I have been away for a long time and now have a new property and already have slow combustion and pot belly stoves in the main house and garage and plenty of trees on property to provide more fuel than I could burn.
What I want to turn my attention to is a wood fired bread oven or perhaps a more simpler project pizza oven and was thinking why not use rocket heater methods to bring the interior of the brick/pizza oven to cooking temperature as rapidly as possible and with the least use of fuel wood.
Has anyone gone down this path yet? I vaguely remember years back when first searching the net I stumbled across someone who did work in Africa and had a drawing of a bread oven design for shared use by the village that was made from brick but have lost all my links since then from going through multiple moves.
Im interested in this as well. Im not positive but I think that the secondary gases could go to a chamber around the oven, or under it and that will heat the standard pizza oven. I imagine you would need a vent on it to control the temperature for the oven.
permaculture wiki: www.permies.com/permaculture
posted 8 years ago
I answered my own quest.
I found the original site and document on building rocket fired bread oven.
Looks good, but... this is a production oven meant for bread and lots of it. it appears to be a fire while you bake style, but there is enough mass that cooking might continue for some time after firing stops. I don't think it could get hot enough for the 90 second pizza without damage to the cook chamber... besides which a pizza oven should be hotter on top than bottom... this one is hotter on the bottom.
I never saw that link before, but I mentioned in a different post that I built several rocket heated cob ovens after talking with my friend Ernie and realizing that of course it had been done before. Let me know if have any issues with whatever you build. All of mine run really smoothly. You still have to sweep out some ash, but its out of the rocket feed tube down low.
Need more info?
Earthen Hand Natural Building
"If everyone makes a difference, the world will be different."
This wood fired pizza oven is made from adobe/cob. A main component is a 55 gallon barrel that acts as the oven. I like how the hinges are placed just right so it is gravity that keeps it closed. I have video of cob ovens, but this is definitely not a cob oven. Even though it is an oven and it looks like it is made of cob. This design keeps the smoke and fire seperate from the pizza.
Alexia Allen of Hawthorn Farm in Woodinville, Washington, has cooked many pizzas in this wood fired oven. And she says that she almost always starts the fire with a bow drill. Alexia has worked for many years as a wilderness skills instructor, so bow drill fire making is something she has not only practiced many times, but taught to hundreds.
For the bow drill fire making part of this video I have tried to not edit any of it out. I was amazed at how she could get a fire going so fast!
We cooked about seven pizzas that night. Plus Kyle Koloini's calzone.
The barrel oven looks like a great reuse of things. One thing I have been wondering about brick ovens for bread or pizza is how much the brick/cob soaks up steam while being fired. I ask because of a comment made by someone who cooks pizza in wood fired ovens for a living. His comment was that he found coal or gas firing to be too dry. Coal (carbon) makes sense as the output would be CO2. Natural gas on the other hand does generate some water as part of the burning process. But wood has some percent of water in the wood as well. I guess that makes a difference.
Now in his case the fire is still burning while baking, but in the case of bread, the fire is out. Yet in a brick oven no extra steam is needed, but a gas oven comes with a steaming device.
So, all that to ask, does a black oven (fired from inside the bake area) make better bread (or at least noticeablely different) compared to a white oven (fire and smoke never enter the bake chamber)? Assuming both are made from something porous like brick or cob...
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