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new cob oven issue...maybe, possibly  RSS feed

 
Janet Schultz
Posts: 4
Location: Alberta
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Maybe I have a problem, possibly. Okay from the beginning. I finally got the base of the bake oven, fire pit built using re-purposed marble and granite scraps so we managed to get the first 4 inch thick dome done and being impatient we lit a fire in it before the next 6 inch thick insulating layer built and on. It didn't hold heat the way I hoped, it fired okay, but only did one foccacia bread before it seemed to have cool right down.
So has anyone built an oven and am I just being impatient and need to get the next layer on in order to hold that heat before I will get the promised Neapolitan pizza in less than 5 minutes. Right now the whole thing is safely wrapped in a tarp under feet of snow, granted the second it warms up it starts to melt out long before the hip deep drifts that surround it. I have lots of time like until the middle of June at least before it will be time to build that final dome and hopefully we will have argued out the final design. We have had a few weeks of bitter cold and now we are back up around the freezing mark. I will see more minus fifty before the end of the season for at least a week or two yet. We have had a very weird winter....so I will also see how everything settled out over the winter as well. There were a couple of cracks when it was drying but they never really got worse when it fired.
I have heard that some people can judge their oven temps by the cracks....talk to me fellow cobbers it seemed like such a great idea when I picked up the book and said "Sure how hard can it be?"....and then I started hauling rock, sand, clay, mortar and bricks.
cheers from the great white north zone 2b/3a
Bina
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3729
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Show us some pics!
Here's what my cob oven looked like at it's best:

And here's what it looks like now:


It did work! It did get above 600° and it did hold heat for a long long time and cooked a pizza fast!
But... if your in a cold, humid climate and it's not protected from the elements it'll end up like mine! I may one day re-build with brick.

Occasionally, Paul will say, "Hey, 2005 called and they want their cob oven back." What's the emoticon for a grimace?
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 303
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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You can make great pizza in an uninsulated oven - the trick is to keep a fire burning on one side of the oven, so flames keep licking up and maintaining the heat of the dome. Great pizza needs 700F, so even in an insulated oven you need to keep a small fire going to prevent it cooling down.

You didn't say how long you fired before baking. It takes me 3 hours to fully heat my (heavily insulated) cob oven.
[cob oven blog posts]
 
Janet Schultz
Posts: 4
Location: Alberta
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The grimace more for not quite knowing if I have messed up or not. And when I thought how much work could it be I found out. Making sure I protect up here in the great white north was an automatic. I originally looked at the beaver tail design used by the settlers in Quebec. I also looked at building cob structures and cordwood structures so have a weird appreciation of overhangs, and tarps. Historically and into present day building code situations it all calls for.
Another reason for the grimace all the free labor that I put into making this thing. I hauled in my little car about 15 tons of marble at least ten of which went into the base of the fire pit and I have a labradorite fire pit bottom and hearth front. I will put a ring around the whole shibang with a kind of pergola I have planted arctic kiwis, honeysuckles and some great soapworts. and will add medicinal, culinary, and pollinator flowers as I go may add a couple roses to the side that faces the rhododendrons. I got them for five bucks each and could not resist, they bloomed this past spring/summer a vivid lipstick pink. Will post two sets of photos asap and will keep you posted the debate is between beehive, snail shell, classic dome and conning three artist sons into making me a dragon....
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Janet Schultz wrote:The grimace more for not quite knowing if I have messed up or not.


Oh, I wasn't talking about your eye roll emoticon, I mean I would've used one myself if I could find the appropriate one!
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Janet Schultz wrote:I have planted arctic kiwis,...


Just be really careful with the kiwis. They can be very aggressive. We had to move the ones we planted along our garden fence.
 
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