Reusing an electric or gas oven as a wood burning stove...

Has anyone ever burned wood inside an electric or gas oven? I was thinking of modding and oven with refractory cement, and a water mist sprayer,for bread baking, when it occurred to me that broken gas/electric ovens are cheap, mostly air tight and temperature resistant,to say the least.
Obviously burning wood in them is not an UL approved usage, but clearly these devices are tested a lot more than your average barrel stove design..
So, any experience with this idea?

Naaaa it will work but how well, it will depend on how you work it.

They are generally enamelled - so are corrosion resistant - but you will have to thermally reduce the gradient between the flames and the thin enamelled metal.

Plus there is the issue of sealing - most stoves come with silicon door seals - good, but may not be that good.

Glass doors? - shield them or remove them.

I'd be inclined to put in a sand / lime / sawdust refractory base to light the fire on, then a brick floor above that for your loaves to sit on, and a lined chamber to do your baking in - and a rear chimney.

I mean the idea is to do something, learn many things and if you do it well enough, it will work well first time and if your not attentive enough or fail to do the job well enough, then you learn many more things and get to do it better next time.

Basically your after a rocket stove set up inside an old oven.

You could always locate the fire, separately to the stove and run some iron pipe around inside the stove - that will require some work but everything has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Or put a rocket stove under the oven, have the fire (big or small) blowing up into the oven chamber, and line the oven with bricks, and simply heat and then cook...

It's not a bad idea.... but it needs to be done thoughtfully and to minimise fuel consumption by the efficient design of it in the first place.

Look up Rocket Stoves and then use the "oven box" with the rocket stove....

Toga_Dan2 years ago
The basic oven construction is steel, which can withstand the heat. The excess heat that steve stroud mentions may cause glass enamel to crack off. If this happens it would be good to be in a location you don't mind tiny glass shards.

If the steel is also coated with zinc, ( I dunno if it is) it could burn off. Burning zinc is rather toxic. U may wanna research whether any parts you keep on it are galvanized or chromed.
Geo562 years ago
electric stoves have wires running through them that are heat resistant but not fire prof (ask a fireman about kitchen fires) and yes the metal is thinner than a 55 gal drum. but if you lined where the fire is going to be with fire bricks you might get some use out of it. you will be doing this out side I should hope!
SInce most ovens work at less than 200 C, and most woodfires run at >500 C you have a basic problem
Ronyon (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
Thank you!Exactly the kind of stuff I wanted to know.
On the other hand,they are surely more heat resistant than 55 gallon drums, the standard vessel for DIY wood burners.

they are surely more heat resistant than 55 gallon drums

I'm not sure that is true. Oil drums are much simpler in construction, there's nothing there but thick steel.

I'm pretty sure that drum steel is thicker than oven steel.
Horizontal wood burners in drums often line the firepit with firebrick to protect the steel.
Jayefuu Ronyon2 years ago
On the other hand,they are surely more heat resistant than 55 gallon drums, the standard vessel for DIY wood burners.

A good point. You should just give it a try and write an Instructable on your findings.