Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I got a friendly email from someone also thinking of building an oil drum tandoor. Others might be interested in my responses to his questions

Q1. Sorry to be a pain, but I am going to make a Tandoor, and have read your Oildrum Blog with enthusiasm. I am assuming that you got your clay from Bath Pottery Supplies, but can you tell me which clay you decided on & why ?

I used raku clay. I was advised that it has excellent thermal shock characteristics and hardens at a moderately low temperature.

Q2. I felt that your liner should have been thicker (3 cm at least) but did it crack further ?

The tandoor has been extremely stable with no further signs of cracking. I
think the thickness of the clay was ok. If it is too thick the tandoor will take
longer to heat up

Q3. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, what changes, if any would you make if starting again ?

  • The joints between the clay panels are crucial. This is where
    most of the cracking came from. It is worth spending a bit of time
    practicing making high quality joins
  • I wouldn't put so much concrete in the base - it made the whole unit very
  • Get a decent lid for it. With a lid it heats up much quicker and gives
    better control of the heat

Good luck!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is great. im going to build a shed and put one of these inside, theres a pottery not too far from where i live so i can get some fire bricks from there, a pot and start doin this stuff.

2:28 pm  
Blogger ashish said...

I read your project description and was thoroughly impressed. Waiting to move to a new house before building my own tandoor :)

I alss read an old post of yours on egullet. My experience with seekh kabab has been that 1 egg + 1tablespoon chickpea flour (besan) per kg of meat helps keep the kebab together. Some folks recpommend heating the skewer first before forming the kabab on it, so that the meat is seared on as soon as you make the kabab around it (this can get tricky - handling a skewer hot enough to sear meat).

I made my own skewers and found that 1/4" wide x 1/8" thick steel worked great.

5:40 am  
Blogger RFLB11 said...

Could you tell me how much clay it took you to make your tandoor.

11:01 pm  
Blogger bigbrowncow said...

I used just under 50kg of clay.

10:23 am  
Blogger Kirby said...

I recently completely my own backyard tandoor, and it's been very successful so far. It's even portable!

I was trying to come up with a design that used off-the shelf parts from any home improvement store.

I made a blog post outlining the whole process and I figured it would be good to share with other tandoor enthusiasts to get their feedback and comments.

Garbage-can Tandoor: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/kirby/2/1231144320/tpod.html

9:15 am  
Blogger Av said...

This is a great site. I got an oil drum yesterday and am going to try to build one too.
How much clay did you use (I thought I read it somewhere but can't find it now).

Also do you know anything about the differences in Raku clay, I live in Atlanta and have found a local supplier who stocks the following:

WC381 Big White-A white clay with large throwing properties. 60 mesh
sand and 30 to 60 mesh grog allows for strength. Excellent RAKU clay—
Shrinkage C/10-10%


239 Raku Clay-An open body especially formulated to withstand the thermal
shock of raku firing. This body contains sand and is great for handbuilding
and throwing. Shrinkage varies. Fires from Cone 06—Cone 9.

You also mentioned that you wouldn't put as much concrete in the base....would you recommend layering thin layer of cement, insulation and firebricks on the top?

2:15 pm  
Blogger Procurement said...

I have a problem that you may be able to help me solve.
I do have a tandoor oven that I just bought from a restaurant surplus equipment place! It's very similar to the one you built.
I have fired it up a couple of times and had some issues getting the dough to stick to the surface of the tandoor; they fall into the fire!
Also, how much fire is enough? And what temperature do i reach before starting to bake?

Any advice how to solve this?

9:36 pm  

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