Last summer, I got hooked on the idea of baking pizza and bread outdoors in a wood-fired oven. Baking outside, in a super hot oven with a brick hearth, (the way bread is really meant to be baked) was a hugely appealing thought.
It became very clear to me that I wanted to build a cob oven, which would be fairly easy and quick to build, and very cheap, too. You can build your own cob oven for as little as what you might spend on a pizza delivery on a Friday night!
Cob is an ancient earthen building technique and is the simple combination of sand, clay, and straw. Mixed together, these ingredients create a super durable, long-lasting, heat-tolerant material for building outdoor ovens. (Homes have been built out of cob for thousands of years all over the globe!)
The Outdoor Pizza Oven: Cheap and Green
- Compared to masonry ovens, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and usually require cement in their construction (which has a huge embodied energy), a cob oven can be made from very simple, recycled, and locally available materials. They require little more than some sand, clay, straw, sawdust, some bricks, and a pile of rocks and few other recycled materials.
So I picked up a copy of Kiko Denzer’s Build Your Own Earth Oven, a little gem of a book covering the construction of cob ovens from the ground up. And in July, after I settled into my new house, I knew it was time to start building this oven I had been dreaming about, so I could finally make pizza the way it was meant to be baked: on a super hot brick hearth.
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