Perhaps your taste for pizza has never taken you beyond your local fast-food chain or a frozen pizza from the supermarket, but there are some people for whom only the most authentic will do. A wood-fired clay oven and nothing less is their pre-requisite, and lesser methods of pizza preparation simply aren’t good enough.
[Jan] is one of these pizza perfectionists, and his wood-fired oven is an interesting one because it eschews the traditional dome for a cylinder. His very detailed write-up gives us an interesting insight into its construction. He’s taken the bottom half of an oil drum as his base, and built and fired the clay oven itself around a wooden former. We see his early attempts at a former which distorted under the weight of clay, and we hear about how the clay required reinforcement with chicken wire and straw. Finally, we see the structure being dried out, before an impressive display when firing for the first time. The oven receives a coat of Rockwool insulation but [Jan] has a way to go to learn the oven’s characteristics. Still, this is an oven that will last to refine the perfect morsel given a bit of time.
We like the cylindrical design as an alternative to domed ovens, which can be a bit tricky to build. An oven may be a bit low-tech compared to some of Hackaday’s usual fare, but they can be no less difficult to get right. We’re no stranger to novel flame-based cookery, perhaps you might like to also take a look at this rocket grill.
In the future, nobody will have to cook for themselves: the robots will take care of it all for us. And fast! At least if folks like [Avidan Ross] have their way. He gave a talk on his 45-second pizza robot, and other DIY food automations, at the 2016 Hackaday SuperConference, and you’re invited to pretend that you were there by watching this video.
Why would you want to build machines to build food? It’s a serious challenge, and there’s always going to be room to improve and new frontiers to cross. There’s immediate feedback: [Avidan] gets to taste and tweak in a quick feedback cycle. And finally, everybody eats, so it’s not hard to find “test subjects” for his work.
Continue reading “Insanely Hot Oven Makes Pizza in 45 Seconds: Avidan Ross on Food Hacking”
Crystal radios are old news, but great fun. What would happen if a PhD designed a crystal set? By PhD we mean Pizza Hut Deliveryperson and [John Greenlee] (who may not actually be a PhD of either kind; we don’t know) gives us a good idea with his crystal radio in a pizza box.
Pizza boxes aren’t the only food-related material in this radio. [John] makes a tuning capacitor out of cake rounds. Coincidentally, he decorates the tuning capacitor to look like a pizza.
The schematic itself is unremarkable–just a common crystal set. But the construction of the chassis and the capacitor make it an interesting project. If you know a young person that has any interest in radio, a crystal receiver is a rite of passage you shouldn’t deny them and this one is certainly a novelty. The picture of a pizza takes it even one step further than this YouTube build, which is nonetheless a good resource.
The instructions are well done, although some of the parts may be slightly hard to find. Germanium diodes and high-Z earphones are not as plentiful as they used to be, although you can still find them if you look.
This pizza box rig could be a gateway drug to more serious crystal radios. Or you could go smaller and try building one in a match box.
Don’t heat up your house this summer, build your own backyard pizza oven instead. We love to using our garden produce, homemade dough, and fresh farmer’s market mozzarella to whip up a tasty pie in the summer. But it can be tricky to cook it on the grill and we hate heating up the oven when it’s hot out. This could be a perfect solution.
The footprint of the oven used to be a flower bed in [Furiousbal’s] yard. He removed the soil and side walls, laid down a bed of pea gravel, then started building the brick base for the oven. The base is insulated by encasing beer bottles in a bed of clay which he harvested locally. Fire brick then makes the floor of the cooking area as well as the arched opening. To support the clay during construction he built a dome of wet sand and covered it with damp newspaper. The clay is built up in layers before removing the sand from the inside. The final step (not shown above) is to build a little shelter to ensure the elements don’t wash away your hard work.
Of course you need to build your own fire inside to use it. If that’s too much work perhaps you should try solar cooking?
Help us decide, should this project gone on LIFE.hackaday?
[Johnathan Crawford] isn’t bashful about tearing the insides of his truck apart. He’s built his own remote starter using a Raspberry Pi.
We vaguely remember hearing about a startup that planned to deliver tacos using quadcopters instead of people. We assume that company was a bust but here’s the concept in action at the 2013 RoboGames [thanks Don].
On the topic of food: pizza and joysticks… do they go together? Perhaps. Here’s a joystick made out of an empty pizza box (note the remains of grease stains inside).
[Jonathan] brings to our attention the problem of running out of fingers to press all the buttons on your Monome at just the right moment. No worries, just add some solenoids to act as extra fingers.
Apparently some Samsung cameras (NX20, NX210 and NX1000) can use their USB port as a shutter release. The trick is finding the right resistor values for the ID pin [thanks Janne].
Plagued with a tablet dock that wasn’t weighty enough to prevent the device from tipping over [John] filled base with lead to keep the thing upright.
[Helmut’s] bathroom had no windows. He faked one using an Arduino and an RGB led.
And finally, as a reward for all the readers that made it to the bottom of the article, here’s a gem of a project. [Charlie] was inspired by the recent logic combo lock post to send in his own plans for a lock he made years ago. Unfortunately he can’t find the pictures from the build but the theory behind it is quite engaging.
If you think there’s never enough computerized numerical control in your life perhaps the pizza plotter should be your next project. This is a large 2-axis machine that shoots pressurized sauce onto a pizza crust. It’s a food-grade RepStrap and appears to use a garden sprayer as a reservoir. They learned their lesson when a loose hose clamp sprayed sauce around the room. We’re thinking this is a bit of reinventing the wheel as pizza-making factories but it’s fun nonetheless.
In an act of delicious over kill, these guys threw a pizza into an industrial laser cutter. The result? Exactly what you would expect. Smoke, giggles and perfectly cut pizza. It looks like the cheese stuck together a bit after the laser cut, but that happens with normal pizza cutters too.