open the box and stand it on end, placing a pie tin, inverted in the bottom of the oven. When the briquettes are all white, place 1 briquette per 45 degrees of heat into another pie tin (most recipes use 8 briquettes for 360 degrees). Move the hot coals in the pie tin into the box oven on top of the inverted tin.

Place the prepared food (cake, rolls, chicken parmesan) into the third pie tin and place it on the rack. Carefully close the box with the foil wrapped cover and go away for ½ hour. To check the progress after ½ hour, open the box a “crack” and peek in. Open it wider if you want to loose more heat. If its needed, place more coal on the ashes of the last batch. Keep the cover closed as much as possible.

What to cook:

Anything you can cook in an oven at home and will fit on the pie tins can be cooked in the box oven. New, first time users should stick to food that will cook in ½ to ¾ hours. Try prepared foods like store bought pies, cake mixes, prepared meats like veal or chicken patties, and Bisquick type quick meals.

Great for a quick meal and can even be used in your back yard in the summer to keep the house from overheating!