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DIY gas oven | Sourdough Companion

DIY gas oven

Hi all,

I've decided I need a bigger oven so I can bake more loaves at once, but I can't afford to buy, so I thought I would build.

My idea was to buy a gas burner and thermostat (or scavenge from an old gas oven), put it in some kind of large insulated box, and hook it up to a BBQ gas bottle. If the gas work needs anything fancy I could get a gas fitter to look at it, but I would be using basically off-the-shelf components. It would be undercover outside.

Anyone ever done this, seen this done, or can see glaring faults and pitfalls in the basic idea?




Having just renovated a kitchen I can tell you that getting rid of old electrical appliances such as ovens and stove tops (all of which were working) is a real problem.

I suggest going to your local appliance store, explain what you want and leave contact details.

A couple of domestic electrical or gas ovens for nothing except the taking away may solve your problem and the problem of the previous owners.



Sounds scary!

I built a wood-fired oven, which has been very successful - but I can tell you that building an insulated box with appropriate airflow is not straightforward. I think Colin's advice is good - try to buy secondhand. Building a gas oven doesn't sounds like a good plan.



+3 on not doing a DIY gas oven.  Gas and electicity, for me are never a DIY.  Cheers, Tony.

Hi jem,


If you have the time and the resources, why not build a WFO? Compared to a gas oven, the running costs will be lower, I believe.


Gas makes me nervous.



Oh come on!!!!!!

It's an oven, not a doomsday machine! I'm not going to build it out of cardboard and sticky tape either.

You can buy a wood --> gas conversion for your BBQ at Bunnings, this is essentially that with a thermostat in the circuit, and with a box to retain the heat.

A secondhand oven won't do because I want it BIG - like at least 5 loaves. I actually have a normal domestic oven, so a second one won't help much.

A WFO won't do because I don't want a retained heat oven, I couldn't use it in summer due to firebans, I want better temperature control, and I struggle to find time to bake as it is without preheating a WFO.

I think the point is valid that airflow will be the most difficult thing.

So why not bypass the problem - old farmhouse woodfired ovens just had a hot box separated from a fire by a layer of brickwork or some other thermal mass. You could avoid having the gas flame in the oven altogether, just put the burner under a brick oven floor. It might just work.

Any other suggestions?






I don't doubt it's doable, although electric would be much simpler if wiring weren't an issue.

Gas barbecues are ovens, but they make 'em with no insulation. If you had the guts from three or four of those appropriately arranged under your insulated box you might have it whipped.

I'll agree that you might have problems with hot spots, and I'd want to be quite sure that there was no way for a burner to go out or to leak raw propane, and I'd never use such a thing indoors!

Good luck,


Thing is, if something did go wrong, then any insurance you have would be void.  Something to consider.  Cheers, Tony.

yeah electric would be simpler - less need to vent the oven, but it would need to be hardwired in.

It will certainly be outdoors anyway.


Tony thanks for your concern, but I'm not sure why it would void insurance - its not illegal, or even really dangerous. Like I said, if it strays into that territory I could get a gas fitter to sign off on it when its done.


There are some good ideas in an old document from Aprovecho (where they do the rocket stove research).


Have a look at the "Capturing Heat Two" documents. There's some good thinking on low-thermal-mass oven building; I think the idea of using steel drums has merit. That said, I looked at it, discounted it, and built a clay WFO which I love.



That's what I was after Mick.

Its a great resource. In one of the other papers it gives instructions for a bread oven.

should be able to adapt to gas easily. The hardest thing to me looks like making a good seal for the door.

Thanks heaps!