Monday, 12 October 2015

Outdoor Cooking

I know that this is the wrong time of year to be talking about this, but with the garden wall nearing completion it's made me think about what I can use this area for. 

Ideally I'd love a nice outdoor cooking area which would include a brick BBQ and some worktop area to prepare and keep food. Whilst I have my brick layer coming on odd days I might get him to put a few brick piers up so I can make this and cut some large slat slabs for a worktop. 
I'm also toying with the idea of building a tandoor, which in essence is a rocket stove. I've got an old chimney pot I can use to be the cooking chimney, I'll just need to build a base with some fire bricks to allow a fire under it then the chimney up the middle with a slab around the top. I might even make a metal plate to fit on top of the chimney so it can be used as a hot plate as well. 
The third and final thing I'd like to build is a pizza oven, although I've no plans of doing that now as it's a big project. I've been looking at different designs and can see that you can roughly choose between a brick one or a clay one, although it seems the clay one needs a roof of some description as you need to keep it covered when it's not in use. 

Who has experience of building an outdoor cooking area and what would you recommend I take into account?
Has anyone else reading this built either a tandoor or a pizza oven, and how successful were they? Any good links I might have missed?


  1. We built an outdoor oven at our other house and we plan on building one again, we went for brick rather than clay, make it as big as you can and make a door for it the design we went for didnt have a door but to use it as an oven we needed a door also the design we went for had the chimney in the middle big mistake all the heat went straight up so position the chimney towards the back, Martin did make a cover for the chimney to keep the rain out, we loved the outdoor cooking area, the other thing we found was the height if it is not the right height for you it makes things a bit awkward.

  2. No experience whatsoever, except 'building' a summer kitchen when we lived in France. Nothing as ambitious, mind.
    I'll keep following your progress though, as I would love an outdoor-type-a-kitchen. The only problems would be where, and would we get any use out of it, living in the southwest of Ireland. hmm
    Now is the time to plan this out, that it is ready to get going next spring/summer. Talk away ! :)

  3. No experience here with ovens although I have built a few BBQ areas over the years. We always used brick. Not sure hw practical an outdoor cooking area would be at our place until we get the warm weather fly plague we get every year taken care of. Usually it only last about two months in the Spring but this year it lasted until the rains stopped in August.

  4. A friend has just built a beautiful Pizza oven. He bought a ready-made insert with cast-iron door, and just built the exterior stone work himself.

  5. Kev, When it comes to fire and meat the Argentinians are probably just about as good as it gets. Google images for "parrilla argentina" for some really great ideas on outdoor grill and BBQ set ups. Note the adjustable slanted grill grate made of 1/2 inch angle iron to drain any fat away and reduce flareups. As for pizza ovens I bet one of the Vogelzang barrel stove kits would make for a great door on one.

  6. Roll on summer we will all be around for your first BBQ.

  7. What about a shed pub and pizza oven Kev?

  8. google The Greening of Gavin. That dude is amazing.


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