Low mass wood fired Aprovecho type oven


BackyardPermaculture 2010 August 25


I gave that article a fair bit of thought, but ended up going for a clay dome with regular high-mass hearth and insulation.

In all the interacting I've done on the web, I haven't come across anybody building a low-mass bread oven. I'm sure it can be done, but it's really not common. Also, there are some safety issues with something like a steel drum running at oven temperatures - you'd want to design it carefully so nobody would touch it.

Having done some experimenting with TLUD stoves, I was considering something like that but with a TLUD (rather than rocket stove) supplying the heat.




Occabeka 2010 August 25

Hi Chow,

The ovens described in the link look high-mass to me.

The reason traditional WFOs are high-mass is that it helps it to maintain a steady temperature necessary for the baking. Low-mass will mean the retained heat will be lost faster when the heat source is removed.

There has to be a trade-off.



Chow 2010 August 27

 Thanks for the replies, what started me thinking about this was the tandoor I built simply and cheaply primarily out of a large  terracotta flower pot and a 44 gallon drum. I'll take photos and post them once I finally talk someone into having one in their back yard instead of dreaming of the perfect oven they want to build.


I agree, The stability of temperature does seem to be the key problem with these ovens on my reading.  However the possibility of making an oven that does not need long firing times and might be fairly transportable is, i believe worth looking at.  


rossnroller 2010 August 27

I hadn't come across that link before - thanks for posting it, Chow.

I agree that the quick firing up makes this type of oven worth checking out further. And I'd love to see pics of your terracotta flower pot tandoor whenever you feel like posting them.

I've had a dream of a woodfired oven in the backyard extending back way before it became a yuppie craze (not saying that all folk with WFOs are yuppies, BTW...but there is certainly a strong fashion element to the trend...I suspect the second-hand WFO market is going to warm up in the next couple of years!). However, in recent years I've begun to doubt whether it's worth pursuing in my case, just because I live in a 2 person household and it seems like a lot of bother and in energy terms inefficient to fire up a WFO for 2 pizzas or 1 loaf of bread. Yeah, parties are another matter, but I'm not so sociable as to be able to justify having a WFO for entertaining!

So....this more fuel efficient model is verrrry interesting. I'd welcome any more info, including on your tandoor.


cowgirl 2010 October 25

looking for outdoor oven plans for wet cold climate in western washington also an outdoor solar? shower that could be used year around Thanks




majr's picture
majr 2011 September 15

Don't know if anyone is still looking at this, but in just in case: I've built an aprovecho-style oven for bakery use. Mine has three decks, and each is lined with thin (20mm) firebricks - a kind of medium-mass oven. I'm very happy with how it bakes, but there are certainly things I'd do differently a second time, and plenty of things on my wishlist for improvements for when I win the lottery. Some details are on my blog (http://steamiebakehouse.blogspot.com), and I'm happy to answer any specific questions.



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