P. Edronkin

How to Construct Stone Ovens (Part II).

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"To construct a stone oven, you should take care to select first the direction of its door. Ideally, it should be placed in a perpendicular fashion regarding the main or most common direction for the local winds.

In this way, the combustible will be better replenished with oxygen and you will enjoy a better functioning in cases such as when your wood gets wet, because it will dry and burn faster and easier.

You don’t really need to provide your oven with a lot of capacity. The combustion chamber does not need to be very big; in fact, fires inside such ovens are often smaller than campfires because since ovens tend to conserve heat, they are much more efficient.

To obtain maximum benefits from your oven, you should lit the fire and start burning some combustible approximately half an hour before you actually start cooking. In this way, the whole oven will acquire temperature in an homogeneous fashion.

Starting up an oven is easy, but if you have some trouble, you could purchase a fire-starter, or, if you know chemistry and what you are doing, make some Napalm for yourself. It is great stuff and the fact that you can use it even with the strongest Patagonian winds at hand is quite a guarantee, but you must handle it with care because it can become quite destructive.

Preparing pizza.
The oven of the former page in action: preparing pizza in the middle
of nowhere, in Patagonia. It takes just a couple of minutes to cook
such meals using a stone oven due to its efficiency.

If you construct a stone oven, place always your biggest rocks at the bottom. You can take advantage of stones or rocks already in place, and construct the oven there. It should be “U” shaped, and the way in which the stones are placed together is quite similar to the construction of a “Pirca

You place the biggest and heaviest rocks at the bottom, fill the gaps with smaller rocks and sand, and continue with another level of rocks."

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