Outdoor Cooking areas

Started by Fosterdad, April 25, 2006, 12:27:57 AM

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Hi everyone. We are in the planning stages of an outdoor cooking area
( covered) to be connected to the cabin. Eating will be a big part of our cabin life over the next many years.

Does anyone have some links or ideas to such things? Or expereince?




How about an earthen fireplace -  cob or rammed earth - nearly free - should fit the budget.

Charmaine Taylor at

www.dirtcheapbuilder.com should have the KiKo Denzer book http://www.dirtcheapbuilder.com/builyourearo1.html


and the cob manual is online free- most of it and kids love doing it (for a while). :-/


Experience - me?


I also built an earthen oven using the Kiko Denzer book Glenn referred to. Mine was not as elaborate as Glenn and Kathy's but was very interesting to do and fun to cook in-there's just something about fire.  And once these puppies get up to temperature, you can cook many things, starting out with pizza and bread, then chicken then vegetables then drying fruits. I used all recycled stuff for mine, the base was blocks scavenged from a neighbors building project, I went to the wash and got sand and then leftover straw and adobe mix from the house.  Cost us nothing.

We also have a SunOven that we use quite a bit.  You just have to plan ahead.  Makes great beans, roasts, chicken, potatoes, lasagna.

Judy (now I'm hungry)


OHhh-Ohhh!! I forgot this-mine looked a bit like this without the nice ramada.




Earth oven is certainly on my list.  I've watched people in Mexico cook in huge ones--on the order of 6' in diameter--maybe even inside diameter.  

I've cooked on propane camp stoves for years as well--some really do have stout burners--10,000+ BTU on propane, can be run (outside mo' bettah) on a grill gas tank.

And heck, last years employee and I even learned to do tea on/in a Kelly kettle (Lee Valley among other people sell it).



Mine is not ideal as I had to put a chiminey out the back, so it cools faster than it should but it is functional and we have used it to heat the porch area - as a fireplace - to cook bread, pizza, chicken, turkey etc.

I put it there because there is a immovable rock under it - OK -not impossible but more work than I wanted to do and I needed bracing for the South side of the cabin anyway.


[size=14]Enjoy pizza like Mamma used to make in the old country![/size]

Wood Burning pizza ovens could take over from barbecues
The hottest home and garden "must have"

A whole new dimension for summer cooking outdoors could catch on this summer as Britain discovers the fun that Italian families, chefs and party-givers have enjoyed for decades with their wood burning pizza ovens. Orchard Ovens are the sole importers of the hand crafted Valoriani range from Tuscany that are said to bake any dish in a fraction of normal cooking times.

They can be installed in the garden as an ultimate al fresco dining facility, or inside as wall ovens in kitchens. Best known as "pizza ovens" they produce perfectly cooked 12in pizzas in around a minute. Christmas dinners, fresh bread, roasts, stews burger, sausages and hot puddings can all be put on the menu.

Warmth emanates from the oven whether it is an internal dining focal point or the star attraction on the patio, where entertaining can continue until the wee small hours without the shivers.

Maintenance is painless, involving little more than a quick brush out of the old ash and a sweep of the oven floor. Operating at 450° C the ovens quickly burn off any bacteria from food spills and are virtually self-cleaning. They also have none of the instability or unreliability of barbecues and are an investment for the homeowner.

Orchards Ovens can offer guidance on past styles that have been adopted and can also install the oven and build the housing if required.



Here's an oven link I've had around for a couple of years.


From the above site - the neatest picture.

Reminds me of Irma down in Ocoroni, Sinaloa, MX.  She wouldn't deliver her mom's baked bread on the day I was coming to the village- she wanted to wander the town with me and her friends.  Her mom baked fine Mexican bread in an oven such as this.  The doctors and other pilots called me the Pied Piper.  I had anywhere from 30 to 200 or more kids taking me around the town to introduce me to their families ----- while my wife worked in the clinic I played - keeping the kids occupied.


One caution: outdoor cooking areas can be animal magnets.  I provide caretaking services for folks with vacation homes, and many have built-in stainless steel Viking ranges.  They are cleaned regularly, but the smell and bits of BBQ that you can't reach attract local rats and mice, and once they discover their new stainless steel home complete with dark cramped places, they never want to leave (must be modernists).  

If you're in bear country, you might want to give some real thought to how close that cooking area is to your house.  While on a fishing trip in Canada last summer, I woke up one morning to the sounds of a black bear breakfasting on garbage inside the screened porch of our cabin.  Everything had been double-bagged, but he smelled it anyway.  It took about 45 minutes of every trick under the sun to drive him away.  

Good luck,



Good point about outdoor cooking that I hadn't considered.  :D

The price of being out in nature, is that, nature is right there.


I've gotta get me one of these since I am Italian and do make a mean pizza dough - it would be great to cook it in an outdoor oven (just like my ancestors) - wonder if black bears like pizza?



I made the firebox on the cat oven in one day - started a fire in it too.  Put the cats head on the next day.  Mud can be fun.  

It is a bit of a tradition with me to start the fire in the clay oven, stove or fireplace the first day.


I keep reading that a lot of people start at least a small fire in an earthen oven the first day.

The classic little teardrop trailers have the "kitchen" in the back, completely separated from the rest of the trailer.  and the back raises to give one a bit of shade/rain protection.   And under there there are a few feet of counter space, cabinets, and maybe a sink with a 5-gallon bucket for it to drain into.

Since it can also be lowered, it might help to keep bears out of the kitchen.  (If you're in bear country, probably best to invest in good bear-proof storage anyway.)