How To Build A Clay Outdoor Oven
Build a clay outdoor oven and enjoy making pizza or bread in your backyard in the company of guests for a party. Making a clay oven in the backyard is loads of fun and one can indulge in it alone. Remember those good old caveman days, when our ancestors made something similar and cooked their food. This would be going back in time and re-creating the same scenario in your backyard or garden.
Outdoor Clay Oven
Building an outdoor clay oven is very easy and you don’t have to be a professional to do it. Just make sure you get all the material required ahead of time to avoid running mid-way through to fetch them. The final finished product is worth all the time and energy and what’s more, you will have something to ‘show and tell’ your party guests.
There are several types of clay ovens out there. There are the pizza ovens, wood-fired ovens, outdoor ovens, brick bread ovens, earthen ovens and the cob ovens. Traditionally the ovens are made with clay and sand, with bricks also included sometimes in the structure.
Bricks, clay, sand, shovel, chimney pipe, buckets and water are needed. Some include straw into the mixture to give it a binding consistency. The sand: clay ratio is 2:1 for better results.
You need a wooden platform or a brick platform to set-up the clay oven. Wooden logs of required size can be purchased from any Home Depot store. Get a couple of pieces more than calculated, just in case. You could also use a brick platform to mount the clay oven at 2-3 ft height.
Mix the sand and clay in the ratio of 2:1 with water. Stomp on this mixture and puddle it all together. The more you stomp the better the mixture gets. Invite the kids and your neighbors too for the mixing session (just to turn it into a fun session!!!). Make sure the mixture is not too runny but strong enough to hold it all together in consistency.
Make a mold of the oven and slather the clay-sand mixture in a thick layer on top of it to make a dome shape.
Make sure you leave a front opening and a chimney hole for the pipe or exhaust.
The back hole is where you could put the firewood and the front brick space can be used for the food-cooking.
After you slather your paste all over, insert the chimney pipe in the side of the dome.
With a thick pasty consistency of the mixture, plaster the inside of the dome.
Apply a water-clay mixture on top of the sand. Cover the entire dome with this for a rigid structure. This should be at least 6 inch in thickness and add a couple of more layers to this, just to be sure.
Remove the stuffing inside that was the mold. The dome should be dried for a week. Remove all the excess building material and debris by thoroughly cleaning inside.
Once the structure is dried, cleaned and ready to use build a small fire in the back and temper the structure by burning for 2-3 hours.
Your outdoor clay oven is built and ready for a test–drive. Go on and invite your neighbors and friends for a pizza party. Make the pizza from scratch and watch it cook in the oven. The crunchy crust and melting cheese will gladden your heart and bring on the appetite.
Building a clay outdoor oven is easy and you might inspire your friends also to make one.
Image credit: clayoven.wordpress.com
Video credit: You Tube