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Need plans for an ugly oven

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  • Need plans for an ugly oven

    I hope this isn't answered someplace obvious. I looked around and couldn't find anything. Here's my situation:

    For most of my life, I've spent my summers at this campground, and on the last weekend of the summer, we have a big bonfire and send out for pizzas for everyone. Usually about 100 pizzas (about $1000). Since I've started making decent pizzas over the past few years, I convinced everyone that maybe our money would be better spent on a professional oven or two, and we'd make the pizzas right there.

    We bought a couple of Bakers Pride countertop ovens. The problem is that they couldn't retain the heat, and we couldn't pump out the pizzas fast enough. Now we're thinking that we should get more powerful ovens, but I've been wondering if we might be better off with a wood-fired oven.

    But here's the thing...

    This will be used once (possibly twice) per year, and probably covered with a tarp for the rest of the year. Most of the designs I see here are very attractive ovens - works of art with nicely sculpted curved brickwork. We really don't need that. We just need something utilitarian. It needs to have all of the old-world charm of a prison wall.

    Do I really need to have a curved dome? From what I've seen reading the plans, a lot of time is spent making curves. Can I build a decent oven using 90-degree angles?

    I was thinking that something that could cook four 16" pizzas would work well, but seeing some of the cooking times reported under 2 minutes, maybe an oven big enough for 2 pizzas would be enough.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Need plans for an ugly oven

    the dome is used as its naturally self supporting, bricks and clay just dont do large 90 degree joints without support, especially in extreme conditions like 900 degrees.

    if you want one thats in effect disposable or at least no massive investment I would go the cob oven route,

    as you have some funds (i assume as you brought ovens previous) but some insulation boards and fire bricks, then get/dig local clay and start the cob dance (google/search) and make up a massive domes oven somewhere,

    if it cracks over the winder its easy to fix (more clay) and as you start the camp start the drying / curing and the end it will be ready for a rip roaring fire.

    The bricks and board will last through the winter and the dome itself is basically disposable but a bit of tarp and stuffed with paper to insulate and it should be fine. You could build a basic roof to keep the worst off.

    This meathod can make as ugly an oven as you want, and also a very pretty one as well in my opinion.


    • #3
      Re: Need plans for an ugly oven

      Hi enchant
      our here, the people in the outback use whatever is at hand to use for their homes and facilities.
      Many people in remote areas use old 44 gallon drums for ovens and hot water services, (commonly called a donkey), just mount them above a fire or room for a fire beneath them and whalla! ready to go.
      Why not look at cutting a drum vertically in halves, so you will end up with 2 barrel shaped ovens. Of course you will need to cut in an opening and place it on a hearth of bricks which should be insulated, cover the drum with clay to the thickness required for the thermal mass required and then insulate it with whatever is suitable/available/affordable!
      A really cheap oven, built in a day and will last years.


      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway