If you enjoy baking or cooking, and you have the sort of DIY attitude that drives you to want to create, you can build your own outdoor earth oven for as little as $20! An earth oven can be built with little more than some sand, clay, brick, stone, sawdust, and recycled beer bottles, and will bake some of the tastiest breads you’ve ever had.
Let’s get this straight: breads and pizzas are best baked on a wood-fired, super hot brick hearth. Your kitchen oven just doesn’t do the same job that a big masonry or cob oven can do. You’ll know the difference as soon as you taste your fresh baked bread with its crispy crust, perfect crumb, and slight wood-fired flavor.
While brick ovens can cost upwards of a thousand dollars to construct, an earth oven can be made using locally available and recycled materials. (Yes, a masonry oven may last longer, but the difference in skill level and cost to build them versus an earth oven is huge!) Made mostly of cob (a mix of sand and clay), an earth oven is very inexpensive to build—I recently built a 22.5” diameter oven for less than $20! (The only real cost to me was the fire brick, which cost $1 each.) An earth oven also presents an appealing option to individuals wanting to bake outdoors, so that one’s home does not heat up from indoor baking in summertime.
An earth oven is wood-fired. A small oven can be heated to over 700 degrees in two hours of firing, and then the coals are removed to bake directly on the hearth. In order to make maximum use of the heat, you can bake pizza, followed by loaves of bread, and muffins, pies, or cookies, and then meat stews and beans overnight. The thermal mass of the oven allows for excellent heat storage, and hence, a long chain of breads and foods can be cooked, making maximum use of the energy of the wood.
For more information on how to build your own earth oven, I highly recommend that you check out Kiko Denzer’s Build Your Own Earth Oven for complete details! Highly recommended!