In the spirit of off the gridness and in an effort to be more self-sufficient, my wife and I recently tackled a new project at home. We built a wood-fired oven, or WFO, if you prefer.
An outdoor wood-fired oven gives us another option for many kinds of cooking. It also provides a great accompaniment to the barbecue. The WFO is a lot of fun to built and use. It provides a lot of feel good factor for having done it ourselves with little money. Of course, it also makes great tasting food.We over-researched the subject by reading several books and by searching online before finally building it. We need not have prepped so much. Two of the most helpful resources were http://www.traditionaloven.com and the book “Build Your Own Earth Oven, 3rd Edition: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven; Simple Sourdough Bread; Perfect Loaves” by Kiko Denzer.
Materials list and cost:
less than 1.5 yards of 5/8 minus for the entire project – about $40.
"Urbanite" and large rocks - free.
Concrete block – free from freecycle.
Sand – free from river.
Coarse Sawdust – free from a local lumber mill.
Perlite – about $30 from the hardware store.
Clay – $150. (It could have been free with more elbow grease)
Material for the door – free from around the property.
Total cost: under $200.
Step 1: Pick your type of WFO
Type: We discovered that there are several types of WFO’s. Which is best depends on who is writing the article. Our primary concerns were the difficulty of the project, the cost of the project, and the look of the project. A $15,000 brick and marble WFO would look silly sitting next to our farmhouse, would be way beyond our budget, and might be beyond our construction ability. We decided on an adobe, cob, or clay oven. They exact material seems to be interchangeable. Since we are part-time potters, we happened to have a sixty-gallon garbage can full of left over clay from the past couple of years. We decided to use what we had