How to Make an Oven for Authentic Hand Made Tandoor Clay

Written by mitzi saltsman
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How to Make an Oven for Authentic Hand Made Tandoor Clay
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Cooks use authentic tandoori clay ovens to make Indian foods such as nan, kebabs and savoury tandoori chicken. This special oven creates a super hot environment to sear the meats and breads quickly. The tandoori clay oven is designed to leave meats moist and the nan flatbread toasty and bubbly on each side.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Metal plate
  • 18- to 24-inch metal cylinder
  • 16- to 18-inch clay flower pot
  • Vermiculite insulation
  • Fire bricks
  • Fire clay
  • Sand
  • Wet saw or grinder
  • File

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  1. 1

    Set a metal plate or stone platform where you will keep the tandoori oven, preferably outside.

  2. 2

    Create an outer layer for the tandoori oven with a metal tube shaped container such as a small barbecue smoker grill or a copper water boiler. Any metal cylinder that measures 18 to 24 inches across will work. A barbecue smoker will already have an opening for a door to allow air in the fire pit. Otherwise you will need to cut a 4-inch opening into the side of the cylinder above the firebricks.

  3. 3

    Place sand and fire bricks to a level height at the bottom of the metal cylinder. Use the sand to fill in the spaces around the bricks.

  4. 4

    Turn the clay flower pot upside down and cut or break off the bottom of the pot with a tile wet saw or grinder. Smooth any rough or sharp edges with a file. Cut a 4-inch hole at the bottom of the pot to match up with the air hole on the metal cylinder.

  5. 5

    Place the clay pot upside down into the metal cylinder. The clay pot should be just smaller than the cylinder for a snug fit.

  6. 6

    Fill in the area between the clay pot and the metal cylinder with vermiculite insulation.

  7. 7

    Smooth over the top of the vermiculite with a 1-inch layer of quick set concrete to seal the pot and the metal.

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