1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

I spent most of Sunday building a clay oven - Lots of big pics

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scuzi, 29 May 2006.

  1. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10

    My dad seen a guy on TV who had a big clay oven in his back yard for baking bread and whatnot, and my dad being the impulsive sort that he is, just had to build one. On Friday I did a 120 mile round trip to a wee place called Swatragh to pick up 150Kg of 'Classic Red Clay'. It's a good job I wasn't stopped by the police, my boot looked like it had a large consignment of heroin stashed in it.

    Anyhow, we got around to building it yesterday. It started off with the platform which consisted of 2 flagstones held up by breeze blocks. On the platform was laid a layer of fire bricks which would form the base of the oven and would hold in the heat. To get the dome shape of the oven, we had to make a frame out of willow branches as you can see in the following picture. I didn't start taking pics until half way through so by the time I took this first pic we had begun to apply the clay.

    [​IMG]


    More clay is applied, leaving space for the doorway:
    [​IMG]


    The chimney is attached. We built the support for this out of standard breezeblocks, upon which the chimney (an old bit of clay/terracotta sewer pipe) rested. It was fixed in with cement and clay.
    [​IMG]


    The doorway begins to take shape:
    [​IMG]


    Cutting off more clay with the saw. The clay came in big 12.5Kg blocks:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10

    A view of inside the oven:
    [​IMG]


    A base is formed in front of the doorway. The outer surface is smoothed off:
    [​IMG]


    After writing our names in it and drawing various crap we have the finished product for the meantime, voila:
    [​IMG]


    It has to sit like that for a day or two to dry out a bit. Once that has happened, we'll light a fire in it, gradually bringing the temperature up to 300-400C to set the clay hard. During the firing, the willow frame will burn away. After the firing, all we need to do is fashion a door out of a big thick bit of oak and that will be it sorted.

    Some of you may ask why we did it. Cooking in this type of oven is different to a conventional oven as there is an even distribution of heat and moisture. Conventional fan ovens have a very dry heat whereas this oven retains a degree of moisture making cooking very fast and making the food very tasty. It can also be used as a smoker, to smoke all sorts of meat.

    I'll post more pics as we progress.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2006
  3. ElvisFan

    Mobster

    Joined: 4 Jan 2004

    Posts: 4,102

    Location: Sheffield, England

    Yoda's home it is.
     
  4. Lee2k4

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Aug 2004

    Posts: 3,524

    Location: Leeds, UK

    needs a Radar on the top tbh :p
     
  5. cheets64

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 30 Sep 2005

    Posts: 25,895

    Location: Wigan

    Seems like your dad is a proper garden nut, like mine.

    Not really seen this sort of stuff before, but i presume the clay will dry rock hard and the twigs indise will be either "nuked from orbit" or taken out.

    Be good inviting the the "propane" BBQ posh folk around for bank holiday feast.
     
  6. Kreeeee

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 13 Jul 2004

    Posts: 42,557

    Location: /* */

    Get a rain cover for that chimney.
     
  7. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10

    Yeah he is a bit of a garden nut, always has something going on out there. We've got a rain cover sorted for the chimney, I think it's just a shallow cone shaped bit of aluminium like those fitted to oil fired boilers.

    The neighbour dropped in for a nosey and his comment made me crap myself with laughter.

    "That's a bit of an elaborate doghouse! Are you going to build steps up to it so he can get into it?"

    It's like something Dino from the Flintstones would live in :D
     
  8. Greenlizard0

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 15 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,189

    Location: Liverpool

    Erm Scuzi how old are you?
     
  9. Cybermyk

    Soldato

    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 6,850

    Location: Peoples Republik of Teesside

    That'll be great for Pizza :)
     
  10. McDaniel

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Aug 2003

    Posts: 19,872

    Location: Southend-on-Sea

    that looks awesome

    good job
     
  11. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10

    Go on, guess......

    The children in the pics are my little cousins



    :p
     
  12. Zip

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jun 2005

    Posts: 20,224

    Location: Australia

    You're looking very young there Scuzi :p :D

    Edit: Beaten :(
     
  13. Greenlizard0

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 15 Mar 2004

    Posts: 28,189

    Location: Liverpool

    Ah fair. I thought you were one of those kids or something and I could have sword you'd be a bit older? :confused:
     
  14. Cybermyk

    Soldato

    Joined: 31 May 2005

    Posts: 6,850

    Location: Peoples Republik of Teesside

    Make sure it doesn't dry out too quick or it'll crack
     
  15. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10

    Why thank you! I don't get much sun and I don't eat a lot, it helps me look a lot younger than I really am ;)

    We're going to let it dry out in the wind a bit before lighting a fire in it. The temperature will slowly and gradually be raised to about 400C to set the clay. We've got a few spare bags aside in case it goes **** up on firing, but we've been told that 24 hours in the open should be plenty of time before firing it up.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2006
  16. Kainz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 15 Dec 2002

    Posts: 21,793

    Location: In a cowfield, London, UK

    Scuzi looks nothing like his 'Hi I'm Scuzi' photo! :( :p
     
  17. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    Wow nice work, looks like the kids had fun building it. i bet he will cook all sorts of stuff in that the first month or so then maybe once a year :p .

    Mark
     
  18. Zip

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Jun 2005

    Posts: 20,224

    Location: Australia

    Once you have put a fire in there do you need to put it out before you put what ever you are about to cook in there?

    I would imagine it would burn otherwise :confused:
     
  19. Mark A

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 18,015

    Location: Lancashire

    I was wondering that, i think you light a fire underneath it?.
     
  20. Scuzi

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 19,721

    Location: Жит&#10


    For best results a fire will be lit in it for about 2-3 hours to heat it up. The embers will then be removed and the clay and firebrick will maintain the temperature in the oven at around 300C for up to 8 hours.
    Another option is to keep the embers going in the base and cook stuff over a grate which can be set into it.