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Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt

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  • Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt

    Ciao a tutti (Hello PPL),

    we all love pizza and for someone like me - relocated from Venice, Italy to San Diego - the lack of widely available properly operated WFOs is a big source of frustration. In the meantime I've been able to achieve a superior quality for my dough and learnt to grow my own organic tomato..

    A good dough is completely wasted in the gas oven, so I have been experimenting different options with stones and charcoal grills.

    Prepared on a 7$ stone in an unmodified (and definitely not too hot) Weber the results was excellent. Absolutely comparable to a 7/10 pizza baked in professional electric oven in Italy.

    Now it's time to play, and I want to start two experiments: with a molded dome on a 22" Weber and a super simple brick oven.

    I've been reading many posts and I am aware that my design is completely against thousands of years of oven engineering, but If I can get something that is at least three times better (that would be hard to calculate) than the stone in the Weber I will be happy (as a first step).

    My ultimate goal is to own a nice house with a great round oven in the backyard but while I am broke and renting here and there that's not an option!

    So, for the project number one I'll try to mimic `thepizzahaker` and see what happens;

    For the first brick experience I put together a design that could be built for under 50$ from start to end: assuming that I'll be able to figure out a non collapsing solution (maybe an internal metal frame), I should be able to build a portable backyard oven with a minimum of 38 bricks. If this can retain more heat than a simple Weber, I win.

    Problems I found:

    there is no arc, the structure can easily collapse;
    the fire bricks are only 1 1/4" thick, that's nothing in thermal mass;
    air won't circulate correctly given the square chamber;
    fire will be in the back and require turning the pizza many times;
    it may be hard to add wood to the fire.

    Most of these issue may be solved iterating and updating the design. Double layer of bricks, thermal cover etc...

    Thanks for reading and welcome to me in the wanna-be-pizzaiolo world!!!

    Born in Italy, making pizza in San Diego

  • #2

    The closest oven I've seen to your sketch is Tman1's oven:
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.


    • #3
      Re: Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt

      As I was reading, I couldn't see Lee's post, but I thought of mine. My bricks are a little skinny too, so they are just doubled up. It's also bigger than you need for one pizza at a time. I would add some tinfoil in between the top 2 layers just to reflect the heat a little more (plus it's super cheap add-on). To make pizza's this unit works, to bake bread and other things, I'm not so sure.
      My oven (for now):


      • #4
        Re: Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt

        I would highly recommend going over to pizzamaking.com and looking at the little black eggs(LBE) and mini black eggs(MBE) people are building out of small kettle grills. I personally think that will be the best use of your time and money for your situation. There have been a lot of them built now and they seem to produce consistant good results if you are willing to play with it a bit.


        • #5
          Re: Please (IN)VALIDATE my 1st design attempt

          Ciao MEK,

          Any oven is better then no oven. Your design seems to be fine. If money is an issue then I would suggest you go on Craigslist. You should be able to find either a great deal or someone who is giving bricks away. Good luck and take lots of pictures!!

          My Oven Thread:

          Picasa Photo Library: