Author Topic: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?  (Read 656 times)

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Offline weemis

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Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:45:24 PM »
Hey gang. Planning on going to the Burning Man Festival in 2015. It's a week long festival/temporary city in the black rock desert of Nevada that takes place on a dry lakebed. I'm looking to make a temporary mobile WFO setup and tow it around the temporary city giving away amazing pizza. We'll drive all over the festival (speed limit 5 mph, city is several miles across. can be bumpy at times) to different locations and spontaneously create a pizza party for the people there at that moment. The weather conditions are pretty harsh at times (dust storms with whiteout conditions regularly, and a very alkaline soil), or else I'd just take my entire mobile set up with me. So I'm trying to figure the best and cheapest way to accommodate a wood fired oven given this scenario.

No one we are serving will be paying for anything, so if it's not the best pizza they ever had, it'll be ok. Basically, just looking for a reasonably high heat hearth oven that can withstand a few bumps from transit and is hopefully a couple hundred bucks or less. It doesn't have to last more than the week i'm out there, but bonus points for it being a more permanent addition to my pizza making arsenal. Once I figure out the oven, I'll then have to figure out the logistics of making it all work for the specific scenario. I wouldn't call myself very handy, but have handy friends and would be willing to build something not too complex if that's the best answer.

thoughts?

EDIT: the "sand" in this specific area is actually micro-clay. it may be usable to hold together a mortarless pre-cut refractory brick oven for a week.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 01:19:20 PM by weemis »
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline stonecutter

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 02:53:57 PM »
Hey gang. Planning on going to the Burning Man Festival in 2015. It's a week long festival/temporary city in the black rock desert of Nevada that takes place on a dry lakebed. I'm looking to make a temporary mobile WFO setup and tow it around the temporary city giving away amazing pizza. We'll drive all over the festival (speed limit 5 mph, city is several miles across. can be bumpy at times) to different locations and spontaneously create a pizza party for the people there at that moment. The weather conditions are pretty harsh at times (dust storms with whiteout conditions regularly, and a very alkaline soil), or else I'd just take my entire mobile set up with me. So I'm trying to figure the best and cheapest way to accommodate a wood fired oven given this scenario.

No one we are serving will be paying for anything, so if it's not the best pizza they ever had, it'll be ok. Basically, just looking for a reasonably high heat hearth oven that can withstand a few bumps from transit and is hopefully a couple hundred bucks or less. It doesn't have to last more than the week i'm out there, but bonus points for it being a more permanent addition to my pizza making arsenal. Once I figure out the oven, I'll then have to figure out the logistics of making it all work for the specific scenario. I wouldn't call myself very handy, but have handy friends and would be willing to build something not too complex if that's the best answer.

thoughts?

EDIT: the "sand" in this specific area is actually micro-clay. it may be usable to hold together a mortarless pre-cut refractory brick oven for a week.

Are you building it there or at your home? How large of an oven?  What are you putting it on..trailer or truck?  Are you sourcing all or just some of building material there? 

One thing I wouldn't do is build a mortar less mobile oven.
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John Ruskin

scott123

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 03:13:58 PM »
Nick, you could, in theory, come up with a mortarless setup that is not that heavy and can be set up/broken down relatively easiily (once it's cooled of course).  I have a few prototypes floating around in my mind.

But that's basically just a box of bricks.  A box of bricks, in your own backyard is one thing, but a festival where record breaking quantities of psychedelics/pharmaceuticals are being ingested? 1000 deg. ovens and psychedelics are not  a good mix. Insulation and weatherproofing provide obvious energy efficiency and moisture prevention, but, less obviously, they protects anyone that might accidentally brush against the oven. Once you start adding insulation and weatherproofing, though, you're talking about an exponential increase in complexity and considerable additional expenditure.

For a festival like this, I'd leave the food to the trucks- or to people with grills.  A grill is probably not the best tool for an event like this, but it's considerably safer than a mortarless oven.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 03:41:25 PM »
Unless you want to spend some serious cash to give away pizza, it seems like a BlackStone may be your best bet. Easy to move even hot, fast warm up, fast bake, inexpensive, and dense fuel. What more do you want.
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Offline ChristianVerschaeren

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 05:16:43 PM »
Awesome project, great idea, whatever you end up doing I'm sure it'll be great.

Offline weemis

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 03:14:04 PM »
Are you building it there or at your home? How large of an oven?  What are you putting it on..trailer or truck?  Are you sourcing all or just some of building material there? 

One thing I wouldn't do is build a mortar less mobile oven.

I was reserving the hows for after I find a reasonable way to accommodate my needs. so these would come after the initial decision of what would practically work. The mortarless thing would only be a viable option if we covered it with the clay dust of the "playa" as a cement. But i'm starting to think I don't want a lot of work once i'm there. 

Nick, you could, in theory, come up with a mortarless setup that is not that heavy and can be set up/broken down relatively easiily (once it's cooled of course).  I have a few prototypes floating around in my mind.

But that's basically just a box of bricks.  A box of bricks, in your own backyard is one thing, but a festival where record breaking quantities of psychedelics/pharmaceuticals are being ingested? 1000 deg. ovens and psychedelics are not  a good mix. Insulation and weatherproofing provide obvious energy efficiency and moisture prevention, but, less obviously, they protects anyone that might accidentally brush against the oven. Once you start adding insulation and weatherproofing, though, you're talking about an exponential increase in complexity and considerable additional expenditure.

For a festival like this, I'd leave the food to the trucks- or to people with grills.  A grill is probably not the best tool for an event like this, but it's considerably safer than a mortarless oven.

I like the mortarless idea in theory, but wouldn't want to deal with it if it failed. and work there takes away from enjoyment of the event. plus, it's not a guarantee until we're already out of other options (like buying a blackstone or the likes).

One thing you're missing about burningman is that the entire event is built around fire and danger. Things are constantly set ablaze with little or no safety/supervision. The dangers are not limited to this scenario. but it's something to keep in mind, certainly.

Unless you want to spend some serious cash to give away pizza, it seems like a BlackStone may be your best bet. Easy to move even hot, fast warm up, fast bake, inexpensive, and dense fuel. What more do you want.

This is seeming more and more like the answer. no work, quick start-up, easy to manage and keep hot. I saw some other portable ovens for pretty cheap, but I don't want to invest in something that will suck to work with after the event. For this, the blackstone is probably the best for your buck.


Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I'll keep you all updated as the story unfolds. Any other ideas and suggestions are welcomed!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 03:15:51 PM by weemis »
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline weemis

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 03:23:12 PM »
Awesome project, great idea, whatever you end up doing I'm sure it'll be great.

Thanks, Christian. I'm sure the people out there will be blown away!  :chef:
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline stonecutter

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 06:43:38 PM »
My questions were more to provoke thought than offer a solution.
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 07:37:27 PM »
sounds like a faaar-out event weemis.  8)
the BS will do you proud and make excellent addition to your arsenal once back home.
have a fun trip dude!
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 10:11:25 PM »
Sounds like a stupid idea to me, which makes it perfect for that event.  Good luck and have fun!


Offline weemis

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2014, 02:32:09 PM »
sounds like a faaar-out event weemis.  8)
the BS will do you proud and make excellent addition to your arsenal once back home.
have a fun trip dude!

I'm curious what the harsh environment would do to the functionality of the BS. It doesn't have a door, so there's no built-in way to keep the dust out. Curious also as to how the dust would effect the mechanics of the oven. There's LOTS of dust!
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline weemis

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2014, 03:06:01 PM »
Sounds like a stupid idea to me, which makes it perfect for that event.  Good luck and have fun!

My wife and I got married there in 2010. That week, I jokingly told the folks we camped with that we're bring pizza on tuesday in 2015. now it's time to pay up. Oh the drunken promises we keep!
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 07:03:50 PM »
I'm curious what the harsh environment would do to the functionality of the BS. It doesn't have a door, so there's no built-in way to keep the dust out. Curious also as to how the dust would effect the mechanics of the oven. There's LOTS of dust!
you`ll have dust problem with anything you choose to cook with, no?

get a tent!  :chef:
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline weemis

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Re: Temporary mobile WFO to use in the desert. Thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2014, 12:57:11 PM »
Yup. Dust Problems. Just thinking the more mechanics I use, the more mechanics can fail. That's why wood was so appealing to me. The BS rotates and has valves. these things might not hold up to the environment.
Nick Gore - just a dough eyed wanderer