DIY Cob Oven :: plans

We are I am going to build a “cob oven”. I would normally say “we”, but Trevor may or may not be jazzed up enough about another project to actually participate. You know what I mean right ladies? If you are anything like me, you have a lot of projects… and he knows it.

This should be a fun one though and you can join me for the ride or even build your own.

image source unknown

What is a cob oven? Basically, it is an (outdoor in our case) baking oven made of clay, sand, and straw. You can bake pies, pizzas, breads, and even veggies or meat in it almost as you would a modern gas or electric oven. My grand idea is to turn an unused part of our yard near the house as a summer cooking area with this cob oven. There is already a granite bench in the unused area that was once a sidewalk corner in San Francisco, but we never get to use it because there is nothing else in that small part of the yard.

our yard and bench

To build our cob oven, I will be using the online Mother Earth News October/November 2002 article by Kiko Denzer and various YouTube videos mostly by the Jas Townsend and Son Cooking Series, “jastownsendandson”. All of our supplies will be things that are readily available at our local hardware stores… and honestly, if I can find these items here in the mountains, so can you.


The cob oven will resemble an igloo. So far I have drawn out a template (inside measurements, not finished measurements) for our oven which is:
30″ inches in diameter
21″ inch inside height at the tallest point of the dome
13 1/4″ inch height for the doorway (63% of the dome height as instructed)
13″ inch doorway width

my paper template

Construction will start this weekend!

6 thoughts on “DIY Cob Oven :: plans

    • I’m super excited too! It will probably take a weekend to build and then a few weeks to dry, but it seems easy enough. Hopefully by early to mid June we will be making wood fired pizzas and even an adapted version of Dutch-oven bread. Or homegrown roasted pumpkins! Jeez… the possibilities really seem endless.

  1. I have a feeling that you and I are kindred spirits Sarah. Very early this morning we had our friendly, local bug guy come over after my panicked call to their office about our wasp infestation (I am seriously allergic!!) As we did the walk around the house I started to explain that I didn’t want any thing sprayed on or near the cob oven and started too ask if he was familiar with cob and he said,”Yes, My wife built a cob oven”. I almost fell over and then when he said you have it on your website I new I had to check it out … especially after he showed the pictures on his cell phone. I think we were building right around the same time. The only thing different other than design and a few detail. I dug my own clay cause we we have so much around here I couldn’t buy it. I did have to buy fire bricks and sand but it is so worth it.
    I know this is very long winded but I am looking forward to knowing you. I am going to be starting on a cob wall this coming week…And hope for the cottage next spring.

    • Ha! When I first started reading this I thought, “That’s funny, my husband is a bug guy…” and then I realized you were talking about my husband!

      How great is it that you were able to use your own clay?! All we have here is sand, sand, sand. You’ll have to send me some pictures of what yours looks like. We just used red brick (since it was so much cheaper than fire bricks) and it works perfectly. Cob ovens are so fun! I actually think the cob oven “how to” is the most clicked on for our website. I’d say we get 30 hits a day JUST on the cob oven.

      I have seen cob cottages on various websites and I am so jealous. I would love to live in the woods somewhere in a little cob cottage surrounded by silly animals and sprouting veggies. Maybe we are kindred spirits. I swear I’ve met more great people from this little website than anywhere else!

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