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Lovely clay oven for under 250 bucks

Dear Rado,

Eventually my budget just could not include a brick walled oven. I settled for a clay dome. I dug the clay from the bottom end of my own property.

I also used straw mixed with clay and sand for insulation. But as I did not want to add a separate roof I broke with the clay oven tradition and gave the oven a concrete outer skin to protect it against rain.

The entire thing cost me around R2000 = AUD$250 – today’s currency exchange for 2,000 South African Rand is exact 217.72 Australian dollars.

This oven was built on a budget for less than 250 dollars in total.

So far we have had numerous pizza baking sessions. Even more special than what we hoped for! My oven is quite small. The internal dome space measures 720 mm diameter, but I am able to easily bake pizzas for up to 15 people. 2 or 3 pizzas for each.

This oven was built for less than 250 dollars in total.

Lovely oven build for less

Everybody is most impressed by the quality of wood fired pizzas as well as the great social atmosphere it creates when we just place the ingredients on a table and everybody builds their own pizza.

We have also baked some bread, veggies and similar things with great success. I have just yesterday went and bought some lamb shanks as I want to try some Lamb Kleftiko next!

Attached is a picture of the finished oven.

* I would do at least two things differently if I have to build the same oven again:
1) Use Perlite or Vermiculite for insulation and
2) build a better flute (flue)/chimney system.

My current one is far too small at the bottom and does not draw well at all. But none of this is stopping us from having great fun!

Best regards,

Jaco M
South Africa

Respond to the Lovely clay oven for under 250 bucks article:

6 Comments - post your thoughts

  1. Hi Jaco, am about to build a fully brick bakery in Limpopo. I want bake bread, buns and donuts. My target is bake 1500 loaves of bread a day and deliver to the shops. Am interested in brick oven with wood for me to sell bread less than the other suppliers and of course innovative counts.
    Forsure i dont have more knowledge on developing the oven but my plans for structure illustrate as the will be below the chamber and having subways for the head fill up the entire chamber with thormometer inside. At the front of the oven hall will be a cafe for selling bakery stuff.
    And it is fine to put below the baking chamber?

    Hope to communicate with you more offen.


    By Thomas Ndalane — Permalink

  2. Well done! Wow it looks great! Please send me any advise you have, I would like to build one like this up here in Zambia.
    Kind regards,

    By Theresia — Permalink

  3. This clay oven looks really great and I’m currently planning to build a similar clay oven on my own!

    By AdemPermalink

  4. Hi Jaco
    Will it be possible to come and see what you have got and doing?
    I’m in Centurion as well. Would like to have an oven like yours!! Great job

    By Marianne — Permalink

  5. If spring ever comes to Nova Scotia I plan to build some clay or cob oven thing the same as you built. Thanks for tips from your build. KEITH

    By Keith — Permalink

  6. I built a cob oven but did not install a flue. I need to put one on. How best wood I do this do you know? Thanks

    By Dermot Niblock — Permalink

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