Bushman’s new Santorini oven is at home in a small urban garden, a rural space, a rooftop terrace - wherever you want to share great food with family and friends.
- Authentic pizza, hot from your oven in 45 seconds
- Or how about fish? Or a rump steak? Veggie treats? Or go the whole hog with a roast?
- The healthy way to bring out natural flavours and juices
- Party size - produces 30 Roma-style pizzas an hour: 14 inch for sharing
- A stunning look for your garden with its rustic brick effect
- Minimal smoke when lit and fuelled correctly - happy neighbours
- Easy self-assembly: build it and fire up in 2 hours (or with wide access, we can deliver fully assembled)
- The first high performance refractory clay oven to fit any outdoor space
David Jones of Manna From Devon Cooking School talks to Bushman's CEO Jay Emery: the man behind Santorini
There's nothing on earth like a real wood fired, stone-baked pizza!
It’s that thrill as you scoop it fresh from the oven…roll the cutter…and watch six hands make a grab for it…
And that “OMG!” look on every face, as their first taste of real authentic pizza grips their senses.
It’s an experience, every time you fire up the oven.
But you know what? This oven is not about pizza – or any of the amazing dishes you can conjure up,
No, it’s about the moment. That time when you’re out there in the sunset with your oven blazing.
It’s about good wine… good friends… good times… the stuff that life is for.
The pizza’s just a neat excuse to pick up the phone and say, “Hey guys, it’s been a while – how about you come on over?”
IT'S A FAST COOKER
Once you flame up, a good oven can hit 400 degrees centigrade - and higher! Enough to cook a hand-made Roma-style pizza in 45 seconds flat. Or if you've got 90 seconds, go Neapolitan!
IT'S A SLOW COOKER
Snuff out the flame and let the falling heat take over. Then slow-cook a few ribs and let the juices flow, or fill your garden with the smell of oven-fresh bread. (Instant jealous neighbours!)
The best logs burn slowly - and the heat should last for hours after the fire dies. It stays in the walls and the floor, like a warm house on a summer's day. So bake or roast away – you’re not draining the National Grid!
PLUS - IT'S VERSATILE
You can cook ANYTHING you'd put in a regular oven - and with good design, you'll be amazed when you see how much room you get inside.
AND IT GETS YOU OUTDOORS
You’re eating in the open air, with all the delights of nature. Not just when the sun is out – make it an all-year experience.
(You won't need an outdoor heater to enjoy the garden next winter. Just fire up, get cooking, and let the oven radiate...)
IT'S (UNIQUELY) CONSISTENT
High thermal mass means you cook on an even, all-over heat. So burning and under-cooking are almost impossible.
Especially in an oven like Santorini, with twin temperature probes to measure air heat and stored heat in the floor & walls.
To quote David Jones at Manna From Devon:
"I love being able to take a simple technology and using it to create dishes with a subtlety and finesse which doesn't seem possible. I love the theatre of cooking with fire and the amazing results achieved by cooking without fire. I love that I have to use my senses, intuition, judgement, creativity and experience to cook well in a wood-fired oven rather than setting a function and leaving an appliance to do it for me."
Sure, there are alternative ovens out there…but why compromise?
Look, you’ve probably seen ads for portable grill ovens – those little tin boxes that’ll blaze up a pizza in your garden. They’re cheap - just a few hundred pounds. But will they give you the full effect of a proper wood fired oven?
Not really - not CONSISTENTLY. Take a look at this video...
See the issue here?
A proper wood fired oven is made of heat-absorbent parts:
A brick dome, clay refractory and stone floor tiles. So from wall to floor…
It can store heat when the oven’s too hot…
…and emit the heat back into the heart of the oven as it cools down.
So it keeps to a constant, stable temperature, it’s kind of like a storage battery: charging up when there’s energy to spare, then giving it back on demand.
Why does that matter?
Because inside the oven, the heat is emanating from all around. So you get an even, all-over glow, where everything - top and bottom - is cooked just as it should be.
Those tin-box grill ovens have low thermal mass
The walls are metal, and the floors use wafer-thin stone tiles. So there’s little or no residual heat to wrap around the pizza.
RESULT:Heat concentrates around the flame…so it’s hit and miss. They CAN cook a decent pizza, but NOT consistently.
Far too often, they’ll scorch the top or leave the bottom raw - or vice versa.
And other ovens - with a clay refractory?
Most use a low-grade clay like grog. Not the high performance type, like chamotte clay, that you find in a quality oven. So again, low thermal mass.
SO YOU DECIDE:
Wouldn’t you rather cook 30 pizzas an hour and give every one of your friends the same amazing result? Not to mention freedom to cook literally anything else...any meat, bread, fish, any size?
It's your call...but why compromise?
Please Note: we no longer manufacture the stainless steel Calliste cap, this has now been replaced by the Thera.
Please Note: we no longer manufacture the stainless steel Calliste cap, this has now been replaced by the Thera.
Hang on - if wood fired ovens are so great, why reinvent the wheel?
They only suit a fraction of domestic gardens.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of every oven we produce in the Bushman range. It’s just there are practicalities.
I mean, look at this -
That’s one of my standard ovens, getting hoisted into a customer's (enormous!) garden in Broadway.
Can you imagine squeezing one of those giants into a regular size garden?
Even if you're okay for space, there's still the weight to deal with. Each oven is made in one single form, and reinforced with multiple layers.
So you’d need a crane or a gang of (very good) friends to get it off the truck! Oh, and did I mention they're all handmade? So you'd need a budget of £5k or more.
That's fine for some, but not for all.
Hence this innovation...
What can we do about smoke?
The fact is, a regular wood fired oven is smoky by design.
Uncontrolled, it will spew out pollution and get you into a ruck with your neighbours.
That’s a problem, wherever you live - and doubly so in a tight urban space where we all live on top of each other.
Personally, I show all my customers how to control emissions. Rural or urban, garden or restaurant, I don’t let a single Bushman oven wind up Environmental Health.
But other ovens are less controlled. Some will chug out the black stuff for hours.
OUR MISSION: Create the first oven in history to tick all these boxes
I spent two decades wrestling with this problem
How to design an oven that ticks all those boxes, without sacrificing quality - so anyone with a small garden space can enjoy traditional wood fired cooking.
The answer hit me in Santorini
Do you know Santorini?
It’s an idyllic Greek island, dotted in the Aegean - basically, paradise.
And a haven for pizza lovers! Because they grow the best tomatoes on earth, and the island's pumice is a great insulator - I've been using it in my ovens for decades.
Anyway - I was out there a couple of years ago, trying to switch my brain off and enjoy the island. But this engineering problem was stuck in my head: how could I make it work?
The sticking point was self-assembly
I could hand-make an oven that ticked all those other boxes, no problem. But that would hike up the cost.
To make it affordable, we needed a way to factory-make a set of components that could slot together. But how?
It was driving me mad. Until I found my muse, out on a quad biking expedition...
I'm like a thing possessed when I get out on a quad bike - go ask Mrs E!
It's the same love of the outdoors and new adventures that got me into wood fired cooking.
So there we were - coming off the dirt tracks and onto a road, when we passed a fireplace showroom. We just had to pull over, for a nosey about the courtyard.
And one of their ovens stood out for me, like it was trying to tell me something...
It was nothing to look at! On the outside, at least, it was a big, ugly thing.
But inside? Wow! Different story...
The inner dome was a tiled brick structure, with a mesmerising pattern. Functional, and stunning.
I could just imagine it in full flame, the brickwork lit up behind a dancing fire.
By the way...
Have you ever looked inside a pizza oven?
The flame and the rising dough, it’s hypnotic. Especially when you couple it with the rich smells of the wood…the food…the wine…and the warmth too. It’s joyful.
But I digress!
That brick dome stuck in my head. I wanted to give my new oven the same visual impact - or better. But that would give me a whole new headache...wouldn't it?
The next day on my balcony, it all clicked into place
I realised, the brick dome was not an extra headache - it was the ANSWER to self-assembly!
See, it takes special skills to build an intricate dome, if it’s one brick at a time. But it struck me -
Anyone (ANYONE) can do it if the bricks come...pre-strung!
All we had to do was link 5 bricks together in a set*, joined by an internal wire. That way, they could bend into shape without breaking formation.
Multiply that, and the sets can slot together like an instant “igloo”.
That was my Eureka! moment
Straight away, I fired off an email to Trav - my best friend and CAD Designer:
“Can you help me design a new oven with a brick set that strings together?”
He was on the case.
But there was a whole lot to puzzle through. The brick formations, fixings, wiring, mass production...
We were light years from a prototype!
So once I was back in Blighty...
We spent three days locked away...bouncing ideas around...going slightly mad
It was challenging...exhilarating...but exhausting too!
Every time we thought we'd figured it out, we'd see a flaw in the design:
"The bricks won't lock"... "The dome's out of shape"... "It won't cope with the heat"... "thermal mass will be too low"...
Every few hours, back to square one.
Admit defeat, and regroup.
In the end, it took us 10 weeks to agree on a design. And then, we spent the next four weeks ripping it apart. It still wasn't right!
By now, we were like Edison inventing the lightbulb!
Testing one idea after another...eliminating the duds. So when I say it took 6 months to build a prototype...which we took to pieces again, to simplify the build...I think you'll see why it took us 18 months to nail the brickwork!
Still, when you look at the end result, we think it was worth it...
Meanwhile, the whole vision was taking shape
Meanwhile, the whole vision was taking shape
Remember, the brickwork was only the start - R&D was far from over!
We still had to scale down every part of the regular Bushman garden oven, to fit the new compact space. And that was no small feat.
We had to rethink every single piece of the oven.
Refractory... oven space... heating... insulation... water-proofing... stone tiles... the cap... the stand... and the whole smoke management process.
All our ovens use a blend of clays that can handle massive fluctuations in temperature - up to 1400 degrees centigrade!
That’s essential for cooking outdoors in a country with unpredictable weather – because you want consistent results, whether you’re cooking in scarf or shorts!
BUT a new oven size changes the stress on the clay. So we had to go back and test new blends in different weathers.
THE REPLACEABLE STONE TILES
We redesigned our tiles to fit the new space, and tested different depths to give the oven the right thermal mass.
Remember, this is where a typical grill oven gets it wrong. Their tiles are too thin, so you don't get the all-over heat that cooks a pizza without scorching the top or leaving the base underdone.
And conversely, if a tile is too thick, you hike up the thermal mass and the oven takes forever to heat! So this was a balancing act, with endless trial and error.
SPEAKING OF TILES...In a regular pizza oven, the tiles are fixed. So as soon as they need replacing, the whole oven is done for. But Bushman tiles are replaceable.
They should last you 100k pizzas anyway, so maybe it's academic! But say you move the oven and a tile breaks...no problem. Swap and carry on.
We made space for a gas supply. So you can light the wood with an everyday gas lance, then bring the oven up to heat in the fastest, cleanest way.
BY THE WAY…
In the future, we intend to add a FIXED gas fitting. Right now, that would add an extra £800 - compared with a £25 gas lance, that does the exact same job. So we don’t see the point saddling you with the extra cost.
Right now, my R&D team is working on alternatives that will meet DEFRA standards without costing the earth. And when it comes, it can be retrofitted - if it’s something you want.
The clay refractory gets seriously HOT! But unlike our competitors, we went all belt-and-braces here - locking in the heat with a ceramic fibre blanket. So in the unlikely event there’s ever a crack in the dome, you won’t lose any heat - and your food’s still going to come out flaming hot!
Another Bushman first: we wrap the blanket in aluminium tape, to lock out stray drops of water. It also stops dust flying off the blanket - keeping your air clean if you ever change the cap. So you've got an oven for all weathers...to go with the look you can change with the seasons.
It’s a compact oven – but the inside is like a Tardis. We’ve freed up enough space to cook two pizzas at once, so you can easily make 30 pizzas an hour, including prep time.
Or as the video shows, fit in a full-size 53 x 35 cm gastronorm tray.
Short of cramming in a whole buffalo, you can cook just about anything!
It’s all do-able because of our moveable fire basket that you can push way back to the rear wall for pizzas or roasting.
Or move it to the side…add a couple of bricks…and use the oven depth for skewers. Or how about a rotisserie?
It can even sit over the burner hole, once you switch off the gas.
In fact, anywhere but the right hand side, where we’ve put the thermometer probe.
The oven is the oven. Whatever it looks like on the outside, the nucleus - the inner workings - stay the same.
This brick pattern has a rustic look - and you can paint it to suit the theme of your garden.
MORE CAPS ARE COMING...
We’re planning a traditional clay look, a pebble dome, and other designs. So in future, you can switch and swap as your mood – or the season – changes.
This took a lot of patience! We toyed with wood and metal frames, to hit on a design that was sturdy enough to support the oven - and add the right look
SMOKE MANAGEMENT - the challenge that won't go away
Remember - all Bushman ovens are low on smoke emissions, because they’re hand-built and carefully balanced at the point of install.
But getting emissions low enough to fit an urban garden…with a self-assembly oven…well, that was a new challenge!
See, here’s the thing.
It’s a wood fired oven. So if you just throw in any old wood and light it with a match, it’ll give off particulates that turn to black smoke…and that will billow out of the oven while it's heating up.
That’s the same with any model on earth.
To minimise the smoke, it needs:
…The right AIRFLOW.
…The right FUEL.
…And the right HEATING METHOD.
Get any of those wrong, and you’ll have bellows of smoke chugging out over the garden fence.
So first, we had to redesign the oven space and flue, to balance the airflow.
It took some remodelling, tweaks to the prototype, rounds of testing...until we got emissions down, consistently.
Take a look at the video, and you'll see - minimal smoke!
And your oven will be the same. As long as you –
USE THE RIGHT FUEL, AND HEAT IT CORRECTLY
You need a portable gas lance. And you need the right type of wood – something with low moisture, that gives off a dry heat.
When you heat the wood with the gas lance, it gives off a wood gas. Then you’ll get SECONDARY COMBUSTION that burns off those particulates before they turn to smoke.
So you get a clean burning oven. And happy neighbours!
Will DEFRA confirm this?
Cards on the table: this first version of the oven is outside DEFRA’s remit. As a "portable" outdoor appliance that you can light with a separate gas lance, it’s not something they’d be interested in.
HOWEVER – Every part of Santorini is designed to meet DEFRA standards.
Because the next phase will come with a FIXED gas supply, for permanent fixture indoors or out…and that will need to go through DEFRA Approval.
So from day one, I’ve been making sure the oven is compliance-ready. The fire basket, airflow, smoke control…every feature is on point.
Over the years, I’ve worked closely with DEFRA
As the first UK manufacturer to set the standard for approval, I’ve put all my previous models through inspection. Including mobile and commercial ovens, that are vetted to much higher standards.
So I can say this with total confidence:
We will gain approval when we submit the oven to DEFRA in phase two.
So if you're thinking of adding a fixed gas supply in the future, we can arrange that for you - no problem.
NOW, I COULD GO ON! I COULD TALK R&D ALL DAY...
I could talk about changing the stone base 5 times, for the optimum oven size… or 10 versions of the registration plate before the oven settled into place. It was a long haul!
But worth it - because when all the right parts came together, we had a working oven that...FINALLY...ticked every box!
It all sounds like agony, I know! But truth is, I loved every minute. That whole creative problem-solving process makes me feel alive. And thinking this would bring people together to make memories that would last a lifetime...well, that spurred me on to endure the failures. And made every victory sweeter!
The very first Santorini oven - assembled from kit in just two hours
And don’t panic...you don’t have to be a natural DIYer.
It’s all laid out in a stop/start video, on a portable screen that comes in your pack. So you get ME right there in your garden! Building with you, step by step.
Outdoor ovens have come a long...long...way
and thats santorini
All the benefits of a wood-fired oven…without the headaches over price, garden space and smoke!
Yours from £3500
That's over £1500 less than our most popular handmade oven
so many reasons to choose santorini
Anyway - enough dancing round the maypole! Let's cut to the chase...
If you've been waiting for someone to invent a self-build...smoke-friendly...affordable...wood fired oven that fits any garden space...
It's here. It's Santorini.
And it's (...finally!) ready NOW. And it will last a lifetime!
And we want to see it out there, leading the new outdoor cooking revolution.
Now...what's your first occasion?
Remember, wood fired ovens are great for all seasons, from a Wimbledon pizza party to a slow-cooked brisket or ribs around the bonfire. So once your oven is raring to go, don't wait for the sun to come out - you've got plenty of excuses to fire up and get cooking NOW.
What are you doing for Halloween? Christmas? Hogmanay? Valentine's? Family birthdays?
Invite some special people over, and cosy up round the oven door...it's a glorious way to spend an evening, any time of year.
ready for kit inspection
You get the whole shebang - look.
The oven with your choice of cap...the stand...the fire basket...all with an instruction video, for easy assembly.
HOW ABOUT A BONUS?
We're not the type to drop an oven in your garden and leave you to crack on!
Here's a trio of bonuses, to get you started and make sure you get the most from your oven:
Our essential starter kit includes:
Aluminium Placing Peel: the safe way to whisk your pizzas in and out of the oven
Bushman Wooden Bat: to prep, cut and serve your pizzas like a pro
Blow Pipe: blows an ailing fire back to life - and great for cleaning the oven floor
Coal Hook: moves the fire around in the basket, turns your pizzas…even pops bubbles in the dough!
Fire Basket: holds the coals at the back or side of the oven, to free up maximum space
They're logs - they're not exciting! But you can't make a wood fire without them, so we'll start you off with a free set from Sitta UK.
We use thousands of these in our ovens, because they're the best of the bunch. Made of compressed beechwood for the low moisture burn that keeps smoke under control.
This box will see you through your first pizza party, a new year bash and beyond. So you'll be well into 2020 before you restock - unless you go wild!
Your video pack includes recipe cards, plus a cooking demo, for these mouth-waterers from the wood fired cooking masters:
Steak in the woodfired oven Drizzle it with olive oil and watch it dance in the flames!
Wood Fired Plaice with leek and tomato sauce A soft and fluffy delight, with an unforgettable chunky sauce
Stuffed Aubergines with Pine Nuts and Pomegranates A veggie starter or main - amazing with couscous or flatbreads
Upside down Pear and Ginger Cake not as naughty as it sounds, so add an extra dollop of ice-cream!
Let's Talk Guarantees
An average pizza oven comes with a standard 12 month warranty.
You’ve barely got it out of the box before the deal expires!
We can do better than that. So –
We’re guaranteeing your refractory AND components (excluding temperature probes) for a full 3 years
That’s the oven and everything built into it. The full kit bar removables, like floor tiles, that can dislodge if you move it around (and those items can be replaced anyway, with a simple phone call).
How long will it actually last?
Well, put it this way. The refractory is certified to 1400° C. (That’s BLAST FURNACE temperature, if you didn’t know).
So look after it, keep it static, and it ought to last you a lifetime.
In fact, I want you to tell me so - drop me a line when I’m 90!
(I’m 52 now, so that’s a lot of time to make a lot of pizza…and more)
"You're investing in your gastronomic future"
One day, I want you to bequeath this oven to someone special.
But that's not for today. Now, I want you to enjoy the best of times out in the open, sharing the best food...creating the best moments...with your family and friends.
Because, whatever the future holds...we'll always need food and good times.
Chef and food writer Marcus Bawdon says "What more could you want?"
"I play with a lot of wood fired ovens, and they vary - some of them will only last a couple of years, others a bit longer. But look at the quality of this, it's going to be with me for years and years. It's something I'm going to be cooking on with my children, and they'll be cooking on it themselves when they're adults....it's well put together, it's well designed...it's just solid."
Santorini by Bushman - a new era
Santorini by Bushman
A new era in oven design and innovation
Let's sum this up.
It’s not a gimmicky Boy’s Toy. Not a novelty garden gadget!
Santorini is a high-performance oven for the serious outdoor cooking enthusiast. The kind of chef who loves to mix it up, from insanely good pizza to artisan bread, to all the best dishes we’ve compiled for you (yes, puddings included!)
If you just want to pad out a barbie with a so-so pizza, it is not for you!
But if you love to cook, love to experiment, and demand great results every time...here's what you’re getting:
The first easy-to-assemble oven for the real wood fired cooking enthusiast
With all the benefits of a refractory clay, brick and stone oven…
Minus the headaches over price, garden space and smoke!