Not really your traditional oven, but it is traditional to Indian and other cultures. Tandoor ovens, especially those used in industrial applications and restaurant kitchens, can be large and permanent fixtures, or they can be smaller, portable units. No matter the setup, the delicious foods they can produce is unquestionable!
All Tandoor ovens operate on the same principle. The ovens are made of clay with concrete or mud on the outside providing insulation. Their shape resembles a beehive to focus the heat. An opening at the top of the oven provides access and ventilation.
Tandoor ovens cook at high temperatures, 900F and up. A fire at the bottom heats the oven walls and the air inside the oven. After initial heating at high temperatures, the oven is cooled down to provide consistent temperature during cooking.
Naan flatbreads get slapped against the sides of the oven where they stick. The super-heated surface cooks them very quickly. Meats can be cooked on long skewers inserted vertically into the oven or cooked over the opening at the top.
Tandoor ovens are very economical to use, making them a favorable cooking oven in parts of the world where fuel economy is of paramount importance or where fuel is hard to come by. Once tandoor ovens are heated, they sustain a high temperature for hours with little additional energy.