Slate stone chimney and oven outside decorations
combination of your plans and Alan Scott.
We have just made bread, pizza and flat bread so far. But since it turned out so big, we’re of course going to try lots of other stuff in it.
First I started the extended patio pour this past spring so from this patio to finished oven it was about 10 months. I still have to extend the pergola and rearrange other things around, but it is a never ending project full of enjoyments.
Dallas, TX, USA
THE FULL STORY:
Wood Burning Oven in Dallas, Texas
My wife and I became serious amateur chefs about 9 years ago and while she is into appetizers and crazy creations, I have always been into baking bread and making pizzas, flat-breads, etc. We used to make pizza on unglazed terracotta tiles that we purchased at the local big box hardware store that we would place in our oven indoors. If we preheated the oven to 550 (F) – 288 (C), which is as hot as it would get, the pizza would be better than average. We also have a huge 5 burner grill outside of the kitchen on our kitchen patio which will heat up to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit = 371 degrees Celsius. Pizza and flat bread on that was much better. My best friend told me about 6 or 7 years ago that I need to have a wood burning pizza oven outside to make pizza on. At the time I just brushed it off as something that we would never do. He passed away about 4 years ago and about 2 and half years ago, I started reading about these wood burning ovens on the Internet. About 2 years ago, I received Rado’s CD which was my starting point. I used several other sources but next to Rado at Traditional Oven, the other one I relied on was ozarkdreams.com. After measuring and planning and redrawing, I finally succumbed and bought Alan Scott’s book and then a set of his smaller plans because I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to downsize Rado’s oven to what my wife wanted.
This past February, I extended our kitchen patio along the entire side yard of the house, built a pad for the oven that is about 5 x 5 and 2 feet deep with 5 4 foot piers under that and started construction. It has been almost 10 months since we started with all the improvements of our place, but we finished except for a door over the bottom on December 10, 2010. I used concepts from Traditionaloven.com, Ozarkdreams.com and Alan Scott’s books and plans. The final product turned out to be a lot larger than either my wife or I expected, but so far it has been great. The entire inside of the oven is done in firebrick which has the standard cladding recommended by most. The shape at that point was so out of sort, that we decided to use steel framing and hardy backer boards to build a façade around the oven chamber. The chimney was routed back to the middle of the structure and then straight up (but the chimney opening is at the front). Once the framing was up, we used thermal kiln insulation purchased from a local supplier to put over the cladding and then once the hardibacker was in place, we dumped another 50 pounds of vermiculite into the opening. The side of the oven is about two and half feet from the side of the house and we didn’t want to take any chances. We inquired about building requirements from the City of Dallas, but they said there were none.
We used local stone yards to find the stone (Oklahoma slate) to put on the sides and Gray Slate to use as the roof and used acrylic cement mixed with sand to mortar it to the sides and then sealed it all with a super high gloss sealer.
We are still experimenting with fire building and temperature control and find that it is easy to build a fire for pizza and flat bread but that the timing associated with actual bread baking and cooking meats is a little more complicated and so while we have tried to make bread, much of it has burned.
We are southerners so when it is 27 degrees F (or -3C) outside, I am inside cooking instead of trying to build a fire and time taking things outside to cook. It’s going to be an adventure and we are looking forward to inviting the neighborhood over for a cook it yourself pizza party.
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