The Fresh Loaf

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I need a dead simple outdoor oven plan

mikewasinnyc's picture

I need a dead simple outdoor oven plan

My wife have just rented a place for the next three months that has an oven which is actually worse than my current 1920's-era gas fired option. Narrow and electric, I think it dates to the 1960s.

While it's conceivable that I could make this work, I have my eye on a forgotten 5*6' concrete pad in the backyard and am thinking about the possibilities for a wood or gas fired outdoor option. Obviously, being a short term rental, building a large and permanent structure is probably going to get me in trouble, and I want to spend as little time (and money) as possible building it.

Does anyone have tips for plans and general guidance about good and bad ways to go about doing this? Unfortunately any local classes are out of the question for the foreseeable future. 

pmccool's picture

And research cob ovens.  Cheap, relatively quick to build, and easy to tear down, too.  


Yippee's picture

that I may even be able to build one!???


idaveindy's picture

what, more specifically, is the oven for?

And what options are open here?  How about a camp oven fueled by propane?  

How about a large-ish cheap/used grill with some firebricks or unglazed quarry tiles?   (Leslieruf in NZ-land baked some nice bread in her bbq grill.)

Maybe buy a used grill when you get there, and sell it when you're ready to leave?

Do you already have a bbq grill that you can take there, or obtain/borrow there to jury rig as an oven?

I can't find it now, but some web site had some cheap metal barrel oven type options. Do you weld, and have access to welding equipment?

There is also the tandoor oven jury rigged out of 3 or 4 large clay flower pots, and vermiculite used in between as insulation.

Is the main purpose a baking chamber for your 9 qt Lodge dutch oven?

Are you saying the 1960's lectric oven is too small for your dutch oven?

mikewasinnyc's picture

Sorry Dave, that question had me thinking in Elizabethan English. Good suggestions, although i am already elbow-deep in cobb oven planning. Admittedly with a certain degree of concern about burning the house down. 

I'm working an angle right now on a used grill. Do you think this would work? Welding is a stretch, but if I'm going to burn the house down anyway I might as well go big.

Dutch oven baking is one goal, but I wouldn't complain if I could manage pizza in it as well. I have learned though painful experience that pitching pies into a shallow oven takes a lot of finesse.


idaveindy's picture

Plenty of stories out there about baking in a bbq grill.   Mainly need some thermal mass (unglazed quarry tile, or brick) and a close watch on the temp.  Some make-shift insulation over the top might help, like a welder's blanket, which I've seen in turn-your-bbq-into-a-smoker videos.  

I also caught a vid on youtube about using Perlite/cement to build an oven, using an exercise ball as a form.  Perlite/cement was also used for the baking deck, not firebrick.   Search on "exercise ball oven".  One vid with millions of views, plus several others. 

Come to think of it, if you can imagine something, there is very likely already a video on how to do it on youtube.

Portus's picture
barriehiebread's picture

This is simple enough; you'd need the big upside pot on the top.  Thoughts?

Picture this.

mikewasinnyc's picture

If that perlite and cement oven looks like a project for the ages (and one I'd love to try in a permanent home), the old-grill-and-bricks one is definitely the other end of the spectrum. I could swear that I saw Craig Ponsford knocking together an oven at Central Milling in their parking lot for one of their weekend courses and I think they did it in a day.

I feel like my bread is already such a work in progress, it would be great to take some of my more extreme variables out of the equation. But this is a lot of material to work with - cob ovens, barbecue grill ovens, barrel ovens.

I'll see what I can do in terms of materials, think that's going to have a lot to do with the final outcome. Huge thanks for all the tips.