Author Topic: Building a Traditional Clay Oven  (Read 44898 times)

Offline Roswell

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #60 on: November 08, 2009, 01:33:54 PM »
Synaptoman, you rock! that looks sooooo good!  Did you have any trouble getting the Potjie in or especially out (because it would be super hot) of the oven without spilling it or burning yourself?

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2009, 03:26:48 AM »
The eBook is now complete and has been sent free of charge to the lucky few who requested it in time.  It is now available as a FREE DOWNLOAD for members of the MSB.  The eBook can also be purchased from my web site at http://www.synaptoman.com



Thank you one and all for your comments and encouragement in this project.


Offline Roswell

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #62 on: November 10, 2009, 06:12:14 AM »
The eBook is now complete and has been sent free of charge to the lucky few who requested it in time.  It is now available as a FREE DOWNLOAD for members of the MSB.  The eBook can also be purchased from my web site at http://www.synaptoman.com



Thank you one and all for your comments and encouragement in this project.



You are racking up the +1s my friend! I saw that in the MSB email. That is great. I checked out your site great stuff. You have done an awesome job with everything!

BTW, what program do you use to write your ebooks with?

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #63 on: November 10, 2009, 06:38:27 AM »
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BTW, what program do you use to write your ebooks with?

Just plain old OpenOffice Write and then convert to PDF.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #64 on: November 11, 2009, 02:14:47 PM »
Thanks a bunch, synaptoman... I just downloaded from the MSB site and uploaded to the Kindle. Looking forward to reading it. +1

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #65 on: November 11, 2009, 09:37:38 PM »
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Thanks a bunch, synaptoman... I just downloaded from the MSB site and uploaded to the Kindle. Looking forward to reading it. +1

Enjoy.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #66 on: November 15, 2009, 06:14:19 PM »
Thanks for all you have shared on this!

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #67 on: November 16, 2009, 12:18:12 AM »
How on earth, pun intended, did I miss this?! Wow!

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #68 on: November 16, 2009, 09:00:39 AM »
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How on earth, pun intended, did I miss this?! Wow!

"Oven"tually, you found it !!   ;D

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #69 on: November 16, 2009, 01:24:03 PM »
"Oven"tually, you found it !!   ;D
Thank you. Your appreciation of my punnery warms the cockles of my heart. Between this thread and the 'Build Your Own Earth Oven' book I should be able to whip something up!

Offline Gas-Mask

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2009, 07:47:03 PM »
I am yet to find anything that can't be cooked in the trusty clay oven.

Today it was the turn of a (as we call it in South Africa)  "Potjie" or cast iron pot, like this;



I decided on something relatively quick and easy, a Seafood Gumbo!!.  Here is the raw ingredient, a mixed seafood medley.



Other ingredients included chopped tomatoes, potatoes, apple, onions and coconut milk.

The cooking time was about 1/3 of what it would take over a normal fire as it gets heat from both the coals under the pot and the heat all around it in the oven.



And here is the end result.



And plated on rice.



This will be one of the featured recipes in the soon-to-be-completed, eBook.

Anything else anyone would like me to try ?


You done started something..... :-\   Wife is looking at your thread and is telling me that she's getting hungry and she can't believe the cost!  Cuzz those $13 would cover maybe half the bottle in 90201.  And she don't even drink ??? ....  And she's pointing out how that man (you) likes to cook and that you (me  :-[) used to cook like that.  And why I should cook more again.   I told her that if I could build one of them ovens, I would be cooking up a storm  ;).... LOL!!!!!!

Offline jetta2337

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2009, 08:30:10 AM »
I found that most places that deal with firebrick (Stores that sell stoves and fireplaces) will throw away the broke firebrick. I am having a store save some up for me that are broke and going to just cut away the broke part make straight edges and just piece it together.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2009, 04:08:53 PM »
I found this source for firebricks. $1.53-$2.16 a brick seems quite reasonable for them -- is that expensive? I know shipping is an additional cost but I figured I would take that price and go comparison shopping.

Offline jpommer

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2009, 06:53:10 PM »
I have read in the past that one can make firebrick at home, by combining clay, sand and sawdust. The sawdust burns away when the brick is fired, leaving pores inside that allows heat to escape rather than cause expansion fractures. A firebrick made in this manner with the appropriate proportions should float in water. Sorry, I haven't found any good sources of this to support my ravings.

Brilliant job on the oven!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2009, 04:11:56 AM »
(I hope you don't mind, Synaptoman......)

From http://www.fornobravo.com/pompeii_oven/brick_primer.html

Brick Primer: Choosing the Right Brick Oven Bricks 
Deciding what type of brick you will use is one of the first choices you will have to make when starting to build a Pompeii Oven. You will use brick in the cooking floor, the oven dome and perhaps for your decorative vent arch, oven landing and other decorative trim.

This page explains the different types of bricks and what the trade-offs are between them. It should help you decide what types of brick you are going to use, and it can help you find the right brick at your local masonry supply store. It might be useful to take this page with you when you go shopping.

Here are some basic brick types:

Medium duty firebrick. This is the brick that we recommend for both the cooking floor and dome of the Pompeii oven. medium duty firebricks are comprised of roughly 35% alumina and 50% silica, heat up quickly, easily withstand the 900F heat your oven will reach, and are designed for the rapid heat-up and cool down (thermal cycling) that your oven will experience. Firebrick will also reach the heat required for pizza more quickly than clay brick, as they are more efficient at conducting heat.

Further, because firebrick is designed to withstand thermal cycling, your oven will last longer, though for most home ovens this is not an important issue, and your oven will probably outlast you whichever brick you choose.

When choosing your firebrick, look for a brick with straight edges for your cooking floor. It is important that the bricks in the floor fit snuggly against each other, and a curved edge will result in a gap between the bricks and in your cooking floor.

A typical firebrick measures 9"x4.5"x2.5", weighs about 8 pounds and is yellow. The price of a good quality firebrick should be around $1.20.

Red clay brick. This is the traditional red clay brick that you find at Home Depot and at masonry supply stores. Clay bricks are made from clay, and fired in a kiln. They are typically made from local clay, as shipping is too expensive, and fired to between 2000F - 3000F (high enough to fuse the minerals). You can use clay brick in the oven dome, but we would not recommend using them in the oven floor. There are trade-offs to consider.

There are two shortcoming to using a clay brick in your oven dome. First, thermal cycling will cause clay brick to spall, where little pieces of the brick flake off, and could cause individual clay bricks to crack. It has happened to us. Second, clay brick is not as good a conductor as fire brick and as a result will take longer to heat up.

Still, you can find clay bricks for about $.50 at Home Depot, which make them the most cost-effective option.

Our view is that unless cost is a prohibiting factor, we would recommend firebrick. For example, a 42" oven some has roughly 180 bricks in the dome, so the difference in brick cost should be around $100. In the context of the overall cost of the oven, and large amount of human capital you will be investing in your oven, we think the extra cost of worth it.

If your choice is to build your oven with clay brick or not at all, we would strongly recommend building your oven with clay brick.

Red clay bricks are typically used for building the decorative arch and optional sides around the oven vent and vent landing, and can be used for any decorative feature.

There are three types of brick that you should avoid.

Concrete brick. These are the concrete bricks you see at Home Depot for about $.12. They are made from standard Portland cement-based concrete and are air dried, not kiln fired. They will not withstand the heat inside your oven.

High duty fire brick. These brick have very high alumina content, get very hot (1500F and up) and are designed for continual high-heat applications, such as furnaces. They are expensive, and will get too hot for some of your oven uses, such as baking bread and roasting. In general, pizza wants heat between 750F and 900F, while bread and roasts cooks best between 500F and 600F. (Note that brick ovens are able to cook at higher temperatures without burning because of the moist heat inside the oven and shorter cooking times.)

Insulating fire brick. These light-weight refractory bricks are designed to stop heat, and as such have low conduction and low heating holding capacity. They are often used to insulate industrial equipment. A typical insulating fire brick weighs about 2 lbs, compared with an 8 lb standard duty firebrick.
 

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2009, 04:42:02 AM »
From http://www.fornobravo.com/pompeii_oven/brick_primer.html
That site has a nice series of videos for bread baking by the way. Thanks for the link!

Offline catherine

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2009, 10:48:56 AM »
Thank you for posting this. This will be my first project of the spring just got to ask the neighbours to excavate some clay from their garden.

Catherine

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #77 on: December 02, 2009, 11:39:31 PM »
Thank you for posting this. This will be my first project of the spring just got to ask the neighbours to excavate some clay from their garden.
Be sure to do a thorough soil test before you use the clay. You can start with a 'snake test' and go from there.

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #78 on: December 03, 2009, 09:15:16 AM »
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(I hope you don't mind, Synaptoman......)

Not at all.  Great link !!

Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2009, 09:19:53 AM »
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And she's pointing out how that man (you) likes to cook and that you (me  Embarrassed) used to cook like that.

Just tell the wife that I only cook the "fun" stuff.  My definition of "fun" cooking involves cooking outside with lot's of flames, smoke and beer !!

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #80 on: December 09, 2009, 01:10:52 PM »
As a former brick-oven pizza cook (college job), your setup looks great. Our commercial brick oven had a chimney and was big enough to get 4 large pizzas in at the same time. Average cooking temp was around 850-900*F.

One tip for pizzas, spread some corn meal on your peel - keeps your crust from sticking and makes it easy to slide off. This also keeps the bottom nice and crisp.


Offline Synaptoman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #81 on: December 14, 2009, 07:52:38 AM »
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One tip for pizzas, spread some corn meal on your peel - keeps your crust from sticking and makes it easy to slide off. This also keeps the bottom nice and crisp.

Thanks for the tip  +1

Offline drag0nk1ng

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #82 on: August 19, 2010, 08:32:49 PM »
Love it, Love it , Love it. I can't wait to try this one!!

Offline Remman

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Re: Building a Traditional Clay Oven
« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2010, 10:38:02 PM »
I dig it