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  • New oven

    Hi everyone, I am new here. be gentle!

    I am in the wet lands of England but I still love a good barbequeue (no, not the usual Trd. Brit. pile of burnt offering jammed between a bun and covered in ketchup) and I think it's time to move up to a pukker oven. Furthermore, I have no oven at the moment due to building works and it's two weeks to Christmas!

    Would I get a brick oven up and running in time do you think?? I have nothing much else to do all day (yeah, as if).


  • #2
    good things come...

    Consider you need a week (usually) to cure the oven properly. If you are an accomplished mason with several helpers, there is precedent for building an oven in 2 days (there are several masonry "workshops" that have done this with photoalbums of their progress on the web). For most of us it takes a few weeks just to acquire materials, individualize our use of the plans and excavate. Good luck!
    Last edited by maver; 12-12-2006, 12:09 AM.


    • #3
      maver, thanks for that. It'll be a decent project for the post-Christmas blues period!



      • #4
        David welcome aboard.

        Please change your "handle" otherwise you will gets buckets of mail from spammers. If may need todrop yourself out of the forum and re-up or see if the moderator can help you out. You will definately want something else up there. Chip heads routinely get into forums and have written programs that look for users IDS in the text sectrions. You have just broadcasted your info to everyone.

        One place to look for quick build Ovens of unusual design is at MHA. Once a year these folks have a meeting and they build and fire up a pizza oven in about 3 days. It later gets torn down and the materials are recycled for another project. This year they did a few unique things. They used soapstone for the floor rather than fire brick and the used an egg shaped floorplan rather than circular. One of these years I will be tempted to go to their annual meeting just to watch them build the oven. There seems to be a lot of hands on building and certificate testing too.
        Last edited by jengineer; 12-11-2006, 02:16 PM. Reason: spelllling of course


        • #5
          good luck with your new oven

          I'm also uk based (hertfordshire) and intend to roast a leg of lamb outdoors this christmas eve/ day and as yet have made no preparation apart from to accrue a load of bricks from freecycle (some aren't even clean) . I'm pretty sure that what I eventually make will bear no resemblence to the polished versions described here, but unfortunately my partner has told a whole host of people that I'm going to do this so I'm committed (should be committed?)...I'd be interested to hear how your getting along.
          It must be possible to build something in a short time period (famous last words)...I just guess it wont be too efficient on wood and might not last a long time, but surely if someone offered you a million quid to do it- you'd do it .

          All the best..pete


          • #6
            Were I in your position (thankfully I'm not) -- I would do something I could take apart later and, either re-do, or re-use the materials.

            For example, you could pour one 4" thick concrete pad (with some chicken wire) and a one 2" pad in forms and let them dry. Then raise the 4" one up to about 40" using dry stacked concrete blocks (I forget what they are called in English), to be your hearth. Lay a course of clay bricks on their sides for the cooking floor. Then, you could build square oven walls by mortaring standard clay bricks up about 20" -- leaving a door opening. Lay the second concrete pad on top. If you really were going for it, you could create a stone or concrete lintel to frame to top of the door open, so it would be shorter than the top of the oven.

            Fire the oven, and your are off and running. The brick will absorb enough heat to cook, and while the design is imperfect, it would go up quickly. You would only have to make it large enough to hold the fire and the roast. Perhaps 24" square.

            Take care, the outside of the bricks would get really hot. Hmmm.

            OK everybody, would it work? Would you do it?
            Pizza Ovens
            Outdoor Fireplaces


            • #7


              I wouldn't do it this way unless I absolutely had to. Would it work? Yes, for a while, but it would eat loads of wood. Then again, cuppa is definitely under the social and marital gun, so he's got no choice. Your quickie instructions are right on the money, James, and I don't think Herts. has much of a problem with frost this time of year. Just keep the tipsy guests away from the brick walls once the oven has been heated.

              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


              • #8
                thank you for your advice...and dont laugh I'm serious!

                ...Hmmm...I hope I haven't come over as overly cocky with that last posting as I do respect experience! .Truth is, I hope to get this leg of lamb cooked and whilst I was surfing the web, I came across various methods of cooking. The simplest was the pit a big fire over stones, clearing the ashes etc etc...then an adobe oven...and finally magnificent edifices worthy of wren and pompeii. Given my limited experience I thought of basically creating a small dome on a brick base...then smearing the whole lot with eg clayish soil from the garden...then lighting a fire, downing a bottle of wine for internal marination purposes and staying clear of the house on christmas morning whilst my 3 children trash the house and wait eagerly for their burnt/ raw leg of lamb. If all else fails I can always revert to the magnetron although I guess this will be difficult to integrate into my solution as I'll have to roll out a 200 foot extension lead and try to keep it clear of mud

                It is actually my intention to build something non-permanent and I would rather avoid concrete in the first instance as it adds complexity to my simple mind and will be a pig to dispose of. Longer term...I was thinking of incorporating a spit in front of the open firemouth, to give the meat that lovely caramelised surface...and then to cook for longer at a lower temperature inside the oven. I have already had a couple of successful lamb leg spit roasts and thought this might be fun.

                there you go...the worst that can happen is that we have a vegetarian christmas


                • #9
                  Minimal risk?

                  Someone once taught me that minimizing the maximum downside risk was the right way to consider difficult decisions (MinMax). I have to say that a brick dome has considerable downside -- veggie Christmas.

                  If you are feeling brave, and want to make something wonderful (maximum upside) that might completely fall apart (maximum downside), it is definitely possible that you could build a brick dome using clay to hold it together. It is equally conceivable that it would fall down. The dome itself is the trouble spot. While self-standing, domes can be challenging.

                  If you are ready to start building, we are ready to help. We will wait to hear more.....

                  One more thing -- is that a bottle of Italian, Spanish or Australian? Chianti, Rioja, or Shiraz ? That could swing the decision.
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces


                  • #10
                    When I was a kid, for the summer picnic, neighbors would dig a hole, line it with rock, build a fire all night, then shovel out the coals and roast a suckling pig in the prepared hole. As I recall, the hole was covered with just a piece of sheet metal roofing, so it could be lifted to check progress. You might do this with your freecycle brick, and have your footings partly dug for your oven project next summer.

                    Roast animals have been cooked this way since the dawn of human history.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                    • #11
                      Firstly, apologies to david perry for inadvertantly hijacking his thread . -entirely non-intentional as I was just pleased to read something from someone in a similar state of mind as myself....I guessed if I went in with a non-defeatist gung-ho attitude, I might be able to coerce / hoodwink someone else into this christmas dinner madness first. Still no progression on my plans, but my thoughts are tending towards the firepit...with just a bit more of a structure than a bare pit...and...I was just wondering what your thoughts might be on this: I have a couple of radiators worth of brand new firebricks intended for my brand new storage radiators. I wonder if they might be ok to use in some way to add thermal capacity to my cooker...and (when done) whether they will still be fit for original purpose afterwards. I'm tending towards a firepit/ oven temporary combo, ..essentially a firepit with a degree of wall structure and maybe something resembling a brick roof...but I have been seriously enthused by reading accounts of other builders, and may build something more permanent in the future for social purposes. Longer term (this is definitely veering off thread) I was hoping to design a pyro-tastic fire and brimstone area in the garden where I might be able to build something that could suit the varied purposes of spit roasting, oven roasting, tandoori cooking, iron forging and garden rubbish disposal (and would rather avoid the use of concrete). I actually have a load of tools collected for the iron forging bit but as yet dont have a decent forge. there you go..something to muse over and dismiss out-of-hand

                      As for grape variety...I prefer cab sav for the first bottle...and generally anything with a hydroxyl group in the second bottle (where the hydroxyl group isn't directly attached to a hydrogen atom!)..for the last bottle I'm even prepared to forego the hydroxyl groups.

                      all the best firemongers...p (desperate to be the first one to use all emoticons in my idiot messages)


                      • #12
                        Happy Christmas to all you Oveneers!!

                        ..and a great new year too!.

                        For those who care and who thought I might bottle about building an oven to bake my leg of lamb this's the news...The lamb is currently undergoing some form of heat treatment (I'm not yet sure I can call it cooking) in an edifice more suited to the banks of the Ganges than my back garden. It took 1 hour and 10 minutes to dig the hole and line it with bricks--and a further two hours this morning to fire it up with enough wood to raise the bricks to red heat...this was actually unintentional and just happened, but led to the damp bricks spalling and firing slivers of hot brick in all directions hence I have been wearing full-face polycarbonate protection. I have also thus had to invoke the 'long-tom' manoeuvre...this is essentially a flowerpot I have repurposed to add an interface between putative heaven (my lamb) and hell (my furnace).

                        and that's it....The lamb was marinated yesterday in thyme, rosemary, oil and vinegar and before it went into the flowerpot today it was grilled above the hot coals to brown it and impart 'umami'...then into aluminium foil with a few more sprigs of rosemary...a foil door on the flowerpot- and then piling hot bricks and embers around and covering the whole with earth. I waited a while to rescue the earthworms that were enjoying the unseasonal warmth.

                        and that's it...the veg are on..the christmas pud is set to steam and it's t minus 20 or so before I get back outside to 'savour' the results.

                        If anyone cares I'll let you know how it tasted. Good news is the kids are starving and this might be the first time they ever ate all their veg. Gotta go to make the mint sauce!

                        all the best ..pete