wood fire outdoor stove
February 4, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I would like to build an outdoor wood fired oven similar to the one Jamie Oliver uses on his cooking shows. Can anyone suggest how/where I could find plans for this sort of structure? I know there are safety concerns involved and want to be aware of all the issues before I go ahead.
posted by frizelli to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This book is amazing. Some day I will have my own earth oven.
posted by sulaine at 9:16 AM on February 4, 2008

I've never see the cooking show you mentioned, but this Mother Earth News article (with illustrations) has a pretty good rundown on how to build a wood-fired earth oven. (Full disclosure: My wife works for MEN, but did not write the article.)

You could also check out Build your own earth oven: a low-cost, wood-fired mud oven, simple sourdough bread, perfect loaves for bakers & beginners both.
posted by cog_nate at 9:18 AM on February 4, 2008

I did a load of research with the same plan a while ago, but sadly have lost most of the links I took. Still - this looks handy.
posted by bifter at 9:19 AM on February 4, 2008

posted by togdon at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2008

The safety concerns are with the location of the oven, and the size/depth of the base, and with the hot gases and possible sparks coming out the chimney. There is a lot on the interwebs, so don't re-invent the wheel.

Traditional Oven this is a basic and time tested design.

Ovencrafters more of a bread oven, but you could scale down the mass of the plans for pizza or roasting.

Masonry stove builders a nice resource page.

here a nice blog about building an oven.

All ovens are expensive to build, because the heat must be retained in masonry mass to be effective. Beware the pre-cast domes, no real cost savings and there is still a lot of work necessary to house and clad them.

Most local governments don't have rules concerning wood fired ovens yet, but your neighborhood association might.
posted by SMELLSLIKEFUN at 10:31 AM on February 4, 2008

I second sulaine's book link. I built an oven using that book. The book cost me $12, the materials cost about $30, I had a lot of fun making it, and had a great oven when I was all done.
posted by ewagoner at 11:30 AM on February 4, 2008

I've built an oven using that book too. It was a lot of fun and quite cheap. We used urbanite for the base, and bought in a load of sand (most of which was left over for the next project) and a coupla bales of straw. Haven't used it as much as I would like, mostly because it's very temperamental and takes quite a while to reach baking temps. I did follow the recommendations for proportions to the letter, so I suspect it's the breeziness of the location that's the problem. If I were to do it again, I would build it bigger, too.

As long as you build it far enough from flammable structures, the only really dangerous bit is when you rake the fire out before loading the pizza in. You want to think beforehand about where you're going to go with a wheelbarrow full of flaming embers...
posted by bricoleur at 12:59 PM on February 4, 2008

You don't say where you live, but if it is rural an earth oven, or a horno, would be cheap and fantastic. It just doesn't seem practical for an urban setting. Of course wood storage and procurement are also an issue in urban areas, not to mention not wanting to "smoke out" your neighbors. Those are some of the reasons I ended up not building one.
posted by SMELLSLIKEFUN at 1:03 PM on February 4, 2008

You can download very nice plans and instructions for building a woodfired oven at the Australian Better Homes and Gardens site here.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:17 AM on February 5, 2008

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