Introduction: Plant Pot Tandoor

Picture of Plant Pot Tandoor

Simple small lightweight portable tandoor from humble plant pots!

Step 1: Setup

Picture of Setup

you'll need three unglazed terracotta pots. one large 40cm ish, one 27cm ish pot and one 23cm ish pot. you'll also need approx 30litres of vermiculite from a garden/hydroponic shop. (I used 10litres of vermiculite with free crushed pumice from the Beach)

Step 2: Prep

Picture of Prep

cut the bottom off the middle sized pot. use electrical tape to mark a line and cut along centre of the tape the prevent cracked edges. I used a masonry disc in a grinder.

Step 3: Insulation

Picture of Insulation

place the large pot on bricks leaving the hole unobstructed. Place the small pot upright in the large pot so holes line up. if you have all vermiculite, just fill the void between the two pots with vermiculite. leave the top 30mm or so unfilled. wear a face mask and gloves when using vermiculite. if your using pumice as well, make a cardboard cone which is just larger than the small pot. vermiculite has superior insulation properties so we want it nearer the heat. cone calculation programs are available on the internet. make sure you carefully remove the cardboard before proceeding.

Step 4: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

place the mid sized pot large opening down on top of the small pot and continue filling the void as before, cone or no cone...

Step 5: Finishing

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when at the top I used a layer of pumice to make it look nicer and contain the vermiculite. remove the cardboard cone.

Step 6: First Firing

Picture of First Firing

for the first burn in do not cook anything! use clean burning fuel like charcoal so it doesn't create too much smoke. Just keep a fire in for 4-6 hours to test and prepare the cooking surface. once fully cooled, give the inside cooking surface a clean with salty water. this helps prepare the surface for naans.

Step 7: Naan Cooking

Picture of Naan Cooking

use your favourite naan recipe and apply each naan to the inside of the HOT tandoor. i used a wet glove for hand insulation. careful not to burn yourself, my wall temperature was over 400°c. enjoy...


mpadgitt (author)2017-01-09

Would like to reprint this article in Wood-Fired Magazine. Please contact me at

juanvillar (author)2016-10-13

I think the EPA shut down the mines with the asbestos-contaminated vermiculite (representing about half the mines as I recall), but don't quote me on that. You might want to read the ingredients on the sack!

BrendaS7 (author)2015-10-30

Will have to hit AC Moore's and get some terracotta pots..looks interesting

stan.wolanski (author)2015-10-26

where does the heat come from? some vermiculite contains asbestos.

Trink84 (author)stan.wolanski2015-10-26

only from certain mines where asbestos is present. I only used 10litres and wore a face mask during construction. the heat comes from a wood/charcoal fire in the bottom.

wynrol (author)2015-10-26

Really great tandoor.

Team Z (author)2015-10-24

Awesome. looks really interesting!

L41L4K (author)2015-10-24

Looks awesome that!
Get some chicken tikka skewers in there and make kebabs on your naan....some salad,chilli sauce and yogurt sauce!
I want one !!!!!

BeachsideHank (author)2015-10-24

How clever! Just as real as a large size tandoor oven but at minimal cost, thanks for sharing this idea.

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