The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Earth ovens and winter/snow

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elcouisto's picture
elcouisto

Earth ovens and winter/snow

I'd like to know what kind of precautions I need to take in order to keep an earth oven from cracking/deteriorating during winter and snow.. I live in quebec and while I know what kind of roofing I need, I'm still wondering what snow and cold weather do to an earth oven.


thanks,

Thomas Parr's picture
Thomas Parr

I am in Eastern Ontario and have an outdoor WFO.  There are no problems using it.  Unfortunately, I do not know how to attach a picture. 


 


 

elcouisto's picture
elcouisto

What are the precautions to take when using a WFO in winter? I'm guessing you have to keep snow from touching the oven? How is it possible during a storm? Do you have to fire it more often to keep moisture out? Or do you need to fire it for a longer time?


thanks,

Thomas Parr's picture
Thomas Parr

What are the precautions to take when using a WFO in winter? I'm guessing you have to keep snow from touching the oven? How is it possible during a storm? Do you have to fire it more often to keep moisture out? Or do you need to fire it for a longer time?


 


I have a metal roof over my oven and the door faces downwind.  The roof is close enough to the oven that snow never drifts into it.  I burn only oak and the oven is insulated well enough both under and all around to maintain the temperature.  When the oven is up to 600 degrees, the outside is still cool to the touch.  The oven maintains the temperature.  If you are going to make more than one batch, I suppose you would have to refire......I don't know since I haven't done that.  As for snow, all you have to do is keep a path cleared to the oven and use dry fuel.  I hope this is of some use to you

elcouisto's picture
elcouisto

I'd love to see a picture of your oven..


Here's how you can upload one (it's easy):


1) go there: http://imageshack.us/ (this is a well known free image hosting site)


2) click the 'upload' field and browse to your picture


3) click 'upload now'


4) Once it's done, copy (CTRL-C) the link inside the 'Direct Link' field.


5) Reply to this message and insert an image by clicking the "tree" icon.


6) in the 'Image URL' field, paste (CTRL-V) the link you just copied.


7) click 'insert'.


 


voila :)


 


Thanks for your help,


 

Thomas Parr's picture
Thomas Parr

spazmom's picture
spazmom

wow, now that's an oven.  We are building one and where we live there's lots of snow in winter too...But I wasn't going to do a roof.  I'm wondering if putting a tarp over it when not in use would be enough??

Thomas Parr's picture
Thomas Parr

I think a roof would be beneficial, since you will always be covering, uncovering in the event of rain or snow.  As well, the oven should be protected from the elements (I think) to protect all the hard work and investment you put into it.  Depending upon what your final protective coat is, be aware that water in any form may degrade the oven.  My final coat over the four inches of perlite, lime, clay insulation, is a lime, sand, clay plaster with two coats of lime wash on the outside.

spazmom's picture
spazmom

Well...I appreciate that thought, but talking my hubby into a roof right now might not work.  I'll have to see what I can come up with.  I would use it in the winter a lot less at this point, unless I become really good at using it.  Thanks for the info!

varda's picture
varda

I just built a clay oven this summer and I cover it on rainy days with a tarp that covers it completely down to the ground.   I put bricks or other heavy items on the corners to keep it from flapping in the wind and exposing the dome.    Even with very heavy rains, I have had no problem with it getting wet.   I was planning to do the same for the winter.   I live in the Boston area and generally there is snow cover for most of the winter, so I don't expect to be picking up the tarp until spring.   At which point, I fully expect to find several families of mice having taken up residence. -Varda

elcouisto's picture
elcouisto

Thanks a lot!


Very nice oven by the way!

Thomas Parr's picture
Thomas Parr

Here is a site of another builder of WFO in the Eastern Townships.


There is a lot of information on his site about his oven and using it in the winter.  As well there are other interesting links on his site.


 


http://www.gulland.ca/homenergy/brickoven.htm

merlie's picture
merlie

Does anyone have any comments on this mixer?  I have a Breville toaster and a Breville kettle and I just love them.  I am at present using a 300 watt KA with good results with small amounts of dough only - can be annoying when the dough climbs the shaft. The Breville has a 550 watt motor, looks lovely and is in my price range.( I can't afford a DXL )   Many thanks for your comments and or advise - Merlie