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  • Masonry kitchen

    I'm a looooong-time lurker, and this is my first FB forums post. I'm building an outdoor masonry kitchen after some 10 years of dreaming and research. The centerpiece will be a FB 42" corner Pompeii pizza oven, flanked by two wings. One wing will feature a 5-foot cooking surface with a hanging bar and a wood basket for making coals. It will have a back (topped by a small serving bar to pass food over) and shorter sides. I'll be able to use this for traditional offset wood fire roasting, American-style BBQ over coals, and with the huge array of traditional cooking vessels that I've collected over the years (Dutch ovens and other cast iron pieces, cazuelas and paella pans, bean pots, pipkins, tagine and tanjia pots from Morocco, etc, etc, etc.) On the other wing will be a work surface and a rudimentary sink hooked up to the hose in summer. Next to that will be a vertical masonry smoker to anchor the end of my kitchen. After much thought, I decided on the vertical smoker instead of an offset because I think it'll be more versatile. I plan to make a floor similar to the FB design for the floor of the pizza oven - so between the firebox and the smoker will be a 4" concrete slab, a layer of insulation, and then fire bricks (I'll be able to light a fire on the floor of the smoke chamber as well if I need more BBQ space - we like to entertain!!!)

    I'm sinking 4x4 posts into corner holes in my masonry blocks to make a roof just large enough to keep the fire (and me!) dry in bad weather.

    A year ago, I built a first trial run cook surface and I've used it quite a lot for everything from roasting our Easter lamb to simple burgers and hot dogs for the kids. Last week, I disassembled that first attempt and finally (FINALLY!) laid out my first course of masonry blocks to begin my dream outdoor kitchen. I'm building on an existing cement pad right outside of my kitchen door, which is really convenient. It's a generous size - 16 x 16.

    My inspiration has been my love of history. I have a minor in historical costuming, and I'm well-versed in traditional (European mostly) medicines and gardens, but my real passion is for traditional methods of cooking and traditional foodways. I take cooking classes wherever we travel, and the first thing I want to see at historical buildings is the kitchen! I've been drooling over Hungarian and Polish YouTube videos about crafting their masonry kitchens for years! I downloaded the Pompeii oven plans years ago as well, and have poured over it obsessively.

    I'd love feedback as I finish my design and order materials. One thing I hope I won't miss is a gas ring. I have a turkey fryer, and there's a gas outlet on the side of the house that I could hook up. I guess I'd use that for maybe boiling water for corn or something? Or canning in late summer when it's still stinking hot here in Texas? When I lived in Massachusetts I used the turkey fryer primarily for boiling down maple syrup in March. I didn't dedicate space on the counter for that because I don't use it much, and I can easily store it underneath and bring it out when I do need a gas ring. Will I miss having a lid over the BBQ area? I only occasionally use a lid at all, and when I've needed one in the last year, I've just popped my Weber lid over everything. If something really needs to be enclosed, I can cook it in the smoker I guess.

    Not sure if we're allowed links in the forums, but this is the video that got me hooked on this idea, so many years ago that this dream predates my husband and about the last three houses! So excited that NOW is the time and place to start building!
    https://youtu.be/YAFG9nm-ek8

  • #2
    Plans. I have separate sets of plans for the roofing and for elevations to figure out how the various heights of counters will line up.

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