Wood-fired ovens make not only the best pizza, but also improve the flavor and cooking of almost any dish (due to their unique “triple-heat” capability). In addition, a well-insulated oven can hold heat for hours (or days), which makes it a useful and efficient tool for cooking lots of food with not much fuel.
It seems that almost everyone wants one â€” in the backyard, in the kitchen, or on the patio. And while it’s (more or less) easy to build â€” in mud, or brick â€” it takes time and practice to learn how to make the most of it. Here’s our collection of the best questions, answers, and stories about design, construction, and use of the oven, from a variety of authoritative sources, including:
â€¢ Kiko Denzer, artist, builder, and author of Build Your Own Earth Oven,
â€¢ Max and Eva Edleson, masons, artists, oven- and heater-builders, and owners of Firespeaking (Masonry heaters, wood-fired ovens, natural building), and authors of Build Your Own Barrel Oven
â€¢ The handprintpress earth oven FAQ page
â€¢ readers and other oven builders and pyromaniacs…
And you! Please add stories, recipes, questions, sources, and experiences. And while we started out with a definite bias toward mud as the best and most democratic material (not to mention cheapest), we work (commercially and otherwise) with brick and hi-tech, commercial materials as well. So it’s all up for discussion. Here are some ways you can participate:
- Answers to frequently asked oven questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, ask and we’ll do our best to get you a good answer…
- Share what you’ve built! See others’ ovens and outdoor cooking arrangements
- The Oven Connection – Get help locating, hosting, teaching, or finding students for a workshop in your area
In addition, here are some of our favorite sources for knowledge, info, and good questions:
- The Masonry Heater Association: a gathering of professional and amateur builders and users of wood-fired heat, both for cooking and staying warm when its cold. Their listserve is active and extremely informative. And their brick oven page is a great source of links and info.
- Yahoo Groups Brick Oven Group: people all over the US (and elsewhere) who have built, are building, or want to build a wood-fired oven â€” many of them end up helping each other with anything from sourcing materials, to building, to recipes and other technical details.
- The Rocket Stove Discussion board, a group of experimenters and pyromaniacs who are pushing the edge of the wood-fired envelope with new designs and techniques â€” mostly on stoves for heating. (We sell the book!)
- 2017 workshops with Kiko Denzer: earth ovens, spoon carving, scything, & more!
- earth oven building errors to avoid
- Earth Oven builders in Ecuador, Manuel (10), Juan Carlos (6)
- Wood-fired, earth-oven pizza grows a family business in Cedar City UT
- Wood-fired earth ovens: experiments in DIY firebrick (aka “castable refractory”)
- Combining Earthen and Masonry Techniques in Wood-Fired Oven Construction
- UK Earth Oven Project to help Bedouins
- New Rocket Oven design by Flip and John
- Bluegoat Restaurant Oven, w/insulation-in-a-basket
- Earth Oven variant: insulation in a basket over jumping bricks!
- Build Your Own Barrel Oven Book!
- Hawaiian School Garden oven
- Cob oven ‘zine from Jorie Kennedy and Lizzy Rieke
- Roberto Monge’s Oven Story
- Lily Gordon, 16, helps build ovens in Tanzania
- Rainer Warzecha, sculptor, oven mason, collaborator, Germany
- Ian Miller, baker, oven builder, translator
- Ovens, builders, a new (oven) book for German readers
- New Community Oven in New Jersey
- Heat your masonry oven with a clean, top-down fire
- Adjusting mass for optimal performance
- Guest Article: An Earthen Oven Odyssey by Joe Kennedy
- Terra Preta and “the Biochar Solution”
- Alan Scott, Brick Ovens, A Marriage
- How Wide A Door?
- Kiko’s Recommended Oven Links
- Dan Wing on Trailers for Mobile Ovens
- Michael Pollan, a Cob Oven, & the NY Times
- Adding masonry to increase wood stove efficiency
- the upside down fire
- Frequently Asked Oven Questions
- ovens and efficiency
- Noah Elbers on earth vs brick ovens
- Oven dome height for different size ovens
- new commercial oven at CSA farm
- oven journal: details of fire & food
- oven fuel, firing times, and insulation
- cob ovens on trailers
- waterglass for binding earthen surfaces & pigment