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Oven under a large roof for cooking in the rain

I just saw the short film of the fella videoing his beautiful stone oven while cooking in the rain. I noticed someone holding an umbrella near the opening of the oven. I felt compassion for him as I determined my oven would have sufficient roof to cover me as I pull the pie out and place it in some carrying device to keep it dry during a rain.

My oven is 42 in. deep, 32 in. wide internal space. It takes the oven comfortably under two hours to get up to 900 degrees. Side walls are 12 inches, dome is 6 inches thick plus the insulation thickness around and above covering it on top.

I built this in my spare time. I finished this past spring. I hope this inspires others to build their very own ovens. Cook pleasantly while raining or snowing.

oven under a large roof

Large roof for outdoor oven The oven under a large roof

Mike and Diana,
from Manchester, NY

Respond to the Oven under a large roof for cooking in the rain article:

16 Comments - post your thoughts

  1. Hi Mark and Diana,
    Nice, practical and logical approach. On the second photo, on left hand side, there is another structure similar to wood fired oven. Are you a production baker having 2 smaller ovens instead of one large, and firing the second only in peak days? It’s what many bakers do. Or is it a smoker, fireplace/grill or something else?

    By Rado — Permalink

  2. Rado,

    The lapidated structure in the background is a wood fired kiln. My sons can fire in it, but it does not have a permanent roof yet. The frame structure above the kiln is simply to get a tarp over it if it should rain while firing the pottery. Mike

    By Mike — Permalink

  3. That’s cool, I love the fire wood at the back.
    My only regret was no roof at the front of my oven.
    I will be adding one..
    Nice work.

    By Jamie — Permalink

  4. I just started researching to buils a brick oven in our yard… I live in North East Jersey so you can imagine yard space is at a premium. I have not looked into local codes or anything of the nature yet.

    Anyway this looks great and something I would consider as my whole grill and smoker reside under a finished overhang and it allows me to cook outdoors most of the year in any weather.

    What is the footprint on this whole structure and what would it be if you took the wood storage away? Honestly room is at a premium so if I needed to store the wood somewhere else in the yard that is ok- Any suggestions for how far from the house this should be located?

    By Patrick PetruccelloPermalink

  5. Ridge length is 20 ft. Actual oven external dimension is 5′ w, 6′ deep. Roughly 7′ of roof coverage on either end. I get bullish with the town on the permit. Did you notice the horns?

    oven with decorative horns

    By Mike Holbein — Permalink

  6. My sons, upon college graduation, built (hap hazordly) a utility roof over their wood fired kiln. They intend to fire it up soon for the second run at it. We intend to put up a finished structure eventually. This kiln is a beast. When we finish the entire project, I will send you images.

    By Mike Holbein — Permalink

  7. Where do the horns come from? Any significance?

    By Rado — Permalink

  8. Kids will have a great fun with the wood fired kiln in their college and likewise your sons with theirs own kiln at home. I know two potters who do wood fired pottery. They collaborate with friends who bring their art pieces to be wood fired as well (others have salt kilns to make salt glazes or do Raku ware, they share the time and socialize.) Due to the wood ash presence, while the heat from the fire goes through all the pots inside, the final glazes on the pots can be really beautiful. I understand that it’s not only the finished pottery that drives them doing so; there is a heaps more magic in making it all happen, work with the clay, glazing, carefully LOADING the kiln! And of course, being there enjoying wine and so on while the firing goes about and then when the kiln is finally opened! Everything inside has changed, that’s the magic.

    I’ll be happy to see the new images Mike, Please add also a bit of a text to describe them! We’ll make for it a new gallery page.

    By Rado — Permalink

  9. The horns came from a friend I knew when I served in the military (air force). This was many years ago. My military friend gave the horns to my Papa, who passed away 22 years ago. SO, there is emotional attachments to the horns. Plus, it makes a statement about who we are. Sometimes words do not describe what’s in the heart. The horns can! (determination)

    By Mike Holbein — Permalink

  10. There is nothing like a wood-fired, brick bread oven for making and baking artisan breads, cooking the most fabulous pizzas as they should be cooked, and roast various meats. I am a baker by trade, it’s in our family for 250 years. I experienced one of Mr. Rado Hand’s MTo ovens recently on a 4 week visit of our friends in London. These ovens can be heated to a temperature much greater than a domestic ovens can be heated and they will hold hold this heat much much longer in fact for several hours. This brings tremendous benefits, starting in higher gradually progressing to low heat cooking and baking. One heat up and the oven was then used the entire whole working day. This sort of heat somehow allows all breads to develop better structure and flavors. The final rise in this heat being introduced to the fresh dough, I have to say “pumps” a special flavor to all the loaves, all pastries, cakes, meat pies and snacks. It is possible to buy brick ovens of course but it is much more fun to build one, and cheaper if you consider the quality and mainly the purpose for what the oven is meant to be. The great fun also applies to working with the oven as it reflects the quality of a properly build brick oven.

    By Marcadelo — Permalink

  11. What a beautiful oven! I really love your roof. My husband, 88 yr old father-in-law and my self are hoping to start production on our oven in a couple of months. We are in the northeastern corner of Connecticut. Would it be really rude to ask the approximate materials costs including your roof? Thanks ahead of time!

    By Jo — Permalink

  12. Hello Mike and Diana,
    I love your oven with the cover! I am just starting on mine this week, it will have a cover also, even though we don’t get much rain out here (especially this year). Do you have any other photos to share or additional thoughts our instructions?


    By Mark — Permalink

  13. Well, it’s hard to say what the actual cost would have been should I have purchased all the materials. As I recall, the 12 inch base (less than 2 yards of concrete brought in by a truck mixer) cost around $260. The concrete blocks came from a demolition project and were free for the taking. The concrete pad that supports the oven cost around $60. The actual oven, made from all different sizes of fire brick I acquired for free (when Syracuse China went out of bus.) I purchased the lime and vermiculate. It cost around $40. The brick for the facia I got from when I tore the front of my house down and resided with hemlock board and batten. The dry mortar for the brick facia cost around $100. The wood structure and roof was around $500. I started the project July 17, 2009 and completed it October 2010. Had I to do over again I would have made a 2″ pad of lime and vermiculate above the supporting pad of concrete that holds the oven. The heat loss is substantial on the hearth, even though it is five inches thick. In addition, I would have raised the roof six inches. I keep hitting my head on the edge of the roof.

    By Mike Holbein — Permalink

  14. Friend me on FB. There you have see over 70 images of the Oven Progress.

    By Mike Holbein — Permalink

  15. Love your website and ideas on WF Ovens. We are planning to build a multi purpose oven that will cook, smoke and fire pottery. Trying to work out details and you provided a lot of helpful info. Any thoughts?
    Thanks from Stratton, VT.

    By Ripton — Permalink

  16. Hi Ripton,
    Thanks for your lovely note. Everything is always possible. This is only a question of designing such project, MAINLY for the future use and practicality of it. You could channel heat from the firing box through the oven chamber and on exit from there into the kiln. If you do not intend to have just one for all. Even-though, if for pottery things get a lot hotter, the oven could be on a side of the firing box. One chamber for all, could allow for low fire e.g. raku “IF” the glazes are food safe (raku can be fabulous absolutely so! :-). The kiln side of things could be also insulated differently.

    Potters in New Zealand – I hope you enjoy their oven images.

    Warm regards,

    By Rado — Permalink

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