Aussies Living Simply

Backyard Clay Oven

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  • #257971

    Hi fellow ALSers

    Thought it would be the right place to share a project that I completed back in 2011. I made my very own backyard clay oven from clay dug from my very own suburban block, and made mostly from reused materials and cheap second hand stuff.

    You can read about it on my blog, which includes a YouTube video that was filmed during construction. I also documented the entire project including detailed plans in an eBook that I wrote. Use this link to view the video and the eBook here

    Hope it inspires a few to think about and construct this worthwhile backyard project. I had a ball building it with lots of help from friends and family over the period of about 4 months worth of weekends!

    Gav

    #534367
    Snags
    Member

    Looks fantastic and I’m sure it works well and delivers great food.

    My only suggestion when building an oven and cob is excellent and easy,is insulation

    top and bottom ..lots of it.

    More insulation less wood.

    Vermiculite and clay/ cement is excellent

    Rice husks, straw,sugar cane mulch or anything that will trap air in a clay mix is excellent.

    It adds a little to the build cost but saves a fortune in wood and keeps the heat in for days allowing bread baking and herb drying and yoghurt making etc etc .

    Fibre board and ceramic blanket if you want to go to the shops and buy the insulation.

    #534368

    Good tip Snags.

    I did add a lot of sugar cane mulch to the cob mix, increasing the percentage of sand/cane as I build further layers. It also has a cement render as the outer layer. Overall it is about 30 cm thick.

    It retains its heat overnight even without the door fitted, so I think it is well insulated. The slab underneath is a bit over 30 cm (bricks/sand/concrete) to help retain the heat.

    #534369
    mudhen
    Member

    Well done Gavin! It looks great and I love the fact that you used your own clay! Not something I would have thought of doing, but beneath the shallow layer of mulch and sand that covered most of my block in Adelaide is an almost impenetrable layer of clay. Shame the oven would take up most of my yard, otherwise I’d love to have one here. Sensible use for all that clay, and the excavation of it would increase the depth of good soil and compost we are slowly building up.

    #534370
    Snags
    Member

    greeningofgavin post=359044 wrote: Good tip Snags.

    I did add a lot of sugar cane mulch to the cob mix, increasing the percentage of sand/cane as I build further layers. It also has a cement render as the outer layer. Overall it is about 30 cm thick.

    It retains its heat overnight even without the door fitted, so I think it is well insulated. The slab underneath is a bit over 30 cm (bricks/sand/concrete) to help retain the heat.

    This is thermal mass not insulation

    If you want an oven that you use daily and never let it get cool you need lots of thermal mass,if you have an oven that you light occasionally and not use heaps of wood you want heaps of insulation.

    Commercial bread oven would be really thick and just have a small fire going constantly to maintain the heat saturation for daily baking.

    Pizza ovens that get used occasionally have thin walls about half a brick thick (100 mm)surrounded in insulation underneath and around.

    To heat up quick and stop the heat escaping.

    Either way they all still work its only a matter of more efficient use of wood.

    Do you bake bread in it?

    #534371
    Snags
    Member
    #534372

    Hi Snags,

    Yes we have, but only after it cools down from the initial cooking of pizza and roasted meats. After the roast comes out which usually takes a few hours to make it oh so tender, we pop in the bread, usually a cob loaf.

    We don’t use it daily, but it is designed with enough thermal mass so that we could if needs be.

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