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Build Your Own Wood Fired Brick Oven


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We built one, using plans downloaded from Forno Bravo. It was a big project. Actually I'll get my husband to chime in, because he's the one who built it. By the way, it turned out great and we have made some awesome pizza.

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We (husband, me, and help from friends) built a wood oven using the cob method this past summer. Going the cob route seemed easier with less masonry skills to us, not to mention seemed a quicker route to pizzas. While not as pretty as a fully brick version, it has a rustic charm and holds heat well. We started with laying a cement foundation, then a cinder block oven base for wood storage, added a brick facade (to hide cinder block) and then laid a concrete hearth slab. On top of that was the fire brick floor of the oven and then the cob dome. In all, it was about 30 sessions of work.

Thus far we've made pizza, chicken wings, roasted whole fish (very tasty), roasted meat and vegetables, Turkish pizza (lachmacun), s'mores, bread and a fan-favorite: Two Amys-esque roasted olives (with orange peel and rosemary).

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Building a brick oven has been in the back of my mind for years. Besides the fact that I'm not very good at building things, I'm held back by the concern that I won't use it as much as I'd like because of the pre-pizza work involved. Don't you essentially have to plan half a day to start the fire, keep it going and heat the oven for at least a couple of hours before baking? When all this work goes into a 5 minute bake, I just can't justify the time outlay. Now, for baking bread, I can see the advantages.

I remember being in my mother-in-law's little town of Neudorf in Germany when they happened to be building a new community oven for the village. The base was about 6 feet square and 3 feet tall with concrete blocks as the outer layer. Hundreds of pounds of broken glass about 1/4-1/2" thick were within the walls. I'm not sure what happened after that was laid, though. I'm guessing concrete was poured in and filled all the spaces.

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Was not picture worthy yet...didn't get hot enough. Still concerned about over heating the oven before its ready. We did cook a few pizza's but the oven only got up to about 600 degree's.

I was actually talking about oven pics. :)

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That's a lovely oven, & I would imagine cleanup would be pretty easy, just shoveling/scraping out ashes, right? That's the only thing I dislike about smoking on my Weber Smoky Mt.-scrubbing the grills, & cleaning out the nasty, foil-lined water pan. The ashes are the easiest part, I throw them in my not really very active compost pile, covered w/ a shovel of compost/leaves.

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