To make a box oven you'll need:
- 1 heavy-duty cardboard apple/fruit box (20 inch x 13 inch and 12 1/2 inch high.)
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Plastic roasting/cooking bag (for optional window)
- HVAC tape (looks like duct tape but shiny like metal)
- Spray adhesive (optional)
- Baking sheet
- Cooling rack and 4 soda cans filled with rocks (or a converted portable grill cut to fit)
- Blanket for insulation (optional)
Cover the box completely with aluminum foil inside and out. This works best by spraying the box first with adhesive, attaching foil, and securing with the foil with the aluminum tape. Cover the box well, making sure none of the cardboard is showing so it doesn't burn. Also note, be sure to cover the box with the foil shiny side out, so it will reflect the heat better. The matte side should be what you stick to the box.
To bake with your box oven you'll need:
- Charcoal briquettes
- Long handled tongs
To preheat the oven, place the box over the hot coals and empty rack and let it stand for 5 minutes. The charcoal will become whiter as the heat spreads. Once preheated, carefully lift the box straight up off the coals and rack, taking care not to tilt it, and place it beside the ground foil, face down. This holds trapped heat in the box. Quickly place your food on the cooling rack that on top of the soda cans and replace the box over the coals.
The charcoal will burn for about 35-40 minutes. When longer cooking times are required, you can add more hot charcoals by slightly lifting the box and slipping them in with long tongs. We found that if a recipe calls for 45 minute baking time and it is warm outside, no additional charcoals are necessary. Remember, one briquette equals approximately 35 degrees F (350 degrees=10 charcoals).
For more tutorials on making and using box ovens, click here, here or here.