Author Topic: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??  (Read 5751 times)

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Offline AndreasMergner

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Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« on: April 16, 2011, 10:00:48 AM »
Currently I've been making pizza in my conventional oven on top of half height fire bricks preheated on the self clean cycle.  The problem is that it creates smoke, especially if any cheese gets on the bricks. My friend told me all the wonderful things he is cooking on his BGE, including grilling and BBQ (low and slow). I looked into it, and then was contemplating buying one.

Being a handy guy and frugal ("I can make that!"), I start thinking why couldn't I make a Kamado style grill out of brick? It would be like a wood fired brick oven, but instead of a fire brick floor with the fire being on it, I'd lower the floor to make a fire box and use a grill/grate. For pizza or indirect cooking, I could use a pizza stone. Then use a door, have an air intake on the firebox and a controlled chimney. Am I crazy? I'm sure it's been done, right?

Also, I was thinking of going lower mass and using insulation so that I would get faster heating times.  I realize I would need to use lump charcoal and have an active fire for pizza in that case.  I don't think I want or need the oven to be hot for 12+ hours after making pizza.

I appreciate any help or leading me in the right direction....and don't scold me too much if I really don't know what I'm talking about.   ;) Thanks!



buceriasdon

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 12:35:41 PM »
Some years ago, so many I have no pictures but I built a smoker, pizza oven using a medium sized metal bucket, actually two as I cut one down to make a door for the opening to load charcol on a grid on the bottom of the metal can for smoking another one higher for pizza. For the smoker top I found a tapered ceramic planter which I drilled two holes in the bottom, now the top to install a handle to lift it off. For pizza I used a planter base with the same sort of handle. When I first tried pizza I realized I needed to lower the top so that's why I went with the planter base. The bottom was getting done before the top. I used it until I converted an electric ceramic pottery kiln to a gas fired pizza oven. I would think my metal can idea would work in your use.
Don
ps. I did some search and found this.  http://www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-redneck-ceramic-smoker/
To give you an idea.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 03:31:03 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 09:34:41 PM »
Thanks for the info.  I had seen that flower pot smoker on Good Eats.  I could make one of those for smoking meats, but then I still want to grill direct at high temps for steaks and indirect on brick or a pizza stone for pizza.  I think I get what you are saying for you design too, but I would like to go a bit larger and make it with brick.

The way I'm thinking is basically a brick pizza oven, but taller.  The bottom half for the lump charcoal or wood with an adjustable air intake to control temperature.  The top with a door so I can bake or smoke for longer periods of time while being more fuel efficient and retain moisture.  I would use a grate over the coals for direct cooking and a pizza stone for indirect. 

I guess I'm looking for advice to see if this is a good idea or if anyone else has tried it.  I can't imagine this is a unique idea. 

buceriasdon

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2011, 10:27:06 AM »
ah, I see, so really your oven isn't anything like a kamamdo except for a firebox before. Good luck.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 03:05:41 PM »
Functionally it is the same, just made from bricks....which are ceramic just like a kamado.  It will have a slightly different shape as a circular shape is much more difficult to make.  It is further from a brick pizza oven since it will be sealed with doors and have the burn area below the baking surface. 

Offline wildanimus

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 03:44:11 PM »
Hi Andreas -

any luck with your quest? 

I too am trying to avoid spending 800 on a big green ( as in money ) egg.

I ran across this Mother Jones http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/Build-An-All-In-One-Outdoor-Oven-Stove-Grill-And-Smoker.aspx & I may go follow it, though it's a bit boxy for me.  I saw the flower pot designs but it seems a little small. 

The critical feature for me is the ability to also use it as a grill, ala big green egg. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts -

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Homemade brick oven / kamado style??
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2011, 10:10:45 PM »
Hey Wildanimus!

I guess it depends on what your desires are....  I ended up making a LBE (Little Black Egg - do a search for it on this forum) for pizza.  I have not gotten it working as well as I want yet, but that is partly due to my dough not being quite right yet.  The nice thing about the LBE is that it will get very hot quickly.  I can preheat to 800 in <10 minutes....and since I'm using a cordierite stone, that ends up being too hot because of its quick heat transfer.  It also is propane powered for even more ease.  It will cook a pizza better than the oven you referenced or even a BGE since the heat is ducted over the top of the pizza which is how a WFO works.  Oh, and you can make one for about $100 and a few hours of work.  ;)

I don't eat a lot of meat, even though I wanted to try my hand at BBQ.  I was very close to buying a WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain)....but you can smoke meat in very rudimentary and cheap enclosures, including a cardboard box (!) if you use electric and wood chips.  I may get a WSM down the road...but there are a few places around here that make great BBQ.

I have an inexpensive gas grill right now already.

Also, I bake bread in my regular oven with bricks, and have figured out a method that works well with the combination of the bricks and the broiler.  Also, I have made foccacia on the LBE with success.

Ultimately, the oven you linked to, a BGE and the one I was thinking of would be not be great for making WFO style pizza.  It would be great for grilling/smoking/baking....but require a long preheat.  I decided not to pursue a permanent brick oven mainly because it could not legally be built on my property due to fire codes!   

Let me know if you need me to clarify my rambling....  Let us know what you decide to do.