#1  
Old 08-20-2012, 03:34 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London, UK
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Default AfriCan Oven

Oven the weekend, I went over to a friends house - we grew up together in Africa many years ago (makes me sound so old).

As he's leaving the country, he dug up an old pizza oven to celebrate; these were the ovens that we used as kids in Africa.

They are made out of recycled metal (usually oil drums or calcium carbonate cans); and cook a pizza in about 3 minutes.

So while not really a brick oven - I thought it may serve of interest to some here.

The concept is very simple so I'll let the pictures do the talking.
(note that we are using trays only because we had people who were vegetarian and were freaking out at the idea of cooking meat pizza and veggie pizza on the same floor. Normally, the pizza would go straight onto the hot metal which would form a nice crust)



M.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2012, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

and some more pictures







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  #3  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:28 AM
Master Builder
 
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Location: Washington State USA
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

Spinal, Thanks for posting. That's an interesting oven.
A few questions:

Is the actual cooking surface a plate of steel or a sheet with rolled over edges? Looks like a a circle of plate steel maybe 1/4 inch or better thick, but you said recycled oil barrels etc. and so I thought I would ask.

Also, I'm guessing that in Africa the oven burned charcoal. This looks pretty sophisticated. Were these for an individual family or for an extended multifamily situation? Was this something that a middle class family might have...sort of like the average family in the US or UK might have a BBQ grill?

Was there a common daily food that was cooked in these ovens? I mean when one thinks African meals, pizza isn't the food that first comes to mind.

Bests,
Wiley
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

Hello Spinal,

Thank you so much for sharing these pictures on our forum. It is always great seeing the different kind of ovens out there in the world. Happy Cooking!

Amber
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:59 AM
Laborer
 
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by moderator View Post
Hello Spinal,

Thank you so much for sharing these pictures on our forum. It is always great seeing the different kind of ovens out there in the world. Happy Cooking!

Amber
Thanks - but it's not mine Mine is a more conventional (fire) bricks and mortar build that's slowly coming along... waiting for the vermicrete to dry now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
Spinal, Thanks for posting. That's an interesting oven.
A few questions:

Is the actual cooking surface a plate of steel or a sheet with rolled over edges? Looks like a a circle of plate steel maybe 1/4 inch or better thick, but you said recycled oil barrels etc. and so I thought I would ask.
Not totally sure... I presume it is a oil drum side that's been cut out and had its edges rolled, but tbh I don't know! That said, it's definetely NOT a piece of solid steel - the whole contraption, empty is quite light and can be lifted by a geek like me with one hand. The cooking surfaces are thin (potentially a little thicker than the sides, but not more than a few microns thicker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
Also, I'm guessing that in Africa the oven burned charcoal. This looks pretty sophisticated. Were these for an individual family or for an extended multifamily situation? Was this something that a middle class family might have...sort of like the average family in the US or UK might have a BBQ grill?
Charcoal or wood - you start the fire on the top burner, and as it turns to embers, you move them down to the pits below. Being in a smoke control zone, we ended up using "smokeless" stuff.

To be honest, I don't think that the "design" is African; it's something that I've only ever seen amongst Indian families in Africa. My friend is of Indian/Kenyan origin, so that explains why he has one.

Just about all the Indian-origin friends I had at the time had one of these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post

Was there a common daily food that was cooked in these ovens? I mean when one thinks African meals, pizza isn't the food that first comes to mind.

Bests,
Wiley
Not really, it was treated much like a BBQ in the UK. You use it on a weekend when it's sunny and have a few friends over. I've never used the top pan area.

M.

Last edited by Spinal; 08-20-2012 at 10:39 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:05 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

Love it. Very cool.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

Spinal,

Please post pictures of your oven when completed! :-) We all would love to see it.

Amber
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  #8  
Old 08-22-2012, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: AfriCan Oven

I've got a thread somewhere with the build... need to update it actually!
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