#11  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:29 AM
sacwoodpusher's Avatar
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Default 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.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2010, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

Quote:
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?
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  #13  
Old 12-25-2010, 10:11 AM
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Default 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.
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  #14  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:18 PM
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Default 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 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Clarifying...tying tandoor ratios to oven ratios
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2010, 03:50 PM
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Default 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.

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  #16  
Old 12-25-2010, 06:58 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

In a post somewhere on FB.com, the writer reported that those gloves were available at stores in the US where they sell Indian foods.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:27 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

I ran into This link about a tandoor oven build, have you seen it?
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

Howdy. I built a portable tandoor in a 55 gallon metal drum. I don't know if that is what you had in mind, but below are the details regarding my build. I built it in 2008 and it has worked great, and survived 2 moves!

I can't lay claim to inventing the drum tandoor... my build was an amalgamation of different builds blogged or described on the internet. I consulted with a variety of people including an artist with kiln building skills, and a professor of Ceramics at the Univeristy of Iowa Art School. I was just sick of eating chitty tandoori chicken and bad naans (I'm Indian), so I figured I would do something about it.

A tandoor usually has a single sort of bell-shaped liner that is set in a brick structire or in the ground. I initially wanted to build a liner myself, but it was getting complicated as I was worried about heat stress and fracturing the liner over time - lead to discussions about types of clay, kaowool, "grog" (stuff mixed into clay to give it some tolerance to heat stress), etc... that's where the professor and the kiln-builder came in handy. Then ditched the idea and went for fire bricks... forget how many I used, but got them for $1 and change per brick from a brickyard... the fireplace showroom wanted $6.50 each!! The planter was on sale in Lowe's in January (nobody plants anything in Iowa in January) for $20 (originally $70+). It was the biggest one they had. Cut off the wide rim so it would fit inside the drum, and cut the bottom to to make an open inverted cone and to form a lid. It was the first time I used an angle grinder, so the bottom cut was kind of crooked. The drum cost $10, various hardware bits were not too pricey, but I did have to buy some tools (angle grinder, cold chisel, etc) which many folks probably already own.

I will try and describe the build process, but please excuse any details that may be left out.

I found a drum for $10 from Jiffy Lube (held windshield washer fluid). Spent a week cleaning it out with everything I could find, till I was satisfied it must be pretty clean. Cut the top off and then put some of the metal hardware in, since it would be inaccessible once the firebricks went in. Wheels (4) on the bottom, handles on either side. Cut the door hatch out of the lid to allow for an intake and big enough to easily clean the ash out. Bolted the hatch in. Then made a mortar of sorts with refractory cement and Perlite (for insulation) and laid a layer down in the base of the drum. Laid one layer of firebrick over that, with regular firecement between bricks. I made sure that the floor of the tandoor was absolutely level with the door hatch so that cleaning out the ash would be easy.

Once it was set, I started started building the walls. After I laid one layer of bricks vertically, flat side against the wall of the drum, I filled Perlite between the drum and bricks. Let it cure then did the second layer. I wanted the top of the inverted planter to rise above the rim of drum by a few inches, so I laid down vertical firebricks accordingly. Laid down DAP high heat or fireplace sealant (can't remember exactly what it was called) because I ran out of firecement and didn't want to buy another whole tub of the stuff. Set the planter on it and then filled the gap between planter and drum wall with perlite. I cut a circular sheet of aluminium for a rim to keep the Perlite from flying out, but personally I am not happy with this arrangment. Will look for another solution in time, or if anyone has any thoughts let me know.

You don't need a charcoal basket, but I guess you could use one if you really wanted to. It can be difficult to get a decent sized basket through the narrower top open end, so I just pour a bag of lump into it. The top end has to be narrower so that the heat is somewhat funneled or focused as it moves up the tandoor. Straight walls may make it slightly difficult to make naans. The clay pot has withstood about a dozen or so firings. If it breaks it should not be difficult to chip out and replace. I kept the tandoor in our attached garage during the winter in Iowa and fired it up in the garage when I wanted (opened up the garage door and the window for ventilation).

The first firing was done after seasoning the clay portion with the spinach mix described above. Some say you only need to season with brine to help the naans unstick from the clay walls of the tandoor. More info here http://www. washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn...2005Mar15.html. I poured in a third of a bag of lump and lit it. Waited a few hours then poured in another third, and the rest after another few hours. The temp should be brought up somewhat gradually to prevent heat stress and risk fracturing the clay pot or the bricks.

A few days later we fired it up to cook. I found the best prices for skewers at www. nishienterprise. com .... look under tandoor accessories. I looked high and low for skewers and all other skewers were too wimpy or too short or too expensive. I found some turkish skewer that were $7 each... got mine for $2 each and they are nearly indestructible.

Let the tandoor come up to temp. Dangled an oven thermometer on a coat hanger to get the temp in the middle of the oven. The thermometer maxed out at 600*F so I figured the tandoor was hot enough Put the marinated chicken on the skewers and stuck em in. The chicken cooked in about 7-10mins with a basting in between. After about 15 mins we were ready to make naans. Another 10 mins and we were done cooking. It takes about a half day for the whole process, plus about a six-pack of brew, and sometimes a cigar or two.

Everything came out delicious. I will try and post some pron that I have somewhere on my hard drive at home. We have made chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, shrimp, goat kababs among other things. Seekh kababs are tricky... still working on a method for those. Cleanup is fairly easy, once the oven is cool (next evening or later), open the bottom hatch, slide a pan under the drum, stick a broom in from the top and just sweep all the ash out. Also, a fan set up in front of the open door hatch really gets the coals going.

This is as close to authentic tandoori cooking as you can get this side of the Atlantic. And way cheaper than buying the commercial varieties sold to restaurants. Cooking with it has been very fun and very tasty. My wife makes me feed a morsel or two to the coals when we fire it up to keep it fed and happy. we sometimes lose a naan to the coals, but again, it just keeps our tandoor well-nourished.
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  #19  
Old 01-05-2011, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

I want to thank Caliking for his input.

I have decided to continue with the idea of building my tandoor, but I have gone back to the drawing board.

1)Use a steel drum for the outside.
2)Insulate 2" thick on bopttoms and sides.
3)Thin bricks on the inside, Muddox Summer Wheat which is firebrick material
4)Near the mouth of the tandoor, switch to a full fire brick cut down into angled pieces to simulate the clay pot narrowing.

I have ordered 4 new, clean, unpainted drums, made to exactly the height I need. They will be here in 2 weeks.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Portable Tandoor Oven Build

Gotta see this build, subscribed.
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