The Rocket-Fired Barrel Oven

Here is an exciting innovation combining the advantages of a rocket-fired combustion box with the practicality and efficiency of a wood-fired barrel oven.  This idea was developed by Flemming Abrahamsson of Fornyet Energi in Denmark.  See also his brilliant Rocket-Fired Griddle Oven Design, which further combines a cooktop griddle to the configuration.

This is an important evolution in the barrel oven concept because it both improves combustion and does away with the need for the additional hardware beyond the barrel of a firebox door, grate and ash drawer.  Notice the very simple yet clever sections sketched at 1 and 2 which demonstrate how the flue path is baffled to improve heat exchange.

Flemming has agreed to provide these drawings and the photos of a build sequence for free in order to maximize their potential reach.  You can contact Flemming for project specific design/consultation and also for barrel oven hardware in Europe.

Additional Barrel Oven Construction Information

We have decided to focus on production of the barrel oven and backed off – for the moment – on production of doors, grates, and ash drawers sometimes used for the firebox below.

As explainedin our book, Build Your Own Barrel Oven, these are optional and a barrel oven can be built with a narrow opening for the fire chamber and cut rebar for a grate.

You can also employ a “rocket” style combustion chamber which eliminates the need for additional hardware:

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Or you can purchase additional hardware fromNorthstone Heat Supply, distributors of Pisla Finnish Cast-Iron Hardware, as we did for this project:

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In this case, we recommend that you order the following items for the medium-sized barrel oven:

Rocket-Fired Griddle Oven

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The new Rocket-Fired Griddle Oven was built during the Natural Building Colloquium at the Black Range Lodge in Kingston, NM. The Griddle Oven was designed by Flemming Abrahamson of Fornyet Energi and built in a workshop led by Flemming and Max Edleson of Firespeaking.

The Griddle Oven features a rocket-style combustion box which offers clean combustion as demonstrated by virtually no visible smoke exiting the chimney. The heat generated travels beneath the griddle top as it also wraps completely around the barrel oven before exiting the chimney. The result is a rocket stove with amazing versatility as it efficiently cooks just about any type of food you can imagine and can also be utilized to heat your home. Pancakes, fajitas, eggs and more can be cooked on the top griddle surface while lasagnas, bread, stews and pies can bake in the barrel oven below.

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This Rocket-Fired Griddle Oven is an original design pioneered by Flemming, using hardware produced by Firespeaking. This Griddle Oven is optimized for community scale outdoor cooking.

Make sure to join our mailing list to receive updates, including plans for a smaller, more compact version!

Relevant Links:

OAEC Medium-Sized Professional Wood-Fired Oven

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This oven was built in October 2014 at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.  The OAEC has inspired many through its courses and example over the last three decades.  It was an honor to be invited to build this oven which is well situated next to their newly remodeled kitchen facility.

The deck of this oven is 36″ x 40 1/2″ deep.  It features a firebrick core with a vault and steel harness, designed by Alex Chernov, Stovemaster.  High-temp insulation surrounds the entire core, optimizing the oven’s efficiency.  The facing is classic looking recycled red brick with two wood storage arches facing the front and back and keystone for accent.

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(click images to enlarge)

A highlight of the build was getting to help the community to experience their new oven by throwing it’s inaugural pizza event.  We easily fed 75 people.  The oven’s mass-to-insulation ratio is designed to make it efficient but not overwhelming.  We made a fire for three hours before starting our pizza session at about 750 degrees.  We made roughly 60 pizzas over the following two hours with a live fire in the back.  One nice thing about breaking into these bigger oven sizes is the ease of management of the fire and pizzas.  There is not the risk of getting pizzas too close to the fire or mixed up with ash, and it is easy to have 2 to 4 good sized pizzas going simultaneously.

The next morning at 9 am, I opened the insulated oven door and read an average temperature of 425 degrees.  Without lighting another fire, we cooked 12 loaves of bread… and then followed that up with 2 hotel pans of beans…. and after that whole winter squash and many pounds of potatoes.  At the end of that following day, the oven was still at close to 300 degrees.

Thanks to Alex Chernov of Stovemaster for designing the core and Marcus Flynn of Pyromasse for technical advice on this build.  And thanks to the entire OAEC community for making this project a big life highlight!

“Hey Max! Just a quick note to tell you that we have been using the oven lots, and loving it so much! The oven works perfectly. It is all we dreamed of. We feel you in every brick, and every slice! Thank you Max!

We’ll send some party pictures too. If you need any promo photos or testimonials, let us know – we are your biggest fans! Please come visit when you can.”
-Dave Henson, OAEC Excecutive Director

Further Reading:

Photo Credits: Oven with Fire and Pizza Close-up in main spread and 5th, 7th and 8th images in mosaic by Tali Aiona.  2nd, 3rd and 4th images in mosaic by Jim Coleman.  6th and 9th images by Brock Dolman.  Thank you!

Big Bear Camp Barrel Oven

We were very happy to get hired by our neighbors Hal and Tonia of Big Bear Camp to lead a workshop to build a Barrel Oven. We took the opportunity to make our first glass door for the Barrel Oven Kit and are thrilled by the result. We think it speaks for itself….

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CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO BELOW OF THE BBC BARREL OVEN IN ACTION!! –

 

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In its last year of existence, the oven has already cooked food for a number of monthly neighborhood pizza parties, been part of the October menu for the Epicurean Bears Club, as well as helped prepare the feast for a pre-Thanksgiving get-together. We love seeing the glow of the fire as the food is cooking. Hal and Tonia report that they often just sit with the oven and a cup of tea as it is pre-heating. Stay tuned for a post about the neighborhood kids and their Big Bear Camp Barrel Oven baked gingerbread houses!

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Further Reading:

Oven at Wise Acres Farm – Eugene, OR

We built this wood-fired earth oven at Wise Acres Farm, a beautiful place and home to Dr. Sharol Tilgner, author of Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth! The beautiful brick oven base was built by Max and the earth oven project was led and finished by Eva during a workshop. The clay, sand and straw for the oven were gathered from the local area. The oven is well insulated and is functioning beautifully.