I was doing dishes. Thinking, ‘it would be nice to have a fire this evening‘. I’d spent the morning knocking down some excess trees and dead wood on our lot. Wood was on the brain. But my usual setup [a re-purposed bbq], albeit sufficiently functional for cookery, is far from romantic to sit around for the evening. ‘If only I had something I could put a fire on‘, thought I. There was lots of snow. It didn’t even have to be that intelligent a setup from a fire safety standpoint. Then I realized the error in my ways.
See, I’ve been collecting masonry for a very large-scale project that I was hoping to get to this past year, but didn’t, and with yet another addition to the family on the way, I’m resolved to not bother again this coming year. So with a portion of said masonry, within a half-hour, I had a fire burning in a dry-stacked setup about 4’x2′, and in every way it is superior to my previous setup. It is more versatile as bricks can be moved to accommodate need for support for racks, grills, etc. It’s larger. I am able to manage the coals more easily. I am able to add wood while the grill’s on if need be. I built a concrete paver counter aside it. It can be disassembled and re-purposed easily. And it was all free, captured from our urban waste stream.
The exact layout of masonry units I may divulge when I have some day-time pictures, but much like with the re-purposed bbq, I feel the concept’s more important the the details, and the point here is you take free masonry, and stack it like a child’s block set to build a formidable cookery appliance that looks pretty. It shames me a tad that it took me this long to have the ‘aha’ moment’. I’ll get over it. Quickly.
below – inaugural fire required inaugural grilling of meat: some cured and smoked pork jowl
Doing dishes ;) Is this something you might be interested in?
“I’ll get over it. Quickly.” Hilarious!
Sometimes the greatest thoughts come in the most unusual ways.
And… why not “start” the outdoor oven this summer. You will get lots of help! Remember: just ask.
TTC – cool project, but I’m flush with projects, and tend to like to natter on at my own pace. Thanks for passing on the link – I’ve had some resounding successes and serious flops from that book now, so curious to see how others fare on particular preparations.
Valerie – Why not? Because if I start, I will become a man obsessed. I know I will. I’m okay with that, just another time. ;)
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I’ll tell ya: it has been educational to be heating and cooking with wood exclusively. Anyone who isn’t quite sure what a cord of wood looks like, but more importantly how long it takes to burn through (so to speak), can rest assured it becomes obvious very quickly given a basic introduction.
On that note, and as a result, I’ve become obsessed with the importance of planting trees… all kinds… everywhere possible…
Greg – I believe it. I’m going to guess you go through more than most folks would think?