Monday, January 12, 2009

Cooking without modern conveniences

Before anyone gets all excited, that is NOT my oven. I do have the complete plans for it and have more than half my blocks accumulated already. I got the plans free from FornoBravo's website. In the spring I will pour my concrete pad and get to work building it so I won't have to cook in the house and rely on electric or gas anymore.

I am pretty familiar with outdoor cooking, I almost never cook in the house during the spring/summer/fall. As long as it's not raining, I'm cooking outside with my cast iron. It's a skill I most strongly recommend everyone should learn. Hand in hand with cooking outdoors is the skill of starting a fire quickly without using starter fluids, etc. We all need to learn these skills just in case. With a little effort and patience, one can learn to easily control temperatures for specific cooking needs.

Along with the traditional bread oven, I will be building a wood fired grill/cook range. The design is solid in my mind and I have worked out a floor plan on paper for it that appears like it will work out well.

So, while we're all prepping( we ARE all prepping right?) consider how you'll cook all that food you've stocked up if the power fails. A ready to go outdoor cook pit is a good idea! Don't forget pots and pans, cast iron is the way to go. Not all indoor pots and pans will work well for wood fired cooking. Also remember your camp fire coffee pot!


  1. MM, I love it. You are so independent and I am always impressed with your skills. Can't wait to see your oven complete. I cook some outside in the summer too. I bake potatoes in foil right beside the fire. They're great. Great post and YES I am prepping daily.


  2. I love the oven, and I am SO glad you reminded everyone to not forget the coffeepot! What would my life be like without my coffee? Pretty dull, I'm afraid!

    Nothing taste as good as food cooked outside, including coffee...

    Good post!

  3. Thank you Chris.

    Hermit, that campfire percolator makes even crappy coffee taste good! A must-have for sure...

  4. I'd love to make an oven like that outside sometime! Last year I made a cookstove from an old wood burning furnace. I just cut off the top, fitted it with a grill,then wrapped it in block, filled the block and inside cavity with sand, then wrapped the whole thing in cement and stone. We cooked on it quite a bit last year, made 2 giant batches of applesauce on it, and even used it to can some tomato's. Not the best picture in the world, but here is Lisa using it last summer.

    I started a small pit next to it for using a dutch oven, but I never got it completed before winter hit. Ah more thing to add to the "spring chores" list, lol.

  5. Dang, Em- you're puttin me to work again! I've been wanting to build one of those for years and now I gotta do it...just to keep up with Em!
    Thanks for the reminder, Hon.
    Oooo, that coffee pot.:-P lickin chops. I just wonder if I'll be able to afford coffee this time next year, or am I going to need a few bushels of dandelion root and some filberts to brew?

  6. Chris W, you're clever stove looks great!

    Sorry Shy, I just found the plans in September, I've been gathering up bricks and blocks ever since! It will be a nice change from squatting over a fire to cook.

  7. I've looked at similar outdoor stoves/ovens in the past and never thought much about the idea till now.

    That stove picture of ChrisM's is nice. I could see a Summer Kitchen built around that.

    More things to think about for, Unk.

  8. The stove/oven is beautiful. I wish I had room for something like that. But luckily I have a fire pit. So I could make due for awhile. It's so funny you mention the coffee pot Dh just got me one last night.

  9. The original wood fired ovens were built with red clay and straw. You can build a cheaper morenpermenant one with refractory mortar. Make pyour base the build the shape of you're oven with wet sand. Form your refractory around the sand. Once the mortar dries you can just stop out other sand. It will need a special insulation blanket attached then more layers of mortar, but you get the idea.


Comments always welcome