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First few cooks

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  • First few cooks

    First of all, thanks for all the knowledge on this site. Been lurking on it for a while and finally finished my 70cm (27') cob oven a few weeks back. Total build cost about $200 NZD (prob about 150 USD), most of that for firebrick hearth (retail for $7 each : O ) then the rest on mortar etc for the base.

    Food cooked so far:
    pizza!! these are amazing. 90 second ones take a bit of practice cos there's a fine line between cooked and charred. very basic flavors like margheritas are my fav as they really showcase the summer produce we get from the markets here.
    beer can chicken: best ever. inspired by a post on here, excuse me not giving more precise credit. it was black after 5 mins but I whipped it out, let the oven cool a bit then put a foil tent on and it come out right as rain. salt, pepper sugar and hot smoked paprika rub if i recall. Very crispy on the outside, very moist inside. And smokey. Man it was good.
    smoked fish: by smoked i mean i tried to smoke it but the oven was way too hot and there wasn't really time for the smoke to infuse. Still tasted amazing. Tried kingfish, kahawai and butterfish and they all came out gooood.
    Lamb chops: Put these in at around 200C for 25 mins or so, very tender. I threw some woodchips in but didn't get much smokey taste. Not to worry.
    Veges: Grilled veges (capsicum, courgettes etc) are very reliable, need practice with roasted root veges. The parsnip especially didn't seem to cook very well. Next time I'll put them in well before the chops go in.
    Desserts: bread and butter pudding, roasted apricots in some kind of sponge thingy, a nectarine and almond and cream cheese pizza. The dessert pizza wasn't a complete success, partly because the slightly blackened base doesn't lend itself to sweet in the same way as it does to savory. Also, there was some dessicated coconut on top. Keyword being was, because it got vaporized pretty quickly. Very keen to try again though, it seemed promising.

    The meals have a tendency to stretch over several hours because I'm not quite organised enough to roll things out in sequence. Plus I haven't figured out what to cook directly after pizzas, (350-400C range) so we have to wait for it to cool. For that matter, I haven't managed to do much before pizzas because the fire to get it up to temp fills most of my oven. This could be overkill.

    Very keen to try a slow roast. My oven drops from about 200 to 100 overnight, any ideas what I might be able to put in? Bread is another challenge I hope to take on at some point.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: First few cooks

    Fish will work nicely at the post pizza temps as well as roasts and other things that would be good grilled with indirect heat I put these type things in on cast iron flat pans and the turn out nice.

    Chip
    Chip

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    • #3
      Re: First few cooks

      Man, that pizza with the zucchini and peppers looks good. Just the right amount of cheeze. Thanks for posting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First few cooks

        Originally posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
        Man, that pizza with the zucchini and peppers looks good. Just the right amount of cheeze. Thanks for posting.
        John,

        Have not heard how your oven is working are you turning out any good food yet?

        We have the oven stoking up for some Pizza tonight.

        Chip
        Chip

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        • #5
          Re: First few cooks

          Chip,

          Good to hear from you. Sadly, my oven is nearing completion but at a standstill and unfinished. My company does 25% of it's annual business in January, so I have been working long hours am wiped when I get home. Thanks to you (!), I put in an order with my brother for a stainless entryway floor and flue and am ready to go another direction after waiting two months. My wife had a hysterectomy two weeks ago so on top of everything, I am being Mr Mom/shopper/laundry/etc, but its all good. The cooking part comes easy. The only part I question is having to wear a dress and hairnet around the house. At least the bubble baths are cool.
          John

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          • #6
            Re: First few cooks

            Maybe living in Disneyland is having some effect ?
            Do you also wear Minnie Mouse shoes?
            Send us a photo.
            Last edited by david s; 02-04-2012, 01:19 PM.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First few cooks

              Busy at work is good. Wife not feeling well is bad, On the up side you oven is getting plenty of time to dry and should be easy to cure once started up. The dress and hairnet is easy its the shaving in odd places that gets to me.. I have had an issue with some warping of the Stainless on the floor of the entry so I will be putting in a thicker plate without the bends once I find an acceptable price on a piece the size I need. Still will be stainless as I do like how it cleans up.

              My oven is working better than I expected in the cold. I get a good 4 - 5 days of cooking out of it on 1 firing. We are having an abnormally warm winter but it still barely gets above freezing in daytime and has been 15 - 20 at night so I am very happy with 200F after 5 days.

              Turned out some great ribs on Wed Dome 450F Floor 385F Apple wood on a bed of coals for smoke for 1:15 the rack is an upside down turkey rack to hold the ribs upright.

              Put into Enameled Cast Iron Pot for 1:40 at 400 to tenderize.

              Took out of oven for re-heat up oven to do some bread. and returned ribs to oven with sauce on open rack for 35 minutes a couple of hours later at about 525. Sorry no final photos. The guests had arrived an got to busy to take final beauty shots of bread and ribs. I guess you can see the snow in the background in the last photo. Only a few inches, usually we have at least a foot or two on the ground at this time of the year.

              Hoping your wife heals quickly.

              Chip
              Attached Files
              Last edited by mrchipster; 02-04-2012, 01:37 PM.
              Chip

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First few cooks

                Originally posted by david s View Post
                Maybe living in Disneyland is having some effect ?
                Do you also wear Minnie Mouse shoes?
                Send us a photo.
                I really do not need to see a photo of John in a dress, Those guys who dress in drag for Mardi Gras are a little (lot) to much for me.

                Chip
                Chip

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First few cooks

                  Sorry, guys. I guess I was just venting a little bit and need to have a better attitude. Every time I really think its getting to me I go out to the garage and mess with a wrench or power saw or something. Honestly, I got a whole lot more respect for my wife and what she does on a daily basis, but I'll take greasy car repair fingernails or chapped mortar hands any day over vacuuming.

                  Chip, I'm pleased to hear of your insulation efficiency, but not to hear of your stainless scalloping. I was tired of waiting for my brother to show up with the promised 3/16" 3-1-6 (restaurant grade) stainless plate so I bought a used stainless restaurant table I found on Craigslist. When my brother told me 1/16" stainless will warp like a potato chip when welded, I had to call the seller back and back out of the deal. So I'm still waiting on the 3/16". Go with 1/8" if you have to, but nothing thinner and um, thicker is better.

                  David, my wife has been a Disney park employee for 33 years and to tell you the truth, after walking in there 500+ times (I worked there 6 years from high school through college and all the trips with the kids over the years) I avoid the place. It is true, though, that there is a large number of faeries that love working there.

                  John
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First few cooks

                    Originally posted by mrchipster View Post
                    Fish will work nicely at the post pizza temps as well as roasts and other things that would be good grilled with indirect heat I put these type things in on cast iron flat pans and the turn out nice.

                    Chip
                    mm, butterflied lamb would go well. and maybe some chunky steaks of tuna just seared on each side so its still raw in the middle. As a side, I'm going to need some new cookware. Do I go for stainless or cast?

                    also, 5 days of cooking.... wow...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First few cooks

                      I use cast iro n and LOVE it in the wfo. Great way to sear off meat. Getting a masonary oven up to pizza temps and then letting it fully saturate allows 5 days of cooking at various temps. Fun way to learn different cooking techniques and times.
                      How long does it take to get your oven up to pizza temps?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First few cooks

                        Takes about an hour and a half to saturate my oven. I don't think I did my insulation layer quite right (gets up to 70C after a few hours of firing), and my door is a hopeless fit.

                        Has anyone tried stainless as well as cast iron?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First few cooks

                          Originally posted by arthuritus View Post
                          I don't think I did my insulation layer quite right (gets up to 70C after a few hours of firing), and my door is a hopeless fit.
                          70C after a few hours!!!....did you forget to put the insulation in?
                          Aussie Pete

                          250th Aussie on this forum...."so i was told"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: First few cooks

                            Originally posted by arthuritus View Post
                            Takes about an hour and a half to saturate my oven. I don't think I did my insulation layer quite right (gets up to 70C after a few hours of firing), and my door is a hopeless fit.

                            Has anyone tried stainless as well as cast iron?
                            That is just not right 70C are you sure???

                            I use stainless and heavy grade aluminum at temps below 500 on occasion, but I prefer cast and porcelain coated cast iron. The heavy grade coper bottom stainless works well and cleans up easily. Just be sure to never over heat it. Or cook it dry.

                            Heavy aluminum works well for oven fried potatoes with coconut oil, and as drip pans for rib racks.

                            I was in SAMs club the other day and they have a nice 6.5 qt enamled cast iron pot with top fo $50 it has a lifetime warranty I think I will go back and pick one up.

                            Chip
                            Chip

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: First few cooks

                              Originally posted by Aussie Pete View Post
                              70C after a few hours!!!....did you forget to put the insulation in?
                              Cheeky aussies! I thought 70C wasnt too bad considering about 25cm away(yes, thats insulation AND thermal mass) its 700 or so. Also, it gets to about 70C on the outside just from sunshine on a nice day. Not that theres much sunshine when I'm cooking but knowing that makes me feel better . Next time round I'll make my insulation layer less structural and more insulative and probably a bit thicker.

                              I've been eyeing up some of those enameled cast iron things but over here they'd cost more than my oven =( I might cruise round the op shops and see if theres anything good there. I'll probably avoid the aluminium but if there's stainless or cast in the right shape I'll snap it up.

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