We opted to build part of it on our own, and order in a finished oven top section only. We've been searching for an outdoor oven for months, and we found that they can be pricey. We're not looking for fancy schmancy. We want a functional oven, that doesn't break the bank. But we also want a working oven for when SHTF and of course for awesome pizza!
We thought we had found the perfect one. Stopped by a local dealer to check them out, and got to see the product first hand. It was exactly what we wanted. Got a quote for around $1500.00. OK, a little more than we wanted to spend, but still below the cost of those found on EBay in 2-3K range. We waited a week and a half (yes you read that right) for a quote. I guess business is so good for them taking care of quoting a customer is not important. We had to follow up with them twice in the meantime. Then we got our quote, $3200.00. Response; sorry, I quoted you our cost, and you'll need to pay the suggested mfg price of $3200.00. NOT! How do companies like this stay in business?!
We thought the idea was off the table at that time. I don't remember how or where, but I came across a company called Firerock. With a bit of negotiating, their management team will do cartwheels to make sure you are happy, we'll be ordering our unit for around $1100.00. Much closer to our price range. I'll have more details and pictures after the unit delivers, which should be late next week.
In the meantime, we needed to pour a slab to fit the 4' x 4' oven. We had all the materials we needed, so it was next on our list for the day. What luck!!! Our dear friends made the HUGE mistake of calling to see if we were at The Compound. Fred and Peggy were taking a "break" from working and thought they'd come out for a visit. It may be the first last and only time they make that mistake, but their help was priceless.
Fred can fix or build just about anything, and considering the Moose and I have never poured a concrete slab before, he and Peggy couldn't have picked a better weekend to head on out to The Compound. Fred and Peggy work together like a well oiled machine, each an extension of each other. Neither is afraid of hard work. It was hard work, but being around friends makes a big difference.
We started buy putting together a 6' x 6' frame, approx 4" thick, laid in some metal wire for extra stability, and got busy mixing concrete. Around 15 bags. We could have used 1 more to make it perfect, per Fred, but we're not going for beauty, we're going for functionality. Besides, we didn't have the time to run to the hardware store to pick up that extra bag before everything else started to set.
We didn't have a concrete mixer, so we mixed it by hand, arms, and backs. One mistake we made was by trying to mix more than 1 bag at a time. It didn't cut down on the amount of time, it added to it. Things went much quicker and smoother when we did just one at a time.
We ended our night with Fred and Peggy thanking them profusely for their help, feeding them typical Mid-Westerner fair - brats cooked on an open fire. True friends that God sent our way, just when we needed them. Part 1 of the new outdoor oven is complete.