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foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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  • foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

    I acually built this oven about 2 years ago. that thread has been revived in introductions but I thought that this would be a better place for it.

    2 years ago I was looking to build a brick oven but didnt have the time or the funds to build a mortared oven. Then I saw a post about an oven built with loose bricks and a chimney flue so I started coming up with a plan for a staced brick oven. I came up with a plan and built the oven and it workd fine. see my thread


    well after 2 NY winters the oven base had a bit of a lean to it so I decided to rebuild it.

    After we took it down we leveled the crush stone base. Then we set the bottom concrete blocks in 3 rows of 3 making sure that they were level and square. Additional blocks were then added until it was 4 layers high.after rechecking level and square again we placed 4 2 ft x 2 ft pavers on top to complete the base.

    Then we added a layer of fire brick to add to the thermal mass of the floor and to make a nice surface for baking. Solid clay bricks were then stacked around the base on the 2 sides and back. each side ran a bit long and we let them run wild so we wouldnt have to cut as many bricks. we continued until we had 7 layers. then 1inch x 1 inch angle iron 36 inches ling were placed on top and filled in with bricks

    a second layer of bricks was added to the top . 3 stacks of bricks 4 high were placed on each side of the door 18 inches apart. 2 more angles were added and 3 rows of brick were added across the top of the door.

    I had some old bricks that we placed around the outside of the sides and back to add to the thermal mass. All done. took about 2 hours

    I wish I could have exsplained it better but It takes too many pictures to post here. If you would like to see pictures of the full build and the first firing you can see them at:

    brick oven pictures by timmyny_2009 - Photobucket

    If you have any questions let me know


  • #2
    Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

    here are some pictures of the first fire and pizzas



    • #3
      Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

      Hey TimmyNY,

      It sure looks like this oven cooks pizza! And I'd say that is a good thing. Nice job!

      With the three layers of brick you sure ended up with a big bunch of thermal mass. That will keep things hot...

      On your stand, did you include any structure to keep the oven from tipping over left to right? Here in earthquake country, I would be inclined to add a stack of block in-between the legs of the stand, just to add some additional resistance to the (very small) potential for tipping...

      Another detail, I don't know if it is an issue for your build or not, is the part where Portland cement begins to loose strength when it gets hot.. Without insulation under the cooking floor, the heat transferred from the fire through the cooking floor bricks to the 2 x 2 paver's (and I think these are made with Portland cement) could be enough to affect the strength of the paver's. I'm not really sure how to suggest you research the details on this question, but put it out there just to confirm you know there might be a problem there...

      Really admire the one day build (or less!), and the part where you are cooking good looking food as a reward for a 'part of a' hard day's work! Well done.



      • #4
        Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

        I did not take into account and side movement. Quakes are not really a problem here. I dont think I would worry about i too much as if it got nocked over I would just restack it. being that its not mortared I cant imagine losing mre than a couple bricks or maybe the pavers. As for heat damage I was concerned about it when I first built i. But after 2 years of use I only had 3 bricks that were cracked when I took it apart. I did have one of the pavers that had cracked but I think it had more to do with frost heaving the base more than anything.

        asyou can see the base moved quite a bit over the winter.

        so while the pavers do get very warm you can still touch them (underneath) bare handed without it being uncomfortable so I dont think that they are getting overly hot



        • #5
          Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

          I'd say the beauty of this oven is that if something does crack after a while, you just replace it and restack...
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



          • #6
            Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

            I just love the diversity of it all!
            It's nice to see something unique, knocked up with minimum fuss whilst I'm sitting here worrying about the insulating properties of vermiculite vs rockwool vs god-knows-what-else... I could sit here & pontificate about how much better it would be with 4" of insulated cladding all around but that would be missing the point... the point is you have a wood-fired brick oven, and I don't!! I salute you
            My rustic oven;


            • #7
              Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

              I don't post as I don't have anything to add (yet). But I wanted to thank you for posting detailed pics as I was able to stack one of these together this past weekend. It really does work great. Heat transfers a little quickly, but was really impressed with the results. Sorry, no pics.


              • #8
                Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                Thanks for the inspiration, mine took about the same amount of time


                • #9
                  Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                  Timmynj- Very nice. It's like instant wood fired pizza! When you have your guests over you probably make fun of us guys that stress over getting our oven built to perfection and 3 years after we've begun the project we have our first pizza.

                  I appreciate your different angle on wood fired oven construction.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  -Nine months into the project...



                  • #10
                    Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                    I think this is a GREAT start! I can find the right spot in the yard and reuse all the brick and block I have. If I could only figure out how to justify to my wife, more caputo 00 flour, San Marzano, making my own fresh mozzarella and anything else I should add to the list.



                    • #11
                      Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                      great idea. Have you ever measured the temperature on the cooking surface to see how hot it get's? How long does it usually take to cook a pizza once the oven is at temperature?




                      • #12
                        Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                        I have never measured the temp of the oven as I don't have anything to do it with. It takes about an hour and a half to get it up to temp. It gets hot enough to burn all the soot off the inside and will burn the hair off your arm in about half a sec so I think it gets pretty hot. It cooks a pizza in about 3 or 4 min. Ive tried to cook bread in it once but once you take the fire out it cools faster than a normal brick oven. Still I was able to bake a few loaves at once. just don't know if it would bake a second batch.

                        I got tired of having to replace the pavers every year because of the frost heaving the base in the winter so this spring I poured a 6 inch reinforced concrete base under it. Ill let you know how it works in the spring.

                        Good luck and have fun building your oven how ever you decide to



                        • #13
                          Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                          I got surface temps up to 950 on the floor and over 1000 on the top. It does cool very quickly though like Timmy said. And I agree with the rest of his reply too. I would suggest placing the floor firebricks on edge to get some extra thermal mass for the floor. You'll obviously need twice as much firebrick but I think it would be worth it.


                          • #14
                            Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                            Nice work, I have been wondering how I am going to build a support for pouring the concrete landing and having seen your angle iron and suspended brick construction it has given me an idea to do something similar and then top it off with concrete.

                            Might even look at something similar for the base of the BBQ, that way I can incorporate a few gaps for the air to get sucked in.

                            Cheers for the inspiration


                            • #15
                              Re: foundation to first pizza in 4 1/2 hours

                              does anyone still use this pizza oven? I have built one but so far I am having trouble getting the heat to stay on the floor for very long once I push the coals to the side.