Cooking on the Cob Tandoor

Cooking on the cob tandoor is magical!

Of all of our outdoor ovens, the gas bbq included, we use the tandoor by far the most often. In the summer we cook on it near nightly as it is quick to light and quick to cook. We also use it throughout the winter when we can tolerate standing outside. It is reliable enough to leave unattended allowing us to keep working on whatever project we have on the go while dinner cooks for us. It is also versatile enough that we routinely have people come for potlucks where everyone brings a little something to skewer up and throw in the oven. Some delicious discoveries have been made this way!

Here is how we have come to use our tandoor based on countless trials, many successes, and a few devastating errors:

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The Ultimate Raised Beds – Hugelkultur Veggie Gardens


For as long as I can remember we have made our vegetable gardens by either piling soil in to planted mounds or boxing out raised beds in wood frames. Our mound gardens got shaded out over the years by tree growth and were ultimately converted in to the manure storage pile. Our wooden garden boxes rotted out over time and looked a mess while growing an assortment of sad, undernourished weeds. To boot, the clay rich soil in our part of the world (while brilliant for cob) has never been particularly fruitful and is slow to de-sodden and warm up in the spring and quick to dry out and crack in the summer. This year we were faced with the conundrum of how to revive our gardens in to something more productive.

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Building the Cob and Tadelakt Outdoor Fireplace – Homemade Tadelakt!

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It has been a dream of ours to have an outdoor fireplace for some time. We toyed with the idea of building one using an old propane tank or of refurbishing an old cast iron stove. In the end however, we decided to stick with what we know and build one from cob. We had a lot of left over clay soil (Burkeville Ready Mix) from building our pizza oven and tandoor so that is what we used to build the fireplace.

Hopefully some of you are inspired to build one of your own. Our family, friends and pets love sitting in front of the open fire and we regularly gather there to drink hot cocoa or a beer and to roast chestnuts and marshmallows. Below are the step by step instructions of how we went about building our fireplace.

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Building the Cob and Tadelakt Tandoor Oven

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As many will know, tandoor ovens are traditional clay ovens that have been used for millennia in much of the world. They are cylindrical in shape, often tapering and/or curving inward at the top to promote maximal heating. Food is cooked on metal skewers which dangle over the open wood fire built at the bottom of the cylinder. A hole at the bottom acts as an air intake, allowing the tandoor to behave like a giant chimney. The heat of the tandoor is absorbed and radiated by the clay,  creating an even cooking heat and searing in juices while the hot metal skewers cook food from the inside out. Juices and fats drip on to the fire to create a uniquely delicious smokey taste.

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