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Beer Keg Oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
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We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Beer Keg Oven

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  • Beer Keg Oven

    hi all been lurking a while love the forum!

    i got given a beer keg and thaught i'd try this as i'd love the portability of it.
    worst case it dosen't work at all and just use it as a safe outdoor fireplace.

    it now has a handle on the door with 3 stages of opening to control air flow and bars fitted through it one inch above the door opening to rest bricks/cookware etc. was thinking of a large flower pot saucer or a paver cut to shape??? these could be rested on bricks to hold the heat.

    when i test fired it (with little fuel) it held 180c pretty much constantly for a good 40 mins

    from what i've read you only need 5 mins max to do a pizza (albeit hotter) i'm thinking this might be achivable.

    would love some advise. i'm open to being told i'm wasting my time but ideas would be great.

    fired up


  • #2
    Re: Beer Keg Oven

    Hey Nordik,

    That is a great looking rig! It sounds like it should work fine for pizza, hot baking stones, and a chamber to keep the heat up and close...

    Keep us posted with a report about your pizza from this oven. This could be the inspiration for a new generation portable pizza ovens...



    • #3
      Re: Beer Keg Oven

      thanks alot Jed!

      i tried bread in it by using a couple of flower pots. i put dough in a small pot (unwarmed) and placed it inside a large pot in the oven resting on the bars(preheated). 1 out of 3 were edible but the trend was to burn outside especialy on top and be a bit doughy in the middle. (too hot?)

      After that i did away with the bread and pots and placed 2 standard house bricks on the bars and a terracotta saucer ontop of them.
      in the end i made the pizza on foil and placed it directly onto the (hot)saucer in the oven. this seemed to work and each pizza took no more than 5 mins to cook.

      just have to weld some legs on it and some finishing touches.

      how many rules am i breaking with this oven??

      can i have a burning fire going or should it be coals?
      is it ok to use house bricks or should i really get specialised brick?

      should i be trying anything different / any suggestions?

      thanks to all will keep posting photos if your interested.


      • #4
        Re: Beer Keg Oven

        nice Job. The only thing you might consider is adding a side vent when you and making pizzas. My experience has been that the convection ( air flow) over the top of the pizza is very important. So, closing off the central chimney and moving the air across the top of the pizza will improve your pizza. You can see my oven and experiences with one made from a propane tank here.


        how many rules am i breaking with this oven??
        Rules are for people who read the directions
        Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog


        • #5
          Re: Beer Keg Oven

          cheers brokencookie,
          i was planing on putting a shield i could close ontop the chimney.
          unsure about the airflow in the keg at the moment i'd imagine air is flowing over the top and exiting from the centre.

          the only way i control air at the moment is how far ajar the door is (3 stages) there is a 1.5mm slit on the oppisitye side to the door aswell. not sure if i need more venting and or a larger flue.


          • #6
            Re: Beer Keg Oven

            What is the diameter of the keg (I guess I could run downstairs & measure mine!) From memory, you may want to look into a Big Green Egg Platesetter. CERAMIC PLATE SETTER FOR LARGE CERAMIC GRILL (18" Diameter)
            It is a good heat deflector that will last a lifetime and it will add some thermal mass. You can put a grate then pizza stone on top of the platesetter with the feet up.


            • #7
              Re: Beer Keg Oven

              If you insulated the oven you'd get a lot more performance out of it.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


              • #8
                Re: Beer Keg Oven

                thanks everyone
                70 chevy the dia is about 14.5" so bit small for that setter but i see they have a 15". would the house bricks be doing the same job or do you mean i should have distance between the ceramic (or thermal mass) and the pizza stone?

                david s i would love to insulate it but have been racking my brains on how to do it. i'd like to keep the external apearance the same so that leaves internal insulation but space is a bit tight there. perhaps bbq heat rocks on a grill or stuck to the walls and roof somehow? is that what you were thinking? if i could get a clay i could stick to the walls and roof it would be ideal but usure of cracking and fastening. i found it very difficult to control temp for baking bread so i assume something like this may help.


                • #9
                  Re: Beer Keg Oven

                  I was thinking more along the lines of insulating with blanket or vermiculite on the outside, then chicken wire and cement render over that. You would of course lose that beer keg look then.
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


                  • #10
                    Re: Beer Keg Oven

                    These little ovens can be an exercize in frustration. They are just too small to have a working thermal mass, and getting enough insulation to make a difference means your oven ends up looking like a doughnut hole.
                    With these problems you need to contiually fire the oven to maintain temperature. This is why I went with a propane burner. You can adjust and maintain a temperature fairly easily with the burner. If you want the woodsmoke, install a small grate above the burner and throw in a few chips while cooking.
                    The largerest drawback is that it is difficult to reach 850 degrees when the outside temperature is below 45 degrees No snow pizzas...)
                    Last edited by brokencookie; 02-22-2009, 01:47 AM.
                    Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog


                    • #11
                      Re: Beer Keg Oven


                      I am with a group of friends who regularly go camping (around a camp fire) and I wanted to try to build a (Pizza, fire oven) I totally understand that it is not going to look perfect or reach optimum temperature, (but isn’t that fun about trying) Your Threads have given me some direction but we were more looking towards a dismountable stone base detachable oven with a shell over the top lined and covered with thermal blankets. The idea is (in short) to place the stone slab onto the fire embers to retain bottom heat and then place a cover on top of the slab. Light a fire inside and wait till it Gets (HOT) and then try to cook a pizza. Any tips. But may try the KEG idea first. I like the idea of the external lagging and concrete out case.
                      Last edited by ritchie UK; 02-25-2009, 11:46 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: Beer Keg Oven

                        G'day ritchie

                        although i haven't been camping in ages what your planning would be fantastic! great pizza camping out whith a bunch of mates sounds pretty good to me.

                        i've pretty much got the keg down pat now. getting to temp is no problem and staying there is no problem either now. i found that my flue is too small. i need a way of controling the flue flow on the go (plan to put a adjustable flap ontop). i found this out by proping the lid open a little or alot by wedging timber in the gap (rough but it worked) this way i could control heat and flow over the top of the bricks. i've even cooked some breads now with sucsess!

                        if i were going camping i wouldn't be too keen on draging around a conctreted beer keg! just a thaught but why don't you just get a cooking rack (like a grate on a stand) and put that ontop your fire with a couple of housebricks on it and rest a webber lid over the top on the grate? if you wat to go really cheap and easy (if you dont have a webber lid)get a 20litre oil container from your fish and chip store and cut it in half. use the top half and remove the lid (instant vent) it gives you a handle to hook a stick into to remove the lid. this would be as easy as pie as you could rake coals under the grate or away from to control your temp the smoke would enter and flow around the top of the pizza and the whole lot wouldn't take up much space or weigh that much.

                        only downfall of the keg not being insulated is i need a fire going constantly (not a problem as i have plenty of timber) i'm staying uninsulated to keep it portable for now.

                        the keg is getting better- or rather i am at controling it.

                        last nights effort (or one of)


                        • #13
                          Re: Beer Keg Oven

                          Potters control the airflow in their kilns by placing a piece of pottery shelf over the top of the flue and can adjust the flow of air, going out and therefore in. A piece of sheet metal would also work. When you want to shut it down completely block it off at the top altogether.
                          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


                          • #14
                            Re: Beer Keg Oven

                            Here is the Beer Keg oven thread. Folks will be able to find it more easily here.
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces


                            • #15
                              Re: Beer Keg Oven

                              thanks james,

                              well the little keg that could is finished and i have to say it works brilliantly!

                              i ended up removing the flue and going alot larger (think it's 150mm) i made a butterfly valve in it to control air flow. this improved the oven to no end, i can fire it and get it to temp in about 10mins and i can now keep it going at temp with the door closed (there is a slot at the back of the keg along with the gap around the door to allow air in). typically i can keep it burning fairly slow and cook 4-5 pizza's with a 12inch long 2inch dia piece of timber.

                              initially i was worried about it's small size but i had it fired up last night and was cooking for 4 and it felt like it was empty all of the time, i think a party of 10 would be about it's limit (unless of course you wanted them all to come out at the same time) i'm sure many wouldn't like being only able to cook a dinner plate size pizza but it's a great size for a "make your own night"

                              the finished keg