Constructing My Culvert Cooker – Part 2, by J.P. . Adding a deck to your outdoor kitchen is optional

(Continued from part 1. This article ends here).

Start cooking!

Step three. Building the bridge (two days)

Since adding a deck to your outdoor kitchen is optional, I don’t suggest any plans or guidelines to follow. Again, there are experienced builders – even average builders – who are able to build a good bridge to this goal. Large bookstores and most bookstores are also a source of good deals for your patio. Here are a few things for you:
* On Craigslist and other online classifieds, you are likely to find Trex and other similar used materials that last.
* Consider building your decking with removable 2-foot wide panels that give you access to areas where you may want to install plumbing, hide your heels, etc.
* Consider the height of the floor in relation to the height of the surface of the drainage layer. This ratio can be a calculation you want to make at the beginning of the installation of the base of the slab, the height of the floor preparation, etc.

Phase IV. Build the roof of the pavilion (three days). While you can always go back and build this later, I recommend including it in your initial build plan. An awning in bad weather significantly increases the value of an outdoor kitchen, I would say up to 40%. Not only does this help you avoid raindrops, but it also helps you think about the importance of sun protection – perhaps more than you think. Here is more information:
* 7′ is a good height for the top of your walls with a 4 x 4 wood frame. Provides a large airflow to carry away smoke from the stove.
* 16 overhanging cannons are good for protection from rain and sun. Two feet is better.
* Leave an opening 30 to 36 inches wide in the center of the ridge of the roof to allow smoke to escape from the fire. Protect this opening from rain with a dome roof supported by 4 sturdy posts and extending 6 inches on all sides of the vent. A steady wind or breeze blows the smoke away from the upper parts of the pavilion, and no wind blows the smoke through the dome.
* I highly recommend metal roofing.
If you can afford it, your entire roofing project will be enhanced by the low cost of plywood ¼ or ½.
* If you don’t have plywood inside, don’t forget to insulate the roof with rolled ½ bubble wrap in the back to dampen sound in case of heavy rain.
* Windshield. Think seriously about how vulnerable your roof is to the wind. A roof, without closed walls and with well anchored foundations, can be lifted in an instant and completely destroyed. A key element of static stability should be the extensive angular connection between the horizontal and vertical frame members.
* Dip the vertical braces into the ground and/or place cable anchors on each vertical brace to withstand high winds. Due to the mountainous terrain, our cabin is subject to regular winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour each winter. Depending on your location, I recommend OVERKILL!

Chimney Due to the diversity of locations, weather conditions and building complexes, I cannot guarantee your smoking experience. My personal experience with a culvert built under an open roof has not been negative at all. For your awning to work properly, 1. make sure the side wall is at least 2.5 meters high, 2. leave the ends of the awning fully open, 3. make sure the opening that opens the awning leaves room for proper air circulation. If there is no wind, the smoke should rise slowly and come out through the dome. A gentle, steady breeze blows the smoke out of the end of your kitchen. Pay attention: The higher the quality of your firewood, the less chance of a fire!

Stone and rock environment – optional – (1 – 2 days)

Rock is a beauty that gently blends earth and structure. When it comes to incorporating stones into your latest outdoor kitchen, I’m definitely biased – use as many stones as you can get. The value of a stone is not quantifiable.
* Natural stone is heavy and as such serves as ballast or even anchor for other parts exposed to the wind or moved by vehicle or passenger traffic. Be generous and pour it in. You will learn to do it quickly in a stable and visually appealing way. The beauty of drywall is that it can be completely or partially remodeled at any time.
* When collecting your stone, remember to collect a wide range of sizes, shapes, flat and round, etc. Our kitchen is gently sloping, and the 12′ wide drop averages 2′. This change in topography has resulted in a great need for multi-layer zones, stabilization of exposed segments, diversion and concrete base stabilization for our frame columns.

Pick up your stone If you are lucky enough to have an unlimited number of rocks on your property, collect them and make something useful and beautiful out of them. If you need to look for stone somewhere else, start by exploring local farms, sand and gravel pits where, if not mined, there are usually piles of usable stone all over the quarry.
Be sure to check the ownership of the well; it is sometimes private, but usually at the county, state or federal level. Get a permit and check the costs. I have rarely paid more than $5 for what my truck could carry. The basic rule is often the following: If you can load it manually, there is no charge. But this is Alaska…
Be nice to your (or your friend’s) truck. Think weight, not volume. Depending on the age and suspension condition of my truck, I probably have an average load of 1,000 pounds in my half-ton truck and 1,500 pounds in my ¾-ton pickup. My guess? On average, you’ll probably use 10,000 pounds of stone for the entire kitchen. If the work seems important to you, find someone with a 5-foot dump truck and ask them to meet you at the mine – and bring a few friends. Remember, the dump truck’s lift is a few feet higher than your pickup’s.
Another tip for loading your own pickup: weigh a few stones until you know the size and feel of the 30- and 50-pound stones. Count and mark the dimensions as you load them. Stop when you reach the agreed load limit. You want your truck to survive so you can move it another day.

Total working days for the whole project – about 10 days with two people


An efficient kitchen burner is functional, not meant to entertain.

The principles of good cooking – 1. Get the right fuel (firewood).
* It must be dry. Cut and split logs and stack them for the coming season.
* Use hardwood, if possible.
* Select the size of the firewood according to the size (length and depth) of the firebox. I generally prefer my choke fuel to be the diameter of a man’s wrist and 10 to 15 inches long. Separate these parts for ignition and add a small amount to the fire to slightly increase the heat output. For the Solo Cooker, I increase the length to 10 -14 inches because of the greater depth of the combustion chamber, and the fuel is at the end .
* Consider a good supply of firewood as one of your passions. * Cut and split wood (maybe half of a normal log – 4’x4’x4′, and keep it ventilated and protected from rain. Keep a plastic container or wooden box of fuel near the campfire for cooking.

2. Minimize the distance between the bottom of the firebox and the top of the steel grate to allow more attention to the hot coals and minimize flames during cooking. With the Culvert stove, it measures 15 to 20 cm. In the case of the Solo heater, it would be 10 to 14 inches.

3. I repeat – cooking mainly with the heat of burning coals and minimal flames. To do this, turn on the fire 20 to 30 minutes before cooking, controlling the heat well.

4. Adjust the temperature with slight changes. Think about the control knob of the gas heater. A little up and down gives much better cooking results than big swings. You need a little more heat – add kindling or a piece of fuel cut in half. Fire is too hot – give a hot flame or head coals two or three sprays with a vaporizer.

Practice, practice, practice, and you will be a kitchen burner.


So the construction is complete and it’s time to customize your outdoor kitchen for its intended use. Gather your friends, neighbors and family around the new facility and dedicate it to the Lord – it’s His, He’s just letting us use it.

Initiation prayer:
Lord God, we gather in gratitude for this wonderful gift from you,
* and ask that you bless all who come here with gracious fellowship,
nourishing food, and the warmth of the fire.
* Give us the new foreign love (hospitality) you bring. Or maybe we should just share what we’ve already experienced.
* And Father, we long for a deep sense of gratitude for your amazing accomplishments. *
– These things we pray with the authority, power and name of our Lord Jesus.

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