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nordik 02-17-2009 07:10 PM

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


Jed 02-18-2009 09:12 AM

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...


nordik 02-19-2009 05:28 PM

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.

brokencookie 02-19-2009 06:32 PM

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 :D

nordik 02-19-2009 11:13 PM

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.

70chevelle 02-21-2009 06:12 AM

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.

david s 02-21-2009 01:01 PM

Re: Beer Keg Oven
If you insulated the oven you'd get a lot more performance out of it.

nordik 02-21-2009 05:34 PM

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.

david s 02-21-2009 05:52 PM

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.

brokencookie 02-22-2009 12:44 AM

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...)

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