Cooking With a Harrison

Staggering versatility for endless creativity

Created to be used in world-class restaurants as well as the beautiful kitchens and gardens of a home looking for something rather different, this oven has been designed to encourage the chef to develop an instinctive understanding of how to cook with their Harrison. Its result is exceptional flavour and texture.


The theatre of cooking with the live-fire of a Harrison also makes it suited to being used where those you are cooking for can see, feel and share in being part of that. The portability and ease of indoor or outdoor installation means that could be in a garden for lunch or maybe as part of a Chef’s Table, or in the kitchen for dinner.

Refined and controllable, flare-ups are kept to a minimum and the insulated walls and door make sure that the heat is kept in the chamber.

The choice of wood or wood chips used will have a subtle but distinctive impact on flavour, and the same is true of the choice of charcoal too. Harrison Ovens recommend using charcoal and wood from companies that only use 100% sustainable British woodlands.

Seafood dish cooked in a Harrison Oven
Food cooking inside a Harrison Oven

Versatility

From searing to roasting, baking to slow cooking, hot smoking to cold smoking - everything that a conventional oven can do is achievable in a Harrison Charcoal Oven and more - but faster, with more moisture retention and an optional smoky note.

Octopus dish cooked in a Harrison Oven

High temperature

At temperatures of 300°C+ a Harrison will quickly imbue steaks, game and flatbreads with the unique flavour of being cooked on solid fuel. It is here that the Maillard reaction kicks in and the sugars in food take on the distinctive flavour of being browned. The high heat locks in moisture, making this an especially good way to cook langoustines and vegetables. Grill on the steel racks for more direct intensity to achieve attractive charred stripes.

Asparagus cooked in a Harrison oven

Steaming

Cooking at high heats in a Harrison Oven seals food, which locks in moisture and steams food from within. Vegetables can be charred directly on the hot coals, which blackens the outside and steams the inside. For a more gentle steam, a water bath can be added beneath food, or food can be wrapped in baking paper and steamed in its own juices.

Bread cooking in a Harrison Oven

Baking

At 150–200°C a Harrison offers the ideal conditions for baking breads, cakes, fish and pastries. The oven’s consistent heat distribution means that temperatures do not fall quickly if the door is opened, which ensures even baking.

How to make beer bread by Mr Hari Covert

Dishes of food resting on the top of a Harrison Oven

Warming and Resting

The only part of a Harrison Oven that does not contain heavy insulation is the top of it. This design feature means that the temperature on the top of the oven is perfect to rest steaks, heat sauces and keep dishes warm, a valuable extra surface area when cooking for large numbers. This feature is available on the The Harrison Atom, which has a plancha top for cooking over 100°C.

Fish smoked in a Harrison Oven

Hot and Cold Smoking

When cooking at higher temperatures with charcoal or wood, dishes can be infused with a seriously smoky flavour by throwing natural or flavoured wood chips straight onto the coals.

Furthermore, to cold smoke at 10–15°C, insert wood dust into the cold smoke generator’s ashtray and enjoy your own smoked cheese, fish, bacon, ham, garlic or fruit. Full infusion takes between five and ten hours, so can be left overnight.

Ben Crittenden of Stark’s Harrison Smoked Wasabi Beef

Cooking with The Harrison oven is something of a physical experience. If that is inevitably the case with cooking on solid fuel, it is especially so with a Harrison.

Angela Clutton, Co-chair, Guild of Food Writers and food historian
A chicken cooked in a Harrison Oven

Slow Cooking

Joints of meat cooked over charcoal or wood at 100°C enable the meat to become so tender that it is easily pulled away from the bone.

Due to the unique way that a Harrison cooks, this negates the need for a rotisserie. The ease of controlling a Harrison at temperatures as low as 80–90°C makes it perfect for ultra low and slow cooking.

How to make perfect slow cooked brisket in a Harrison charcoal oven

A selection of food cooking on the plancher of The Harrison Atom

Plancher / Hot Plate Cooking

Perfect for searing small or delicate foods like thin steaks, asparagus, scallops and prawns, the plancher sits on the top of The Harrison Atom and can be used in conjunction with the oven.

A woman cooking seafood on the hot plate of The Harrison Atom

Hob Cooking

While you are cooking at high temperatures in The Harrison Atom oven cavity, a sauce pan, frying pan or wok can be used on the the hob top which also has a small hot plate area.

When the Harrison arrives with each customer it begins to develop a character in tune with that of its chef. Cooking with a Harrison oven is, ultimately, an experience you share with it. That comes in part from the earthy connection of seeing and feeling live embers in the oven’s floor. It is in the pleasure of creating dishes with the flavour and texture of being cooked over solid fuel.

Cooking guide

Temp Method Dish
300°C+ Direct, conduction, radiation Tomahawk steak, flatbread, pizza, pastel de nata
250°C+ Direct, conduction, convection, radiation Charred asparagus, whole seabass, roast duck, shakshuka
150–200°C Convection, radiation Sourdough loaf, banana bread, steamed brocolli, grilled figs
100°C Direct, convection, radiation Beef bourguignon, roast leg of lamb, ratatouille
80–90°C Convection, radiation Pulled pork, oxtail
10–15°C Cold-smoke generator Cheese, fish, bacon, ham, garlic, fruit