The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

meat cooking

yozzause's picture

meat cooking

The wood fired oven has worked wonderfully well for both pizza and bread to date with great results, but it is now time  to some serious meat cooking i would be pleased to hear from some of the woodies on their exploits with meats.

Some of the students here at TAFE are interested in cooking  / baking a whole piglet in the near future for their graduation.

I am going to have a bit of a practice day with a number of items chickens, pork legs etc on a friday after the students have finished with the oven for pizzas at lunch time. (cant waste that heat)

 Any suggestions on cooking with some fire in or out meat covered or uncovered as a bit of a giude could save me from re-inventing the wheel

I have added a shot of the oven built from plans from traditionaloven showing the size  

regards yozza

SylviaH's picture

Hello, yozza!  This is what I have come up with to roast in a wfo.  I have not tried a piglet but I bet one would fit in these foil roasting pans!  I'm sure others have their favorite ways.  Since the oven is going to have the coals still in it from the pizzas.  I leave the dying coals in the oven for the roasts, chicken, turkey if you like the wood smoked flavor or you can sweep the oven out and bake/roast.  I like to leave the dying coals in and sweep them to the side when for roasting.  When I do a turkey/roast.  I put it in a foil pan and use another foil pan to cover it and set it onto a cookie sheet and then that goes ontop of a couple of firebricks.  Leaving the coals pushed around the sides of the oven.  The turkey roasts beautifully and has a wonderful smoked flavor.  The same can be done with roasts.  No messy cleanup using the foil roasting pans.  I use a meat thermo.   I usually burn oak wood.  November will be here before long!   


yozzause's picture

Thanks sylvia looks good and the shot of the oven looks good too, how long did the turkey take toget its nice tan.

i've read a bit about beer can chickens so i think i will be giving that a try too. i will have to remember to take some pictures 

CanuckJim's picture


Go to the home page at Scroll down, and on the right hand side you'll see mention of free e-books, one of which is on general wood fired cooking.  It was a collaborative effort, with contributors from around the world, me included.  The acknowledged guru of general cooking, among us at least, is Jim Q, who splits his time between Spain and southwestern Michigan.  Jim Q and I were on the editorial team for all the titles.  You do have to register to get a download key sent to you (keeps spammers out), but the books are free in pdf format.  Check out the basic WFO bread cookbook I wrote for them, too.  It has a lot more to do with WFO technique than recipes.


SylviaH's picture

Yozza,  If I remember correctly it was a very large stuffed bird, about 18lbs.  I had a thermo. inserted in the thigh.  I think it was around 4 hrs. maybe a little longer.  Some info and more photos were lost when we got our new server on TFL.  I do remember we also roasted a turkey the same size indoors and they were both done within about 45min. of each other.  Towards the end we also did pies.

 Thank you, Yozza! This is a photo of about half of beautiful very elaborate outdoor kitchen that has everything at my daughters home they built and this was the first turkey cooked.  I have the oven at my home.  There is tons of info at this site as suggested by CJ.



yozzause's picture

thanks cj and sylvia very useful information, having a go this friday regards yozza

ClimbHi's picture

I've never cooked a whole pig, but I have cooked a lot of piglet-sized pork butts in our WFO. We generally do a dry rub and pop it in the oven after our primary cooking, when it's down to 350° or less. If we want to smoke the meat a bit, we just build (or leave, depending on what we were doing prior) a very small fire off to the side and add wood chips to the coals for the first few hours.

We put the meat in a pan, elevated to keep it out of the rendered fat that gathers in the pan. We let the meat cook, uncovered for 12-14 hours. During this time, the temps drop from around 300° to around 200°.

The long, slow cooking is just the ticket for pork. The meat literally drops off the bone. It does develop a "crust", which we just put in the food processor and add back in to the pulled pork to retain the spices.

We also do smoked beer-can chickens, turkey, ribs -- you name it. (There are some photos I posted in another thread - "One Fire, Many Foods" - showing some ribs.) It's all kind of common sense stuff once you learn the knack of temperature control with your oven.

Pittsburgh, PA

yozzause's picture

Well the test cook went ahead, i had a free range chicken that i cooked as a beer can chicken, great american idea that although us aussies do like our beer ice cold or certainly the stuff we are going to be drinking!
The chook (Australian for chicken) was done in 2 hours this is with only the residual heat. For company the chook had a 10.4kg leg of pork in the oven covered with alfoil as i wasn't sure if it would colour to quickly.
The oven was available after the students had used it for a pizza cooking session,they also prepared the meats and put them in the oven for me. There was no problem the chicken was out in time for knock off.
It was clear the pork was going to take a lot longer so i volunteered to come back later that evening to remove the pork.
As it was we went out for dinner and it was later than i intended when i did get back,so in complete darkness i removed the pork from the oven 8 hours after it went in. Fortunately my eyes were becoming acustomed to the dark and i was able to remove the leg from the tray that had a lot of fat in it I transfered the leg to another tray and put it in the boot of the car. At home the aroma was just overwhelming the leg stayed in the laundry overnight to cool and set after i had removed the alfoil.
Next morning the aroma was still pervading and time to slice into the leg, the skin had all but dissolved it wasn't crispy as it had been covered the whole time in the oven.
The meat sliced beautifully and was just falling apart it was very moist as it had cooked in its own juices it was devine.
There was pork for all and a big plate taken to work for all those who were interested to see how it had gone.
It seems as there may be a change of plans for the studnts graduation and they maybe going with a bush tucker theme. So we may be using camp ovens for cooking and billy tea, it will be for them to decide but we will be using the WFO one way or the other. unfortuanetly i took no photos but there may be some the students took. ialso now have a new camera so phots will come in future
regard yozza

korish's picture

Stake in our oven, I tell you it's the best stake I had. After cooking pizza we had some coals in the back of the oven so I threw few more pieces of wood to keep the fire going and laid a metal mash on the bottom of the oven. It is best to use one that can fit through the opening because it is so hot in the oven we put the stake on the metal mesh and then slid it inside.

It cooked so fast and seared on both side without even flipping it around. If you ever had stake at Ruth's Chris stake house that's how this one tastes.

Next time I will be cooking stake I will make sure to take some pictures of the process.

But I can't wait for my next bake in the oven so I can finish it off with some stake.


My oven