August 17, 2021

Outdoor Kitchen: Cookstove Part 1

I've been talking about building an outdoor kitchen for a long time. Earlier this year, we finally got serious about plans for it (this post.) However, it's been one of those projects that doesn't get to the top of the to-do list because something else always comes up. Like the gate project. I have alternative ways to cook, so the summer kitchen is the thing that gets put on hold. Finally, enough progress has been made that I can share it with you!

The stove we chose is a Walker brick masonry stove. We're considering replacing our wood heater, so this design is sort of a trial run. Not so much for the heat, but for the fuel efficiency. The firebox in the Walker stove is a batch box design, similar to the ones used in batch box rocket stoves. Why are these more efficient? The geometry between the firebox and the internal chimney path create a turbulent mixing of oxygen and wood gases. The result is that the fire burns more completely and more cleanly. People report a decrease in wood fuel consumption by up to 75-80%. What's not to like about that! (For a better and more thorough explanation of how it works, visit Batchrocket.eu.)

Here's what's been accomplished so far. 

Frame for a concrete slab for the stove.

The base is cinder blocks.

Firebricks and red bricks.

The first layer.

The "core." Firebox and smoke path on the right. The oven will be on the left.

Side view of the core.

View from above. The smoke and heat come up from the fire
box and follow the brick path around and down into the oven.

The smoke and heat come out the left archway-like
 opening on the side of the core & circulate in the oven.
The little arch on the right will exit to the chimney.

View from the front. The rectangular
steel tubing is for airflow into the firebox.

Back of the core with brickwork begun.

That's where we are at the moment.

18 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I'm sure you'll get lots of use out of it. Slow and steady...

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    1. Daisy, I especially like the idea of doing all my canning outside. The back porch keeps direct heat out of the kitchen, but some seeps in every time we open the kitchen door. An outdoor stove would help a lot in that department.

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  2. Wow! That looks quite complex to me and not something one just wings. Having an outdoor kitchen is something that interests me so I will be following this closely. I hope to perhaps get our lower walkout patio fixed up and then perhaps I would like to try out some masonry skills myself.

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    1. Ed, it is complex, at least at first. What hasn't helped is that the plans we bought aren't real clear. They rely on a number of videos, which unfortunately, feature stoves that have been altered so that they don't match the plans.

      Brick is very popular for outdoor kitchens. I'm guessing that with your skills, you'd do a fine job!

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  3. Absolutely spectacularly fantastic I just love it! Can’t wait to see the finished projectšŸ˜Š

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  4. Wow! There goes Dan again! What an accomplished and versatile person he is. Can't wait to see the finished project. An outdoor kitchen in summer would be wonderful. Mine is a camp stove and a toaster oven on a table on the porch!

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    1. Rosalea, thanks! Hey, any outdoor kitchen is a splendid addition! My first one was exactly the same. :)

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  5. Someone has mad masonry skills. Impressive!

    How is your outside temperature there for cooking outside? Here, it would be exchanging inside heat and humidity for outside heat and humidity.

    That burn ratio is impressive. I will be very excited to hear what your actual experience is.

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    1. TB, well, all Dan sees is the flaws and faults! I think he does a good job, though.

      Our summers are typically in the mid- to upper-90s and humid. Since we don't use air conditioning, keeping cooking heat out of the house is crucial. But even cooking on the back porch allows heat to seep into the house every time we open the door. So moving cooking away from the rest of the house will help a lot. That's why the dog trot house design was so popular in this part of the country in years past.

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  6. Amazing, Leigh! That is such a fun project, with perks! Great build!

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  7. Nicely done. Love seeing the progress being made on your project. Continued success and good luck with the rest of it. And I found my way here via Ed's blog in case you were wondering. Have a good one.

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    1. Mr. Shife, welcome! Thank you for the kind words. Nice of Ed to share you ;) He's been one of my regular blog visits for years.

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  8. I'm glad I went to check your previous post...it answered a lot of my questions. :D I'm so happy to see your progress. It looks amazing so far.
    I wonder what your animals think of it? lol ;)

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