Thursday, June 25, 2009

Banana Boats in a Pizza Box

In this episode of "coolest mom ever," we'll start with the pizza box oven. Google pizza box oven and you'll find lots of descriptions that are basically the same on how to make one.

Basically, cut out part of the lid to use as a reflector to direct sunlight into the box, cover that and the bottom of the box with aluminum foil, cover the hole you made in the lid with saran wrap to keep the heat inside while still allowing the sun to heat things up, and put a piece of black construction paper in the bottom to help absorb the heat. They also suggest using string or something else to angle the lid just right so it can direct the most sunlight in.

One of the sites I looked at mentioned that they can get up to 275 degrees. You can see our thermometer in the picture above because I was interested to know how hot it would get. Ours made it to 217, and it was a pretty throw-it-together kind of project. Maybe we'll attempt to make it better sometime, maybe not.

My main goal in doing this was to make banana boats. I remember doing it at girls camp ages ago and thought it would be fun. Cut your banana open down the side with the peel on, open it up a bit, and shove in marshmallows and chocolate chips. I guess you can also do this around a campfire, wrapping your banana up in aluminum foil and setting it in the coals.

Melanie isn't a banana fan, so she used graham crackers instead to make a s'more.

A recipe I saw online said the campfire method takes about 5 minutes. We left these on for something like 20, though maybe they could have been taken off sooner. I noticed the temperature dropped quickly when we lifted the lid to put everything inside, so I didn't do any checking to see if they were ready besides seeing the chocolate chips really melted.

It also helped when the sun went behind a bunch of clouds and our temperature started dropping again. "They're done!"

They all loved them! I had more pictures but they involved a lot more goo on the face and in the mouth, so I'll spare you the gory details. But here is Adam trying to duplicate the expression of a woman on the back of our latest box of Cheerios (she is very excited to be lowering her cholesterol). I mean, showing you how happy he is to have such a really really cool mom.

P.S. I didn't get one. I planned on tossing one in after theirs were all done since our "oven" was already pretty crowded, but that cloud cover was there to stay. Major setback in a solar powered pizza box oven. Oh well, that just means we get to do it again!


  1. Tim's class did this at school and were able to cook a hot dog...sort of. :) Looks like yours turned out well!

    P.S. I'm loving your flurry of posts. Keep sending these cool ideas. :)

  2. I think this should qualify for some sort of "green" tax rebate. Come on! This was solar powered and everything. At the very least it should negate all of the environmental damage I did smoking the meat for 10 hours.