Baking at 20F

I’ve been waiting for a chance to continue with the ideas from the last post. I decided to make potato herb bread today, despite the weather. Its been cold and dry for most of a week and was about 20F when I got out to the oven at 10:30am. Pealing the plastic covering off gave a surprise — a layer of ice condensed between plastic and oven.
Mud Oven 1

  • 11 AM fire lit
  • 1 PM still frosty outside, installed R-19 cover over much of the oven
  • 2 PM pulled out most of the fire, pushed some coals to the back and placed a brick in front to shield. Should have put the brink in the oven an hour earlier to warm
  • while to oven soaked, I tossed an unstuffed chicken into the Weber, as planned. This time, the coals were not smokey — they were really just coals, so I dumped on a handful of alder smoking “chips” more like really coarse sawdust — huge cloud of smoke almost immediately. I placed chicken on aluminum foil to protect if from the heat.
  • The chicken got stuffed with wild rice brown rice, plus onion, and herbs
  • 2:30 PM the oven was 300F when the food got in, including 3 sweet potatoes. It started to snow
  • 3:55 PM going to pull in the food, it smelled nicely smoky when I peaked at 3:40

Mud Oven 2
Reflection-in-action: the small baking dish I used for the chicken was too shallow and the fat from the chicken was overflowing when I tried to slide it out.

Reflection, the oven cools off too fast in this environment, I either need to learn from Kiko Denzer’s new book about super insulating the oven (Kiko’s new book promises this) or get it into an indoor setting. One thought is to build a new one in my greenhouse.

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