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Portable Tandoor Oven Build - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Portable Tandoor Oven Build

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  • Portable Tandoor Oven Build

    OK, I have always wanted a tandoor oven. I'll try to build one next weekend.

    I am going to build one using H.C. Muddox thin brick and heat stop refractory cement on the inside. I will be using the summer wheat color, as it is a uniform brick. The internal diameter will be about 18.75 inches, and the "usable height" will be about 30 inches. I will be using thin brick on the outside as well. The outside diameter will be approximately 25.25 inches. I have no idea what color I will use on the outside.

    Before everyone yells and tells me that if it ain't fire brick, it's gonna crack.....I'm going to try it. Thin brick will allow me to quickly and easily deal with a radiused interior. There will be lots of joints for stress relief. The alternative is a clay pot.....I'm guessing brick might work. I'm finding out that the Muddox brick are great.....not at all like the brick oven in the chimney of an old house my brother owns in Pennsylvania...that oven is real, real old.......100 years?

    Now, a tandoor pot generally has a "belly", and the mouth is smaller than the belly. I am not yet sure how I am going to deal with that, or if I even will. I guess a smaller mouth will save energy, prevent excessive heat loss, etc....but it also increases the likelyhood of me brushing my hand or arm against something hot when I "slap" the naan onto the wall. I'm already thinking that there will be no more hair left on my knuckles. I guess I can add something to make the oven mouth come out to about 13-14 inches in diameter.

    I think I'll just use a round piece of sheet metal with a handle for the lid.....The lid has to be slid partway open anyway when cooking kabobs.....and I generally see the lid off all the way when cooking naan.

    Wish me luck....pictures to follow.

  • #2
    Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

    I'm subscribed to see the build
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

      "I'm subscribed to see the build" Lburou

      Me too, I've had a matched pair of large clay pots that I picked up last summer with the idea of building a tandoor oven. I have yet to find the time...but have been refining the build in my mind, (so much easier to prebuild something in one's head :-) It will be interesting to see how your ideas play out.

      Lots of picture, please !
      Bests,
      Wiley

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

        Here is a photo on an Armenian Tonir......I found this picture under "Tandoor" in Wikipedia. I am telling you this because that seems to be the licensing requirement for the photo.

        This photo will be used as my inspiration for my tandoor.I intend to use thin brick arranged like this on the inside of the tandoor.

        15 lbs of powder form HeatStop costs $76, but I think that will be enough for a tandoor. I use split firebrick and type S with fireclay added for my pizza ovens....I am tempted to use that for the tandoor......any thoughts? In my ovens, it is the joints between brick that have strength, the type S with fireclay does not stick much (none have come off but fixing mistakes show where the type S sticks) to the backing insulation I use. I wonder about Heatstop, but $76 for 1 tandoor is ok......
        Attached Files
        Last edited by sacwoodpusher; 12-16-2010, 05:58 PM. Reason: forgot picture...

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        • #5
          Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

          I had good luck this week buying all kinds of supplies from a refractory plant close by. See my thread about it here.

          California will be full of refractories supporting a number of industries using their specialty products. Search for 'California refractory' and they can sell you the powder you mention (or anything you need) for cheap by comparison. HTH :
          Last edited by Lburou; 12-16-2010, 07:15 PM.
          Lee B.
          DFW area, Texas, USA

          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
          Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
          An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

            Thank you.

            Harbison Walker in Richmond, CA reached out to me today. They asked me to drive down and visit what they call a refractory supply mecca.

            I use H.C. Muddox here in Sacramento for bricks. Their bricks are quite reasonable, and I think their quality is awsome.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

              My pleasure

              Make a list, I got distracted during my visit to the refractory and went away without everything I wanted
              Lee B.
              DFW area, Texas, USA

              If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
              Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
              An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

              I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                15 lbs of powder form HeatStop costs $76
                Wow that's expensive, even on the west coast. Heatstop50 (the fifty pound bag) is a bit north of 50 dollars around here. The ten pound tub was about fifteen, the last one I bought.
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                  I believe that I "mis-heard" 15 when she may have said 50 lbs....

                  Either way, I am going down to Harbison Walker next week in Richmond, CA to see what they have.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                    A couple of thoughts/impressions regarding that photo that is the inspiration for your build:

                    It's an interesting way of suporting the meat they are roasting, however, it would appear that the bottom meats are considerably more cooked than the top. The support for the "dangle" is clever but one would suppose that part way thru the roast the dangle should have the capability to be inverted and hung from what is presently the bottom. Having that capability would insure a more uniform roast.

                    Also one would assume a roast like this would not be much different in final outcome than one done in one of our WFOs. It is relying on radiant heat from the sides. With at least one considerable difference: if one drops what one is roasting in one of our WFOs it is a mess but the meat is easliy recoverable. Retrieving a dropped dangle in this oven would be much more inconvenient and hazardous as one would have to work directly in the heat column.

                    My personal interest in a tandoor is more in the bread it produces. Skewered meats should be no different than those done in a dome WFO. Or am I missing something?

                    Wiley

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                      I really hadn't considered the contraption used for hanging the meat. I thought I would use long swordlike skewars. Naan is what I am after too.

                      I see that this "tandoor" is constructed of bricks arranged radially......and I am looking at the layout of the mouth. I will be thinking of ways to eliminate heat loss from the mouth when the lid is on, some thermal break between the mouth and the outside of the oven.

                      If I'm not real careful, the tandoor will weigh too much. Gotta be careful here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                        Originally posted by sacwoodpusher View Post
                        ....snip......and I am looking at the layout of the mouth. I will be thinking of ways to eliminate heat loss from the mouth when the lid is on, some thermal break between the mouth and the outside of the oven.

                        If I'm not real careful, the tandoor will weigh too much. Gotta be careful here.
                        Weight too much?....Are you holding it in your lap?

                        Just give it legs....Maybe tilt it a little to make access easier and hold a bit more heat. The oven door should hold a lot of heat in there....do you really need more of a heat barrier than an insulated door?
                        Lee B.
                        DFW area, Texas, USA

                        If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                        Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                        An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                        I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                          Successful naan requires intense heat from all sides- especially from below. An open straight walled oven such as the Armenian oven pictured will never achieve this. The walls have to curve inward to a smaller mouth at the top in order to achieve intense heat from below while the bread is baking.

                          Getting naan dough against the wall of a small mouthed tandoor IS unsettling and you do generally need asbestos hands, but that all comes with the territory. If you're going with a wide mouth, you might as well save yourself the trouble and make naan in a regular oven with a conductive baking stone- maybe cast iron or steel plate. That will give you a faster baking time/better naan than the Armenian oven.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                            OK....I'm game to try to make a smaller mouth. Maybe, when I make the pillow contraption to slap the naan against the tandoor wall, I can make it like a glove.....to protect the back of my hands, maybe up the arm a bit too.

                            So....If the belly of the tandoor is 16-17" in diameter, what size should I make the mouth? I could make it about 12-13 inches......I guess that would impede the heat loss and get me a little higher temperature.

                            Is there a magic number like 61-63% for for the mouth of a tandoor like there is for an oven?
                            Last edited by sacwoodpusher; 12-25-2010, 04:21 PM. Reason: Clarifying...tying tandoor ratios to oven ratios

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

                              Hello SWP,

                              Tandoors and variants come in different sizes and general shapes. There are Chinese, Turkish, Indian and Russian, etc. variations, same as variations on the nann bread. The tandoor type oven is hugely ancient so each culture made their own improvements or design features to suit their cooking style. Do a Google search of tandoor or clay oven cooking, etc to find some basic information. England has a bunch available like we have Weber Kettles available, interesting.

                              Cheers,
                              Bob

                              Here is the link to my oven number 1 construction photos!

                              Here is the link to my oven number 2 construction photos!

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