Re: Community Cob Oven
From: Andrew Harvie (
Date: Sat, 8 May 2021 07:56:21 -0700 (PDT)
Our community is just starting construction, so we don't have a cob oven
*yet.* The following is from my experience with my own stone oven.

*Smoke: * Depends on how well you start the fire and feed it for the first
hour or so. Once the oven is hot, you'll get complete combustion and little
smoke, but until it's really going, you need to be sure there's fast
combustion and just enough fuel to keep the stuff on the edges from
smoldering. Otherwise, it will smoke a lot.
*Size: *My oven will hold three 8" pizzas lined up side by side with room
at the back for the coals. I've had pizza parties for 15 people and
everyone got a properly-cooked 8" pizza, with a few extra made at the end.
But each takes a bit longer. Once the floor cools beyond what's required to
cook the crust I put a pot of chili in to cook, or corn on the cob, or
...But for those, it helps to put it on a rack so that the hot air can
circulate below. The roof will stay very hot for a long time, but a series
of pizzas really sucks the heat out of the floor. My experience suggests
that you'd have trouble cooking pizza for 30, but YMMV.
Cooking for two is too small. It takes a fair amount of fuel and time to
bring an oven up to temperature. Might as well make the most of it.

As for the longevity of cob...  There are a whole lot of variables. But the
great thing about cob is that it's relatively easy to smash it up and build
again. Having built a whole cob building (garden shed) I know that I'd get
a cement mixer next time rather than stomp. And if stomping, I recommend
swim-booties to protect your feet from stones.

I have no answers for the rest of the questions.

On Sat, May 8, 2021 at 10:30 AM Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]>

> Hey, any communities have a Cob Oven for community use?
> We are looking at one and are wondering--
> --Smell of smoke to nearby houses?
> --Do we need it to be big to make common meal for 30 folk? Or two?
> --What kind of roof did you put over it?
> --How long did it last?
> --How much do you actually use it?
> --Where did you put it?
> --Anything else we should consider?
> --
> -Liz
> (The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
> Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
> Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries
> 508-450-0431
> _________________________________________________________________
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-- Andrew Harvie

"Better to respond to conflict with curiosity than anger.
  Friction often shows a lack of clarity rather than malice."

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