Invert the terra cotta flowerpot on a flat surface, such as a patio or garage floor. Mark a pencil line approximately a 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pot, and running around its entire circumference.
Put on protective eyewear, and plug in an angle grinder with a masonry blade attached. Hold the blade to the pencil line until it cuts through the pot, then follow the pencil line until you have cut all the way around the bottom of the flower pot. Remove the bottom section and discard it.
Soak the flower pot overnight in water, to protect it against breaking when you fire it for the first time.
Set your inverted flowerpot on the gas ring, to see if it sits there securely. If not, place a round barbecue grill, slightly larger than your flowerpot, on the gas ring. For added stability, tie the rack to the frame of your gas burner by wrapping it with wire on each of the four sides.
Attach a propane tank to the burner, and light it. Leave it on a low setting for the first 10 minutes, then turn it up gradually for another 30 minutes. Check the temperature of the tandoor with a laser-type thermometer, available from your local hardware store. Once the tandoor has spent at least 10 minutes at 400 F, you can turn the gas to high.
Test the tandoor's temperature regularly with the laser thermometer until it reads 800 F to 850 F. At that temperature your tandoor is ready to use. Adjust the gas as needed, during cooking, to maintain that temperature.
Things You Will Need
- Large terra cotta flower pot
- Protective eyewear
- Angle grinder, with masonry blade
- Gas ring burner, from a lobster boiler or turkey fryer
- Round barbecue grill
- Propane tank
- Laser-type thermometer
- Let the tandoor cool thoroughly when you're finished cooking. When has cooled enough to handle, remove it from the gas ring and place it in a safe location for storage.
- There are many options for making more permanent tandoor ovens in the back yard, but this method is easy, quick and inexpensive.
- As an alternative, you can line your existing oven with unglazed tiles or a terra cotta insert and achieve similar results, though without the intense heat of the tandoor.