DISCLAIMER: Please make sure you are very careful when working with a tandoor oven as it uses open flame! Use safety equipment such as flame-proof gloves & goggles, long tongs, and take other precautions such as tying back long hair.
A traditional Indian oven, a tandoor is made of clay, just like a huge clay pit. It is also used throughout the Middle East, Pakistan, Central Asia, and China. It is used for cooking and baking. The heat, which originates from firewood or charcoal is well distributed throughout the ceramic walls and can go as high as 600. To permit access and the much-needed ventilation, the topmost part of the tandoor remains open.
Some of the popular foods prepared using a tandoor includes Naan flatbread, samosa, chicken tikka masala, and tandoori chicken among many others.
Tandoor cooking is associated with a lot of benefits and advantages. For instance, it is loved because it is oil/fat-free and its ability to give food a one of a kind taste. You will like meat cooked in a tandoor since its flavor gets locked in. It is considered a healthy way of cooking because neither minerals nor vitamins get lost during cooking. Besides being low maintenance, the oven facilitates easy preparation of food.
A tandoor could be a prominent permanent structure lodged in the kitchen or a strategic place outside the house. It could also be a small portable oven. In this post, we teach you how to build your own tandoor oven at home.
1. Establish a suitable location
One of the most important factors to consider when establishing a suitable location for the construction of the oven is safety. The importance of guaranteeing safety for your home and the people who have access to it cannot be overemphasized. Also, make sure that the area is adequately ventilated. Note that the oven will produce smoke, and in turn, stain the area directly above it.
2. Collect all the materials
- If you intend to use a drill, make sure that you have a reliable electrical supply.
- Three terracotta clay pots – large, middle size and a small one. The smallest container should be sufficiently small to fit inside the largest one without touching its sides. If possible, look for prefabricated terracotta clay pots that come with a hole at the bottom.
3. Drilling Holes
Take the largest and smallest pots and begin drilling holes. Masonry bits will come in handy. The holes are meant to facilitate fueling of the convection currents by the air intake. While drilling, drip some water on the pot to prevent the blade from getting too hot.
4. Create a lid
The next step entails cutting the bottom of your middle-sized pot to act as a lid. Do not remove the entire bottom part of the pot. Use a tile cutting bit or a masonry disk. Ensure to drip water on the pot while cutting for the reason mentioned above. Be careful not to compromise the integrity of the pot.
5. Assembling the oven
When you’ve done the above, you are ready to stack. Here is a step by step guide for assembling the oven:
- With the help of bricks raise the biggest pot off the ground.
- Position two or three smaller bricks inside the pot firmly to build a new platform. It will act as the interior base.
- Take the smallest pot and place it inside the biggest one on the bricks.
- To create an interior cylinder, place the middle sized pot over the smallest one in an inverted position.
- Do you remember the lid we created in stage four? Put it on and then fill the spaces left with coarse vermiculite or lava rock to act as material for insulation.
- Now you can use your tandoor. After adding coal to the bottom, light the oven. Before you start cooking, let the coal burn for a minimum of 30 minutes. For optimal temperatures wait for an hour to one and a half hours or so. When holding the lid, ensure to use oven mitts because it can get very hot.
With the above easy-to-follow tips, you should be in a position to finally make a tandoor from the comfort of your home. As you must have realized the task is not too demanding for you to give up before you even start. In any case, you should look at the bigger picture – the benefits of using tandoor to prepare selected meals. Also, the materials you need are readily available and friendly to your pocket.
- You may utilize water to put out the fire of the oven when you are done with the cooking.
- As far as cleaning is concerned, use water and a piece of cloth.
- Shop for clay pots wisely. They should free from any harmful ingredients and safe for cooking.
- When need be, pour some water in the oven to cool it, especially when you feel it is overheating.