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Building a Cob and a little help in the Baltimore area

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Building a Cob and a little help in the Baltimore area

Hi Folks,

I am currently planning to build a Cob Oven (Beehive Shape)  with a side of Tandoor the begining of July.  I would love a little advice from those who have done either or both of these ovens.

I really would prefers an outdoor brick oven, but I have underground streams that are always shifting on one side of my yard and an easement that my County forbids me from building anything permanent Brick w/cement) on the other side.

Also, I was wondering if there are any of you out there in Breadland that would be willing and able to give me a hand with this Dirty, Fun and Tasty project?  I live just northeast of Baltimore.

As a Professional Chef, I can promise you will not go hungry while your here!


All the best,



proth5's picture

I have a tandoor (although I did not build it) and here's some of my observations.

You will be using long metal poles that are dangerously hot after being removed from the tandoor.  You want to make sure you have a good clear area and may want to build a rack with drip pan underneath for when you pull them out of the fire.

You want to make sure that you have a good opening for cleaning out ash and maybe a nice little "ash drop" - this goes for the beehive oven as well.

You will want flat surfaces neear the tandoor to stage thing like naan. I wish I had these around my tandoor.

Sounds like a fun project.  Good luck!

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Thank you.


I have found several sources for the long poles you mention, as well as, cloth covered dough pads for placing the Naan & Roti into the Tandoor.  I think I'm going to place a lareflat stone ontop of some cob to one side of the Tandoor.

I'm currently in the process of comissioning a local clay artist to make the Tondoor clay pot.  I have found sources for the pots themselves, but I can not afford the $650 plus shipping.  I need to hit the Lotto!

I'm trying to figure out the ash pan for the cob oven now.


proth5's picture

I spent a lot of time watching tandoor chefs in Malaysia and my first several attempts to place naan in the oven were bare handed (those guys are tough!) - the pad is worth every dime that you pay for it.  Learned that.

Although even with the pad, practice makes - well - better.

And you will notice that the metal poles all have little crooks on the end (except those for managing naan) a real tandoor chef will pull these from the oven and then use those crooks to hang them.  If I could only have one thing - that rack would be number 1.

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

I've seen many great examples of this on YouTube.  The main trick I've learned is to lightly wet the surface of the bread before placeing it into the Tandoor.

I will  be making a shopping / research trip to Little India in Edison New Jersey very soon.  I paln to pickup the Naan/Roti dough pad and poles, as well as, some Tondoori Skewers.  There is also an Indian Bakery that I will be stopping into.

AND a RackToo!




bakerbrooks's picture

If you have ever watched Good Eats on the Food Network, Alton Brown made a Tandor oven out of a large flower pot. It may not be as awsome as a real Tandor oven but it certainly seemed easier than building one. He cut off the bottom of the oven and put it on a charcoal grill upside down so you would not have to worry about building codes. You could probably watch his show on the oven on youtube.

Good Luck!

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

I have seen his, but I'm looking to build something a little more girth and into my cob design.

Doc Opa's picture
Doc Opa


I am finishing a brick oven but I did research a tandoor as well.  Not sure if I'll tackle the tandoor because other projects have piled up.  I'm finishing a Tuscan style, 42" pompeii oven.




dsoleil's picture

Just finished my cob oven.  I do naan in there pretty easily.  Right after firing, it is about 1000 degrees.  

You should also check out the brick oven Yahoo group.  Lots of good advice there in the archives.

Have fun building!

amauer's picture

I also think a local potter would be an excellent idea for your tandoor. I collect pottery and the professionalism out there today is excellent and very very reasonabley priced, unless you get a well known artist. Sounds exciting and and challenging!


berryblondeboys's picture

I know this is a very old thread, but I was just searching now about a cob or beehive oven and up this pops. AND I live very close to Baltimore (Columbia, MD). Did you ever make this? How did it turn out? Pictures? Thanks!

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh
berryblondeboys's picture

wow! That is massive! I don't think I could attempt something like that in my wildest dreams! Did you make it or did you hire it out? 

Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

I think it's the second object besides the great wall that can be seen from the Moon! LOL. It is absolutely visible in my Google map view.

The basic footprint at the edge of my patio is 6 foot by 6 foot. The internal dimension is 9 square feet. But remember, when using it for Wood Fired Pizza... You lose half of your Hearth area.

It was very much a collaborative effort from the very beginning. I fed a neighbor's son very well to get the six Pier holes dug. Besides, he was beefing up for football season! We did find Jimmy Hoffa's body in one of the pier holes... Not. What we did find what's an entire covered bucket that was buried during the houses Construction. We also found a beautiful piece of well patina. Tree branch. If you look closely at the door, I used it as the handle.

The wooden platform was built by the owner of the dog in one of the pictures. A friend of the family.

The subfloor Construction was done by myself, two former students... One of which who had one Cupcake Wars several years ago. As well as, a very good friend.

Other than the sand pile covered by paper which created the fire chamber, I did all the construction on the rest of the oven myself.

The roof was built old school style buy a former student of mine, who in a former life was a fourth generation Carpenter. The other two folk in those pictures of the roof Construction, where Neighbors.

Search Facebook for: AIPH CULINARY CURIOSITY CLUB.  You'll find a couple of photos of the oven and my Tandoori Oven.

In regard to the crack in the oven... In the $15 paperback book I got on Amazon how to build your own Earthen oven... The author stated it poignantly, the hotter your oven gets the bigger the cracks will be!

Speaking of cracks...

And needless to say, I never knew I needed to build anyting in my yard that have to be earthquake-proof..  the oven is badly in need of repairs, but still Cooks greatest ever!

I'm probably going to finish the demolition on my Tandoori Oven, as it looks like ancient Greek and Roman ruins as a result of the earthquake!

As far as what size suits your needs... My Philosophy is always super size as big as you can. If you need the space you will have it and if you don't need it you don't have to use it all!

In the book that I use, they had oven that big one loaf of bread or one dozen muffins with one fire. It wasn't but 12 in around.

Just learn from my mistakes... Read the whole book and make sure you pay attention to the double chamber method. It's a necessary evil dry determined that time wasn't necessary and have since determined I should have!







DanAyo's picture

Absolutely gorgeous and a work of art. It hurt me to see the crack at the chimney and the soot on that show piece in the linked images.

I say again, Gorgeous!


Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

Thank you Danny.

The crack frankly is a sign of a really hot oven.  With most materials you were going to get some expansion and contraction.

I highly recommend a double chamber design to anyone considering building an oven. It would solve so many problems I have encountered with my single chamber design. The least of which is the soot on the front.

There's no doubt that these type of ovens make the best pizza and most amazing breads. But please... use your oven to its fullest capabilities. Make extra pizza dough and prepare par bake crust for the freezer

Plan several days meals ahead to cook with one fire. Now during the summer, I can get an excess of 24 hours cooking time with about 12 to 15 pieces of wood. This includes long slow cooking at temperatures below 325 degrees. Stew's, pot roast, short ribs and the most amazing Boston baked beans I've ever had Armonk some of my favorites. And since the demise of my ton Dory oven, I have been using my wood oven prepare my Tundra specialties with little difference!  I also roast my friends Greek Easter lamb.

For those on the Baltimore-Washington metro area I will gladly assist in your Planning and Building process... I'm not perfect and it's important that all learn from my oven build.

I wish you all the best Danny and hope you build your own someday.


All the Best


berryblondeboys's picture

Someday, if it ever happens, I would love your help and insight. But considering this summer we just got new siding and new concrete driveway and sidewalk, we are TAPPED out financially. I'm not complaining though... My husband is a federal employee and his job is not at risk and while I have been home (after my strokes and with homeschooling). I had planned to go back to work because I enjoy it, but with the pandemic, I'll just enjoy life and try to help others to be able to enjoy theirs too.