Monday, June 14, 2021

Hybrid Brick Ovens

It is possible to build a partially brick oven.  The reasons vary; you cannot afford the materials for a full-on brick oven, you like cob ovens but want to strengthen the mouth and provide a chimney, or some other local material could also work.

I have encountered and worked with these variations.

  1. Economics: The ovens I build are expensive because I use materials that are both durable and costly.  I do this because those materials work best but also because the exterior finish of the oven is more involved, takes more time, and is worth keeping for decades, if not centuries.  But HAVING AND BAKING in a less expensive oven is a good start and it is better to build on a small budget than not build at all.
  2. mouth and face ready for 
    cob dome
    Cob ovens, made from a mixture of clay, sand, and sawdust are very economical, easy to build, and moderately durable.  The fire exits the mouth directly and the oven needs shelter to protect it.  The cob oven's mouth is especially vulnerable and there is no chimney to direct flue gases away from the user.  Enter the Hybrid.  A brick mouth, face, and flue enabling a chimney to be attached.
  3. Other materials may be available.  A couple of years ago I built an oven in Mexico using raw, unfired adobes.  In some locals, there may be reclaimed red-brick, cut stone, etc.  Castable refractories, though expensive may simplify the process.
cast mouth and face spliced to a dome 
made from chunks of fire brick
over a sand form
Raw adobe oven with red brick floor and mouth
Hip style vault from raw adobe (Mexico) 2019

Stay tuned for more detailed posts on the above.

1 comment:

  1. This isn’t exactly about hybrids, but I’ve really been enjoying your blog and wanted to thank you for sharing.

    I suppose this might be about a hybrid of sorts. Just for fun I am planing on building a mini oven. I have some fire brick splits I was going to cut down. I then thought why not an oval shape, room for the fire in back. Then I switched to an egg shape. Have tepee fire to the smaller side.

    I was going with a 6” I.D. With the small end sticking out about an inch more. I actually found a near perfect form, it’s a styrofoam head from a dollar store, just cutting it off at the top of the ears.

    That being said do you think something that shape would work?

    Thanks again!