Building an Horno (Clay Oven) – Adding Insulation Layers

Part 6 in a series of instructional videos from the online course called "Horno Design and Construction" deals with adding insulation layers made up of clay, sand and straw to a traditional New Mexican horno/clay oven.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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21 Responses to Building an Horno (Clay Oven) – Adding Insulation Layers

  1. dustytrayl says:

    Wish I could find the first 5 videos. Looks like fun!

  2. mogges1 says:

    what are you using inside for the racks to place the food on

  3. jonboda says:

    has anyone got a link for the previous 5 videos?

  4. fricky7069 says:

    can i mix in cement with the straw and mud

  5. jmg1957 says:

    well done.

  6. Fix0a0project says:

    Nice video!Thank you!

  7. maradonasssssss says:

    yes i have tried trowling clay on the floor once(which i collected from a field). it cracked a bit once it dried and then turned grey, but its way cleaner than adobe. it became ceramic and doesnt peel off.
    One more question: i have found that the opening usually peels off or cracks a little bit if its adobe. i dont want to put any metal panel to hold the door . what do you reccomend? will adding some cement in the adobe mixture make it stronger?

  8. adobecollege says:

    We use fire bricks for the oven floor, unstabilzed adobe bricks or a 3″ layer of mud mortar troweled smooth. All work well but I find that the fire bricks are cleanest and easiest to work with (especially for pizza baking).

  9. adobecollege says:



    Straw is probably better. Hay is a food source for animals and is usually not used with adobe. It is normal for the dome to shrink a bit but if you are getting excessive shrinking (and cracking) you probably have to much clay in your mud mix. Try adding more sand to the mix. Straw can also reduce shrinking and cracking in a mix with high clay content.

  10. maradonasssssss says:

    whats better to use for the flat surface ?clay bricks? and for the walls adobe? which holds heat better?is the same to use adobe for the whole?

  11. jamezz34 says:

    where are the other parts to the video?

  12. morbflorist says:

    That makes me horno!

  13. gaiatechnician says:

    The easiest method I found was to mix the sand and clay first with the shovel in a wheelbarrow. You mix dry, and “cut” everything together with the shovel. Once everything is fairly well together you mix in water until it is a slurry. Then you add the straw and mix that in with a garden fork (3 tines). The straw dries out the mix as you add it so you end up with a fairly stiff mix.
    This was the most effective and quickest method that I found when I built a 10ft by 10ft cob shed in my garden.

  14. polygamous1 says:

    i used a plaster mixer on an electric drill to mix the clay sand together then by hand to mix the straws in do Not mix the straws with the clay first it be very hard after to mix the sand in i did it n had to start all over again

  15. polygamous1 says:

    not a problem at all look in builder’s skips when they are building extentions they have to go down a metre n many times a lot more if there are roots in the clay the building inspector will ask them too also they are digging the roads for new gas mains n they go down about 10 feet u will get good clay from there its NO need to pay for expensive fire clay or fire bricks if u r dome is well insulated n thick just use lots of vermiculite n gl its great fun worth the trouble in the end

  16. polygamous1 says:

    i used lots of straws with the top mixure but found out the over was geting hot on the outside after about 40 minutes of the fire going on so i used vermiculite rendered over then another layer n rendered ove it again totl thickness on the top about 7 inches Now even after he meat is cooked an hour firing the oven about 90 minutes for the food the top of the oven its not even warm the sides are a bit i used less vermiculite there i dry logs after the food is cooked the oven keeps the heat well

  17. gaiatechnician says:

    I use a shovel first and then a fork to mix in the straw in cob. You can add more straw and get a drier mix that way. And, It is much easier!

  18. evalarevolution says:

    I would love to see other postings from you!

  19. researchfiend says:

    Good Stuff,

    Fellow beings who are doing cob and other sustainable things, please document with your cell and/or digital and upload here to share your wisdom!


  20. Zarbod says:

    I’d like to see more of this but I’m not going to pay for it. Oh well.

  21. MerryChicky says:

    wow, great video…I’m off to check out your website!