The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Outdoor oven

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Lucy-Sue's picture
Lucy-Sue

Outdoor oven

Hi again:  I am looking for plans on how to build a wood burning oven outside.  Clay or brick I am not sure.  Can someone send me in the right direction?


 


Thanks again!


Lucy

Kristal's picture
Kristal

Plans for wood burning ovens can be found in the following sources.


Benard Clayton's Complete Book of Breads (Recently revised)


www.traditionaloven.com (The individual who has this site appears to be from Australia)


Mother Earth News (July, Aug., or Sept. 2009 issue - I don't remember which one. It has a picture of veggies and mentions fall gardening on the cover. There is a brief article about ovens and I believe you can contact the author for plans.)


And of course, if you do an internet search for "wood burning oven plans", you will find all kinds of venders who sell them pre-manufactured.


Kristal

yozzause's picture
yozzause

HI LUCY-SUE
We built an oven here at the Hospitality Tech college from plans on cd from traditional oven, it is my intention to build another 3 or 4 as my 2 daughters my cousin and i all want our own now. the cd is cheap and easy to follow and Rado offers lots of help if you have questions or get stuck
the oven will cook 2 pizzas at a time in 3 or 4 minutes or less and after i can get 18 x 500gram loaves in.
also cooked a 10kg leg of pork over 10 hours melt in your mouth stuff
regards YOZZA

Lucy-Sue's picture
Lucy-Sue

Thanks everyone!


 


Lucy

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Lucy,


I built a large Scott style oven here about ten years ago.  Check out www.marygbread.com for pics.  If you're looking for a round, Neopolitan pizza/bread oven you can download free plans at www.fornobravo.com for one with a 39" floor.  You have to register to "buy" them (to keep out spammers), but after that you will be sent a download key, and they are free. The plans were devised with the help of FB Forum members/builders from around the world.


Just one more avenue.


CJ


 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Hi CanuckJim


I can't seem to locate those free plans you refer to. I founda Forno Bravo CD ROM for $25 - I don't think this is what you were referring to, though...? 


Would you mind giving some more detail about where to locate the plans you refer to on the fornobravo site, pls?


Cheers
Ross

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Ross,


The link to the free plans and books on Forno Bravo is here: http://www.fornobravo.com/store/Instruction-Manuals-and-eBooks-p-1-c-.  You'll find it on the home page if you keep scrolling down on the right hand side.


CJ

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

Thanks, CJ. Appreciated.


Ross

BjornErik's picture
BjornErik

Here's a link to a smaller home-size adobe/clay oven.  This one was evidently built in a "no frost" area, so proper insulation of the slab base would be necessary.


http://www.grit.com/Tools/Backyard-Bread-Oven.aspx


 

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

I have been dreaming about this for sometime now. Alan Scott, one of the world's leading innovators and popularizers of outdoor ovens recently passed away, but he has a very good book entitled The Bread Builders - Scott is the authority. Also the Forno Bravo has free plans for excellent and beautiful outdoor ovens at thier web site www.fornobravo.com. Bernard Clayton has a very basic plan in the appendix of his revised Complete Book - very affordable and very very basic.

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

that there is no such thing as "a" wood burning oven. Rather, there are various styles of WFOs that are each best suited for a particular purpose and/or budget. (Tho' each will work in a pinch for other purposes  - just not quite as well.)


Therefore, your first task should be to decide how you want to use your oven, what you want to cook in it and how much space you have. For example, typical kit pizza ovens have thin walls that heat quickly and cook pizza well, but may not work so well for large/long bakes of bread or meats after the fire is raked out since they just can't store as much heat. Vaulted ovens with thick walls and domes store lots of heat and work well for long bakes, but take a LOT more wood to heat up and are inefficient and slow if all you want is to make a pizza or two. Similarly, you can build anything from an oven that will bake one loaf and heats with a few sticks, to an oven that will bake a hundred loaves and takes a LONG time to heat, using a LOT of wood. Your choice, but if you will typically only be baking 2 or 3 loaves, no point in building a behemoth that takes a cord of wood and half a day to fire.


Be aware of the compromises you will be faced with and make informed decisions before you start because once you build a WFO, it's pretty tough to change it. ;-)


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA


PS: Some pics of the process of building a Scott-style oven. (Note that there are a few changes that I'd make next time.)


http://www.flickr.com/photos/climbhipa/sets/72157613634415857/ 

ScottHall's picture
ScottHall

That is some straight talkin' my friend. Very good advice.

Lucy-Sue's picture
Lucy-Sue

Hi:  Thanks for the info.  I have not really taken the time to figure out what type of oven I would like.  I do know that I would like to cook 3-4 loaves of bread at a time, I would also like to cook pizzas and I never thought of meat?  I have lots to think of now.


 


Thanks again for saving me from making something that may not suite what I would like to do.


 


Lucy!

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

Been there, done that. LOVE IT! I built mine from Kiko Denzer's book as a guide. I used all reclaimed or recycled materials, scrounging around old construction sites, digging sand in a creek bed (somebody did, however, imply they would call the cops on me if I returned to the creek), clay  came from the whole I had to dig for a frost-line depth base, etc. I've used it for breads, pizza, and calzones, much to the delight of my family. Each of my teenagers had a backyard party where Dad served as the pizza chef (yes, I was actually welcomed by my teenagers). Their friends thought it was awesome. It was well worth the time and effort. I enjoy using it, and there's a certain degree of pride since I built it 99.9% on my own. 

BjornErik's picture
BjornErik

Here's a link to another oven, the Quebec Clay Oven, which is the style I hope to build.  It's an out of print book, but I have seen them available on occasion for more than I would ever pay.  I had to open the individual chapters (pdf) and then save them individually.


 http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/exhibitions/tresors/barbeau/mbp0501e.shtml


On the Forno Bravo site... you need to go to the "STORE" and then select 'e-books' from the menu on the left of the page.   There are several publications to chose from... Building a Pompeii Oven is one (about 100 pages).  They are all free.  (At the bottom of the page they offer the same publications for $10 each with the money going to the Christopher Reeves Foundation.)  You select 'BUY' and it will go to your shopping cart with a $0 charge.  When you check out you need to register (if you haven't already) then you will be e-mailed an invoice for $0, and another e-mail with a link to download the publication good for 72 hours... and another e-mail with your account information (name, address, etc.)... and then probably duplicates of everything you just got. 


Good luck!

dollhead's picture
dollhead

Hi all- I just downlaoded the forno bravo plans mentioned above as did my friend in Australia.  While I can bake good bread, I am a computer dummy-but my friend isn't.  Neither of us can open the plans to view them.  Any suggestions?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Are you referring to the Pompeii Oven plans?  First, did you get through the ordering process (they are processed as a zero-cost order) and receive the e-mail with the link to the download?


[I'll assume you are working with Microsoft Windows here.  If you are using Mac or Linux the steps will be different]


Once you have downloaded the file to your computer (usually to My Documents or a folder you designate), open Windows Explorer (or use the My Documents or My Computer shortcuts to drill down to the file).  You should see a file of the form


pompeii_oven_plans2.o.pdf.zip


The key here is the extension .ZIP - this file has been compressed using a Zip utility.  If you have Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later you can unzip the file right in Windows Explorer:  single-click the file, then right-click and chose the Extract All option.  That will bring up a wizard that asks you where you want to put the unzipped file name (you might want to use a more readable folder name than the suggested one) and then unzips the file to that location.  There you will find it is a PDF that can be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader.


If you don't have the Extract All option in your version of XP, or if you have an older version of Windows, you can install the free 7-Zip utility for zipping and unzipping files ( http://www.7-zip.org/ ).


Hope that helps - it is really a lot easier to do that to describe in words.


sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

If you are really interested in the practacalities of building a brick oven, I would also suggest visting traditionaloven.com, reading a bit on that site, and ordering Rado's CD of plans and detailed photographs ( http://www.traditionaloven.com/pizza_wood_oven/pizza_oven_3.html  ).  Besides being knowledgable and experienced in building ovens, Rado is a very funny writer.  Although possibly too helpful and practical for his own good:  I have a picture in my mind of him sitting at his kitchen table at midnight surround by 43 types of currency and stamps from around the world madly stuffing CDs into envelopes and trying to keep track of the postage!


sPh

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

The file is a pdf, so you need Adobe PDF reader to open it.  It's a free program available from Adobe.


CJ

dollhead's picture
dollhead

Thanks so much for your advice on opening plans.  We both have adobe reader.  Will try these instructions  & forward (this) webpage to my friend also.  You guys are great!!

dollhead's picture
dollhead

Thanks again everyone for the help.  I was able to open plans without a hitch!  They look really great.

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Ben,


There are many variables here, so a precise answer is not possible. Without knowing more about the oven your friends had, I couldn't hazard a guess on firing times.  It all depends on the amount of mass the oven has: a high mass oven (like mine) will take longer to bring up to heat from cold, but it will retain heat much longer (see proviso below).  I can get ten consecutive retained heat bakes from my oven without refiring, for example.  On the other hand, low mass ovens with a dome built of half bricks or modular pieces can be brought up to heat in two hours or so, but they will not retain heat for anywhere near as long.  The proviso is that a wood fired oven of any size, sort or design MUST be properly insulated both above the dome and below the hearth.  Without it, heat retention just does not happen for any appreciable length of time, the amount of fuel required is very large and a live fire is ordinarly required.  This is the case with adobe style ovens worldwide.


The size of the door is directly related to the size of the floor and the height of the dome.  A small, circular, low dome oven, for instance, will have a small door opening.  The larger the oven, the larger the door opening. This is a function of the ratio between the interior volume and the door size that has been well established since at least 79 AD in Pompeii.  Building a small oven with a large door (ignoring the ratios that is) will result in poor chimney draw and smoke coming out the front, rather than up the chimney. 


These are the main reasons that all the good plans out there, no matter for what type or who came up with them, pay careful attention to insulation and door/interior/chimney dynamics.


CJ

mistertimbee's picture
mistertimbee

I have just joined the site, from the UK.  I have a half built Kiko Denzer-model oven in the back garden; I was getting on okay with it last summer till a road accident (not my fault!) broke my sternum and I was off building duties, then the winter hit.  Looking forward to getting back to it all in the spring.


Happy building and baking!


Tim

William Alexander's picture
William Alexander

I built a Kiko Denzer oven, but buyer (or builder) beware: it's not, as he claims, a project that can be completed in a weekend, unless you buy the clay, and forgo a  base, two things that he admonishes against. You can view a gallery of building an earth oven, from cradle to grave (here'smy son digging the grave) here