Aussies Living Simply

Show us your Cob Oven!

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    We are thinking about converting an old brick bbq (ugly and useless :blink: ) into a cob or clay oven (fantastic and fabulous! :tup: )

    Have any of you done this? I’m sure lots of you are way ahead of me here and have some expert advice to share :hug:

    I’ve seen Doc’s post and original instructions (mucho gracias Doc!) here..

    ….which has given me some ideas. Our would be a little different in structure though as we are hoping to build it on top of the solid bbq plate which is mortar-ed into the bricks at about chest height. Not sure if that would work? :shrug: There is a big space under it for storing the wood.

    I’d like to decorate the outside with our kids, they love ‘special stones and rocks’ for projects!

    And I’m not sure how to make a door on it…. and how the door doesn’t actually burn down :S

    SO- I’d love to see an pics of YOUR cob oven/ clay oven whatever else you might like to call it 🙂 I need some more inspiration and ideas!


    The door is made from any bits of hardwood you may have lying around or can pinch from somewhere else 😉

    It would only be on after the fired logs/sticks etc have caused the mass to become hot enough to use.

    The door should not burn when it is on/closed because by then you have removed the coals but due to the nature of the beast, it can still get quite warm :jawdrop:

    More info including cooking times etc over here

    Love, peace and mung beans

    Doc 😉


    Not mine and not hugely informative, but I’ve had some lovely meals from this oven in Moss Vale:


    I’m not sure if this is covered in any of the links or not but make sure the bricks are solid – hollow bricks explode


    lisanne post=321089 wrote: I’m not sure if this is covered in any of the links or not but make sure the bricks are solid – hollow bricks explode

    :jawdrop: :jawdrop: Crikey! That’s a pretty important point to note then! Thanks Lisanne.

    The more I’ve googling into this, the less it seems workable to build the base on the BBQ plate. It is set solid, no way its moving anywhere, but I’m wondering if it might be a problem that it isn’t solid underneath? :shrug: As I mentioned there is a big space under (brick walls on 3 sides) to hold the wood, and everyone else seems to have built on a solid base, which I understand is for insulation (and probably also because cob ovens can’t just levitate in mid-air :blink: ) So if I don’t have as ‘insulated’ a base, the heat might just run away everywhere…. 😛

    Anyway, I have a few books on order from the library so I’ll read up a bit more. And given that we have enough rain at the moment to float a boat, there is no cob-building happening this weekend!


    The cob oven, my mother and I built about 5yrs ago still stands in her front yard today. We made it in 2 days from reclaimed materials and it cost a whopping $35 to build. We went for the simple and traditional igloo type with hand sculpted door. First we built a foundation from found concrete blocks in the backyard about 2ft high. We built a circular and hollow foundation then filled the middle up with rubble also from the backyard. A layer of beach sand was laid down to create a smooth and flat surface. We then laid kiln bricks on top of the sand, its important to use this brick type on the inside as the temperatures can get pretty high.

    Beach sand was then piled up on top and sculpted into a beautiful high dome. The concrete mixer came out, in went straw, clay dug up out of the garden and some sand. We then placed handfuls of our cob all over the sand dome until it was about 6-10 inches thick all over. A round opening was left in the front for the door. Our door size was sheer dumb luck correct but we later found out it needs to be about 30% of the height and width of the dome for the oven to work correctly. We got a little artistic and then sculpted a fish on top of the base oven, with the door as its mouth and a tail and fins running down the sides of the foundation. The oven was left to dry and the sand dug out. A low fire was then lit and tended for many hours to help dry out in the inside. A street party was held to

    christen the oven and it cooked wonderful, pizza’s, roasts and other goodies all night.

    Its a very simple project anyone without skills can make. And it’s easy to make it aesthetically pleasing as well.

    When I buy my land a cob oven is the very first thing I will build on it, even before a house.

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