My Reflective Oven



My reflector oven was similar to this. A five-gallon can was cut diagonally, leaving a sharp point at the back. I had to place a large stone under the back corner in order for the top and bottom surfaces to reflect the heat directly on to my mother’s biscuits. And it wan’t nearly as nice as this one is.

Sometime prior to age ten my family and I lived in a mobile home located in a remote part of the Oregon Coast. It was then that my mother subscribed me to Boy’s Life Magazine. Since my social life was wanting, this publication was a God Send. It filled a huge gap.

Published in one issue were complete instructions for building a reflective oven from scratch, using a five-gallon vegetable oil can.

Somewhere I acquired the necessary can, and the metal rods. After a great deal of time and even more effort I became the proud owner of a reflective oven. However, as grand as this accomplishment was, there was absolutely no purpose for a reflective oven in the world of butane ranges, ovens, and the like…that is until the morning the butane tank ran out of gas.

My mother had a dozen baking powder biscuits half-baked when the oven flame popped and went out. Fortunately, my oven was stowed with all its part together. This was a beta machine. It had never been tested, so I was the only person who thought this contraption was going to save the day. In other words I had more watchers than helpers.

The hardest part was getting a fire started. But once that was done I saved the day, or at least I saved the biscuits.

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