The Horno Oven
Horno (pronounced Or'-nO) is Spanish for "Oven" or "Furnace".
In the western part of the U.S. it generally refers to wood fired earthen ovens usually made of adobe bricks covered in a thin plaster of mud. Because the adobe walls are made of individual sun-dried mud bricks that are bonded together with mud mortar thay are often shaped like a beehive. Used by Native Americans and the early settlers of North America, the Horno oven is still used in parts of New Mexico and Arizona. The oven is used for baking and roasting, however other cooking can take place at
the opening while the horno is being fired. A fire is built inside allowing the thick adobe chamber to absorb heat. After two or three hours coals are removed to a nearby brazier for other use or to reheat the oven as needed. Using a wooden bakers peel, or paddle, the goods to be baked are carefully placed inside the oven and the doorway is sealed. An horno can maintain a useable, though slowly dropping, temperature for several hours. In the case of corn the embers are doused with water and the corn is then inserted into the horno to be "steam" cooked.