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My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

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  • My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

    Started my build in earnest this weekend. This corner of the yard had a patio and built-in block box used as a planter.
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    Our outdoor kitchen will consist of a woodburning grill made in the center of the old planter. The oven will sit in the corner to the right, with an L shape counter/workspace extending along the wall (towards the camera). We are building a fireplace to the left of the grill, which will be built to mimic the style and shape of the oven. The blocks that make up the planter will serve as portions of the stand for both the oven and the fireplace.

    Early last week, I cleaned out the bushes from the planter, and shoveled out most of the dirt. I dry stacked the blocks, including a few courses inside the planter; as the oven overlaps a chunk of the old planter.
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    Sunday, with my trusty wheelbarrow and bucket, I filled the cores on all corners and a few other strategic places throughout the walls.
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    I am planning on using concrete board as the base for my hearth (for both the oven and fireplace).

    Toby
    Last edited by charger10s; 05-04-2009, 12:11 PM.
    Toby

  • #2
    Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

    Looks magnificent, and that's fast progress! Maybe you'll be able to cook pizza in your oven before it's possible to cook it on the sidewalk. ;-)

    Is the fireplace going to be at the same height as the pizza oven? What style are you doing for the enclosures?
    Nikki

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    • #3
      Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

      I'd like to be cooking inside the oven before it's hot enough outside, but that's mostly because I imagine brick work when it's 115 degrees might not be so much fun.

      The plan is for the fireplace and oven to be the same (or very close) height, with the fireplace looking like a slightly scaled down version of the oven. Right now, we are planning some form of igloo enclosure; and we hope to capture a little of that Arizona Adobe look to them.

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      The pool has three wok pots built up on columns finished with stone veneer. I want to find something that matches to use on the base of the entire build. Hopefully that will tie it all together.
      Toby

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      • #4
        Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

        I have a couple somewhat random questions, and I am thankful for any opinions:

        1. Is a 7" tile saw big enough? I'm sure a 10" would be better, easier, faster, etc, and I want to buy, and I'm not sure I can spring for a 10" right off the bat.

        2. For the base of the hearth, what is the advantage of using the concrete board instead of simple plywood? Is it solely for added strength?

        3. I have been toying with the idea of building the oven out of adobe clay, instead of the bricks; that's mostly because I can dig the clay right out of my yard. Does anybody have any strong opinions about clay vs. brick?

        4. For the thermal layer of the hearth, which is better to use: the insulating board or a vermiculite/perlite concrete mix?

        Thanks so much!
        Toby

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        • #5
          Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

          1. Many people have used a 7" wet saw. The main disadvantage is that it won't cut through the brick in one pass, but it's easy enough to chisel through the rest. The 10" wet saw is a lovely item, but if I'd had a 7" version already, I probably would have just made do. I didn't make many complex cuts, though. If you're going to do a more precise build than I did, the 10" saw will probably make a big difference in what you'll be able to accomplish.

          2. Neither concrete board nor plywood end up adding anything to the strength of the hearth pour. It's just there to keep the wet concrete in place until it cures. Both work, but the advantage of concrete board is that it'll never rot away, leaving a gap and a potential weak point in the slab. If you use plywood, you'll be into making a more precise support structure so that the plywood can easily be removed after the concrete is dry. With the concrete board, you can be a little more carefree in how you build the supports and leave the board in there forever. I was all about the acceptable shortcuts, and used concrete board. ;-)

          3. No help here, I'm afraid. But there are some lovely cob ovens here and on other boards, and I'm sure someone will jump in with some advice.

          4. Both work beautifully. A vermiculite/perlite mix will need to be thicker to achieve the same amount of insulation, but they're both great options. The board is fast and easy, and I'm short, so I didn't need extra height to my oven. Vermicrete is somewhat less expensive (though not as much as I'd initially thought, at least with the price of vermiculite around here) and a little more labor, but ultimately works just as well. Don't stress over this decision and follow your first inclination, I'd say.
          Nikki

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          • #6
            Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

            Made some progress last weekend; I installed the forms for the two hearths. Now all I need to do is cut the concrete board to fit and cut the rebar.

            I hope to have the concrete poured this weekend. And that little step just got a little easier with today's Craigslist purchase.
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            Actually, it's a pretty funny sight, the mixer is half sticking out the back of my VW Beetle out in the parking lot here at work.
            Toby

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            • #7
              Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

              Made some progress, the hearth for the WFO and the fireplace have been poured!

              I used my "craigslist" cement mixer for the first time, and I learned a valuable lessons.
              - Don't stand in front of the mixer "mouth" when you first plug it in! I dumped a few bags in, with some water to minimize the dust cloud. It's my first time right, so I wanted to see how the whole thing runs, you know. Well, when it makes the first couple of revolutions, it has a tendency to splatter. Well, at least I kept the splatter off the patio floor.
              Attached Files
              Toby

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              • #8
                Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                As a side note, I've got another project going on the backyard; this one I'm partnering with Mother Nature.

                I'm growing "Prize Winning" and "Jack-O-Lantern" pumpkins. They should be ready in time for Halloween.
                Attached Files
                Toby

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                • #9
                  Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                  Fun! I've always wanted to try growing pumpkins. Is it too late to sew the seeds down here?

                  Email and let me know when you'd like to stop by and borrow the saw. I'm pretty much homebound these days, so any time is good. ;-)
                  Nikki

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                  • #10
                    Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                    Originally posted by Modthyrth View Post
                    Fun! I've always wanted to try growing pumpkins. Is it too late to sew the seeds down here?

                    Email and let me know when you'd like to stop by and borrow the saw. I'm pretty much homebound these days, so any time is good. ;-)
                    The packages of seeds all stated around 80-86 days to maturity, so I bet you could still make it. Of course, we've only lived here for a year, so I'm certainly not a local climate expert yet.

                    I will be in touch soon to take you up on your generous offer!! Thanks again in advance.
                    Toby

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                    • #11
                      Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                      Pumpkin pizza? Ahhhh.......... maybe not.

                      Mark

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                      • #12
                        Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                        Pumpkin Pizza! That almost sounds like a challenge. Perhaps you par bake the pumpkin then caramelize some 1/4 wedges, fresh wild mushrooms, sausage, a sprinkle of craisens, hint of nutmeg. Set all the ingredients on a par baked crust bushed with rosemary olive oil. Thinking about what cheese might work. Five more months to think about it. With a forum this large there should be plenty of good ideas.
                        Cheers,
                        John

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                        • #13
                          Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                          Originally posted by exceloven View Post
                          Pumpkin pizza? Ahhhh.......... maybe not.

                          Mark
                          Pumpkin Bread!!
                          Toby

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                          • #14
                            Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                            If you used pumkin puree instead of water for the dough? Could be quite nice.
                            "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

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                            • #15
                              Re: My "Earthy" Outdoor Kitchen Build

                              Regarding Johns pumpkin pizza, Gruyere cheese has a special affinity for caramelized sweet pumpkin (at least in soups) so I imagine it'd be great on pizza.

                              Toby: looking really nice and professional on the stand. It looks like a nice corner for the oven and outdoor kitchen too. I couldn't concentrate on the WFO build AND the vegetable garden but your pumpkin planting is good reminder to get going on it. I'm running out today at lunch time to buy baby sugar pumpkin seeds! Thanks for sharing , Dino
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