The (Future) Cob Oven!

7 May 2017

Wanna hear about our next big project?


What is a cob oven you ask? Pretty much an outdoor wood burning oven made out of cob. Cob = clay+sand+straw. Most people use these types of ovens for pizza but you can also make amazing bread and really anything you would make in a regular oven. I've heard of people who will make these in the morning and use them in the evening for a wedding or some sort of function. Or even kids who make their own tiny ones for a few cookies! Pretty intriguing right?!

A little while back I read an article in Taproot about a man who lived on a beach and made himself a cob oven. Every Friday he would host these pizza nights where he would make a giant batch of pizza dough and people would bring their own pizza toppings. He would spend the night popping these homemade pizzas into his homemade oven and the whole community would get together. So cool right? I love the idea of having something really functional in our backyard that we could share with friends, family and neighbours.

I've been wanting a cob oven in our backyard for a long while now and I recently went to a workshop that Little City Farm put on all about building cob ovens. It was so inspiring! Karin and Greg (of Little City Farm) made their cob oven (pictured above) for about $20. Crazy right?! Pretty much all of the materials can be repurposed or found with the only thing you really need to spend money on being the fire brick for the inside of the oven. The only catch is that cob needs to be somewhat protected by the elements so we would need to build some sort of roof/structure over it. That's the part that's rather daunting for me at this point.

At the workshop Karin and Greg said you could build the oven in about 2 weekends.  With one weekend building the base which includes digging down 3-5 feet and filling it with urbanite, and the the brick "table" that it sits on. The second weekend would be used to build the oven part. Then you've got to keep the oven covered from the rain until you build a roof/structure over it.

I learned so much at the workshop in terms of the building materials, making the cob and the whole design process. I also just got this book (Build Your Own Earth Oven by Kiko Denzer) in the mail and oh man, it's so good! Denzer's book makes the whole process seem so easy and do-able! We had originally thought that building a cob oven would be a project that would have to wait till next summer, but after doing the workshop and some research we're thinking we'll try it out it the next few months! The great thing about cob is that even if we totally fail and the thing falls apart, you can just reuse the materials for next time. It's not like concrete where you use it once and it's done.

In the meantime though, I'm going to read up as much as I can and start collecting materials. This is definitely one of those projects I don't want to start until I've got everything gathered and I know exactly what I'm going to do. I'm excited to share the process here! Wish us luck!

p.s If you know of anywhere we could get some old bricks to repurpose, like a building being demolished, a (de)construction site, or anything like that, send us an email!

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