Since that first cooking attempt documented in “The First Pizza“, we have added a layer of render to the oven, and the mosaics as you have seen in this post titled “Clay Cob Oven Mosaics Complete”.
After that final layer dried solid I tried to cook in it again. I started the fire small, and built it up and kept the burn going for 3 hours which was twice as long as the first attempt. I pushed the coals all over the floor and let it sit for 10 minutes to heat it up. Then I moved the coals aside and mopped the oven floor with a wet rag on a stick to get rid of the ash. I checked the temperature and it had reached 350C (662.0F)! I was pleased with that so got ready to cook. This time I made simple garlic and herbed bread in a thick pizza shape. I floured the peel and placed each pizza in the oven directly on the floor. This time the pizza cooked in 4 minutes flat, with the dough cooking all the way through. I cooked 4 of these flat breads in a row in the space of 8 minutes which tasted fantastic!
Just after we finished the pizzas, I put the door in place and found that the temp went up to 400C (752.0) and the door began to blacken, so I removed it quickly. Talk about being hot! If I soak the door in water before I cook, it should stop this from happening.
This time we found that the oven kept its heat for more than 4 hours, with the temp dropping down to about 180C at about midnight. If I had have planned ahead, I would have cooked a roast dinner next, then bread, and maybe even more bread or pastries or even jacket potatoes in foil on the coals.
I have so much more to learn, and have even bought a cook book specifically for cob ovens which should help a lot. I know that there will be many more wonderful meals to come out of this oven in the very near future. It is so relaxing cooking in this oven. It really gives you time to prepare the food as it is heating up.
Does anyone have any experience cooking in this type of oven that they would like to share?
Yum Gavin! 🙂
Certainly won’t be too much of a chore experimenting with what you can cook in there! 🙂
LOL Learning from you.
Gavin, check out http://www.thefreshloaf.com in their forum area they have a section on brick and earth ovens you might find helpful. I am in awe of your cob oven!
Darren (Green Change) says
Jamie Oliver did a bit of cooking in this type of oven, I think it was in the Jamie At Home series. Could be worth borrowing to see if he has any good ideas.
Have a look at http://www.fornobravo.com/brick_oven_cooking/cook.html
Lots of good ideas and a useful forum as well – good info on heat management which I have found the most difficult part of cooking in a brick/cob oven.
Keep at it – it is great fun.
Jason Dingley says
A good friend of mine made a cob oven and he regularly holds pizza days. The oven becomes very communal as many people contribute to making the lunch.
@ Kristy. Too right, will try again over the weekend.
@ FSPM. Cheers, now the pressure is on!
@ Craftyrabbit. Thanks for the link, it looks promising.
@ Darren. I have that series, I best watch a bit of Jamie again.
@ Gavin, thanks for the link, I will trawl through it.
@ Jason, The few nights we have cooked so far have been great fun with friends and family. The oven is better at entertaining than television!
After the pizzas I put a roast pork in which takes about 2 hours. Even after that the oven was still hot. It was a waste not using all the heat. Got my cast iron pot out, chop a couple of onions saute on the stove. Put any meat in and give a quick stir. pour in any curry sauce and potatoes. let it cook slowly in the brick oven. check once a while to make sure its not burning. I know my brick oven is still hot. Slice tomatoes, put on racks and leave it over night. Tomorrow you will have oven dried tomatoes. Enjoy.
Hi Gavin, not sure if my experiences will help as we have a brick oven and yours is cob. With our oven, we light the fire, feed it until it is good and roaring, move the fire back gradually into the dome and keep it burning for around 3-5 hours, depending on the weather and dryness of the wood. We can tell when our oven is ready because all of the soot burns off the dome roof, slowly starting as a small patch in the centre and working it’s way down. When the whole oven is ‘white’, we do pizzas, then scoop out the coals and place the door in position to bake breads..and then cakes, roasts, and as the temperature drops further, casseroles and stews etc. Meringues or drying fruit/veg could be done last. A really helpful site as mentioned above is Forno Bravo, although of course it is mainly focused on brick ovens, the information may still be helpful. They have a free e-cookbook that is available to download in their ‘recipe’ section which I have a copy of and find handy. But the best way to learn is to keep using your oven and have FUN with it!! Rarely is there anything that is unable to be eaten from the cooking experiments! 🙂
Hi Gavin..my best effort was this one: http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=966800
Contact me at: cachehunter at jucsurfer dot com if you would like to discuss…we have cooked many great meals in that oven.
Learning from you Gavin 🙂 Had my initial firing of my cob oven yesterday.
Gavin Webber says
Thats excellent Danielle! Do you have some pictures because I would love to see your handy work in action 😉