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new project - question 1 - stone slab?

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  • new project - question 1 - stone slab?

    First of all hello everyone!

    I'm starting to plan my next project and have a question. I have lots actually but I'll start off with just one

    I am thinking about building a tall standing oven built from both steel and brick. The bottom of it is going to house the firebox, grill and rotisserie. The top will have a pizza oven (This is from a article I read in a mag a few years ago).

    Anyways - my first q is if I where to have two shelves in my pizza oven part - what material could I make the slabs out of. Its going to have about a 3' x 3' foot print. I was thinking of something about the thickness of a cement slab but for obvious reasons I don't want to use cement.

    Any ideas? Will it have to be stone? Could it be re-enforced concrete? Can I make it from some specific material?


  • #2

    It's hard to know what you have in mind. To address your question about the slab material, 3 1/2 inch re-inforced concrete is fairly standard for the structural slab. This supports some kind of insulation, then the firebrick oven floor. Other materials have been used for the structural support layer, like masonry lintels. Metal is used in applications where the weight has to be kept to a minimum, like portable ovens.

    I'm a little concerned about the 3 foot square footprint. The minimum workable size, inside diameter, for a wood burning oven is three feet in diameter. By the time you add the thickness of the refractory liner, the insulation, and some kind of external cladding, you're pretty much up to five foot square, which is what I'm working with. The problems with smaller ovens is that the oven opening is so large in relation to the cooking chamber, that a lot of heat is lost, and it's hard to keep the temperatures up. Pizzamakers also use a fire in the oven technique, and to keep a fire and a pizza in the oven at the same time, a three foot diameter is really the smallest one can work with.

    In any event, let us know what you want to use your oven for, and what space you have to work with, and we may be able to offer some more "concrete" suggestions.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Sorry my description was very bad

      This should help though - I scanned in the image from the magazine. I know its not a traditional pizza oven but I really need something more flexible. I do a lot of bbq'n and have always wanted a rotisserie, I need a grill - so this is what I think fits the best. I'm also in the UK and have a small garden. My wife would kill (she would do more actually) if I built a pizza oven in our back yard .

      So my first problem is with the top compartment. I'm not sure what material to use for the shelves.



      • #4
        Geez, you got me stumped. I've never seen anything like it. The shelves look like welded rods, and the vertical fire "basket" look like some kind of flimsy expanded mesh. Fire going on three levels? How's it all vented?

        You may want to track down the person who built this thing and see for your self how well it actually works. To me, it looks like a prop from "Sweeny Todd"
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Can you make your robot oven walk too?

          You can do rotisserie, barbecue grilling, and make pizza in a traditional pizza oven. That oven in your picture is awesome, and I'd love to see it work, though I'm about making world class pizza, and I can't afford too much experimentation. I'm well interested in seeing more of this design though.


          • #6
            I've just started to put together some CAD drawings - would love to get some feedback as I'm a little new to this type of oven. Most of my experience is in traditional southern bbq's (smoking grills/etc.).


            • #7
              I think Nick has a good point. The ovens that most folks are building have a long history, so you know what you are getting into. There is good info on heat up times, how heat reflects, lasts, cooking times, grilling, etc. A large part of traditional Italian cuisine was invented in a brick oven a long time ago.

              What part of the country (or world) do you think the deisgn comes from? What is the type of cooking that it does well? That might give us a lead on its heritage and design center.
              Pizza Ovens
              Outdoor Fireplaces


              • #8
                I know its a little different and much less traditional then what you normally see - hense my lack of background information. Its closer to a grill/bbq but that suites me and my knowledge. What it does have is the oven up top - which is where I need the advice.

                Essentially its a small brick oven heated by a fire down below. Its been successfully built but I can't find much information on this sort of thing. I'm hoping I can get some feedback to lessen my mistakes and oversights. Welding is not a prob - the grill is fairly easy - the rotissary is cool - now its just the top oven and vents. I assuming vents in the back are the only real option.

                I think the design is a bit of a hybrid. It does grilling very good - rotissary very good - and apparently gets a good heat in the top oven. I'm just starting some CAD drawings of it which i'll be happy to share and hopefully get some feedback. I'm not sure what to base the 'hearth' on though - since it will be suspended on top of the steel frame. Any ideas?

                Origionally I was thinking of two shelves in the oven but I think a single one might be more effective. If so I just need to support a single platform - I coudl build bricks over top of the steel shelf - any thoughts?



                • #9
                  The reason I suggested sussing out the guy who built this, is that you might just get the kinds of hands-on feedback you are looking for. It's so far away from a brick pizza oven that most folks here are going to scratch their heads. I know that things like this are used for North Carolina Bar-be-que, maybe that might be a thread to follow.
                  My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2