Outdoor ovens with earthen veneers. Examples of pure cob and adobe, and refractory castable cement over bricks.
There are two common ways of building cob ovens: one is to make a mold of sand, upon which the oven is built, and after which the sand is removed through the oven door. The other is the Quebec-style oven, in which the form is built of saplings bent into a hemispherical shape, upon which the oven is built, and after which the saplings are burned out in the first fire. Another less green option, castable refactory cement, can withstand temps to 2200º F.
The Horno: A Traditional Outdoor Earth Oven
Hornos are traditional pueblo, beehive shaped, adobe ovens. Used mostly for baking and roasting, other cooking can take place at the opening while the horno is being fired. A fire is built inside allowing the thick adobe chamber to absorb heat. After two or three hours coals are removed to a nearby brazier for other use or to reheat the oven as needed.
Related Post: Outdoor Stone Oven
Whatever is to be baked or roasted is placed in the oven and the smoke hole and doorway sealed. An horno can maintain a useable, though slowly dropping, temperature for several hours. Workshops in Payson, Arizona: paysonsmallbusiness
Horno ovens directly outside the kitchen at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, New Mexico. sarayasjournal.blogspot
Horno at Casa San Ysidro.
Photo by Anne Galer.
Horno at Taos Pueblo is possibly the oldest continually inhabited community in the USA. Many adobe walls, domes and vaults are made of individual sun-dried mud bricks, bonded together with mud mortar. Cob construction is hand formed by shaping thick layers of mud directly on the wall or object. shimercrazytrip.blogspot
Horno built by the Kino School in Tucson, Arizona.
Originally found at kinoschool.org/community/the-horno-project/
Earth Ovens Around The World
This small figurine dates from around 500 BC and is clearly an early wood-fired oven. Vienna Art History Museum. fornobravo
Earth oven with old pieces of reused concrete for a base. Floor and walls were insulated with hardwood shavings, cob mixture and glass bottles. fornobravo
Cob oven by Hendrik Lepel. The design cut in to the cob is a technique called sgraffito. Found on Facebook
Free form cement oven.
Originally found at howjunction.com/2022/in-the-garden/how-to-build-a-free-form-bread-oven-1/
Cob oven by Michael Bláha.
Cob Oven by Cunnings Oven Builders.
Lots more interesting ovens here: cunningsovenbuilders.blogspot
Cob oven at the City Farmer’s Cob Shed in Vancouver, Canada. Here’s an interview on YouTube with the project leader John: youtube.com
Community kitchen cob oven at the Boom Festival in Portugal. The festival has won several awards for using natural building and permaculture principles that ensure they leave no trace on the earth. boomfestival.org
This cob oven was made by Hendrik Lepel.
It is protected with a living roof.
A close-up of the oven: fornobravo
Wood fired oven (adobe formed atop sand) placed beneath a vine covered pergola. A tile covered work area links to an adjacent barbeque. woodfiredworkshops
A Jamie Oliver oven.
Kit chamber with rendered dome.
Originally found at jamieoliver.com/wood-fired-ovens/oven-range/residential-oven
A Jamie Oliver oven.
Kit chamber with refractory cement dome. Originally found at jamieoliver.com/wood-fired-ovens/oven-range/residential-oven
Wood fired oven.
Cob oven by Kiko Denzer built for Intaba’s kitchen restaurant in Corvallis, Oregon. facebook.com
Ceramic kit by Mugniani.
A cob wood fired barrel oven, and cooktop at the Natural Building Extravaganza in Asheville, NC. Originally found at firespeaking.com/portfolio/natural-building-extavaganza-2/
Earth Oven Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions – Hand Print Press by authors of
‘Build your own Earth Oven’.
- DIY – Sunset’s backyard Adobe oven
- Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven for $20 – Slice Pizza Blog
- Building a Clay Oven – The Basics « The Clay Oven
- Natural Building Colloquium– Building a horno.
- Permaculture Magazine Article The Simple Art of Making an Earth Oven
- Grit.com – Backyard Bread Oven
- Mother Earth News – Build Your own Wood-fired Earth Oven
- Little City Farm – littlecityfarm cob-oven
- Cob Oven Workshop- lots of pics: Masonry Heater Association
- Two-chambered cob by Ernie and Erica: youtube
- Cob Brick: runningwave.blogspot.com
The Best Books On Earth Ovens
Start the fire in the front – shift further back once established. When roaring, push it to the back, so the roof of the chamber heats evenly.