The Barrel Oven: A New Kind of Outdoor DIY Pizza Oven

Low cost, fuel efficient, DIY barrel oven
Low cost, fuel efficient, DIY barrel oven

The best ideas are immediately recognizable, and that’s certainly true with this amazing new barrel oven by Max and Eva Edleson. Here’s an excerpt from a book review about their barrel oven by Ziggy at Year of Mud blog.

“There’s an up-and-coming outdoor oven out there: the DIY, wood-fired barrel oven promises some pretty compelling advantages over a cob or masonry oven, and it is the subject of Max and Eva Edleson’s latest Build Your Own Barrel Oven book. It’s the first I’ve heard of this particular design, and I must say, it has definitely captured my attention, and the Edlesons’ book does a fantastic job describing the plans and construction process of these relatively simple, efficient pizza and bread-baking wonders.

Have you been considering building an outdoor oven setup of your own, or are you intrigued by the idea baking pizza with wood heat? Read on for my review of the book and a better understanding of the advantages of building your own backyard barrel oven.

Bake Pizza and Bread in This Outdoor Oven… Quickly

The barrel oven is, well, exactly that. It’s an ingenious oven built around a horizontal metal drum, wood fired, and relatively simple to build, with few specialized materials — in fact, it can be built largely with recycled and easily available items. Think barrel, bricks, chimney, mud and sand, stone or cinder blocks, and a few other materials. It’s still a somewhat uncommon design, especially compared to wildly popular cob ovens, but as the book describes, the barrel oven offers some very distinct advantages over its kin.

The main advantage, quite obviously, is that you can bake within 15-20 minutes of lighting a fire. Now, if you are familiar with cob or earthen ovens, you’ll know that these usually need at least 3 hours of firing in order to use.

Be sure to check out the Build Your Own Barrel Oven book here. Max and Eva also offer barrel oven kits for aspiring builders!

Highly recommended.”

Our previous blog post on barrel ovens seems to have vanished during the transition to new servers. Here’s a link to the barrel oven at Kleiwerks.

7 thoughts on “The Barrel Oven: A New Kind of Outdoor DIY Pizza Oven”

  1. I’ve most recently made some improvements to my Low Mass Wood fired barrel oven. A convection fan was added to the oven door(barrel lid). They say convection will decrease cook time by 25%. They’re right.
    WOW, was all I could say at my first results. In 15 minutes my oven was 700 deg. Another 15 minutes and 6 PIZZAS where baked @ 750 degrees.
    I’m now baking on my own PIZZA pan hammered from a barrel top. Sized to 14″, with a 1/4″ rim. Here’s the finished product (PIZZA) . . .I’ll post the pan later!

  2. Down here in Argentina, it’s known as an Horno Chileno (a Chilean Oven). They are pretty common in my neighbourhood. We built one with the idea that it might be movible, so it’s built on a pallet instead of a stone base, and it uses some empty bottles in the cob as filler. The whole thing has less thermal mass and heats up quicker. Ours doesn’t use bricks in the arch, just rebar grid and cob. We fire it with dry branches and paper garbage and the barrel fits 4 cookie trays. Love it.

    • Great ideas. In some ways I like your oven design better. It’s faster, lighter, portable, easier to make and heats up faster. And, possibly slightly less expensive. Not bad! It’s also interesting that the concept has spread on it’s own with no outside direction or funding. So that’s a good sign.

  3. This is why I love natural building so much. Natural building encompasses a whole range of things such as fuel efficient stoves and ovens to make life better and easier without breaking the bank. And having a stove/oven like this makes it easier to cook healthier food and save on grocery bills.


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