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thermal mass vs insulation - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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thermal mass vs insulation

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  • thermal mass vs insulation

    I am building a conventional style dome oven. after the dome is complete ,{ 3" thick] I am wondering if an additional layer of 2 1/2" fire brick would be better as thermal mass for holding in heat and then adding my peralite insulation or just adding the insulation on the cladding over the dome? any ideas? thanks, doug

  • #2
    Re: thermal mass vs insulation

    Assuming you are using fornobravo's current pompeii oven plans, the 'best' answer is going to depend on how you intend to use your oven. If you are cooking mostly pizza, then no. If you will be baking bread, roasts or whatever, then the answer is maybe.

    Any pictures of your oven yet? Most bakers add mass in the floor of the oven, that is, if you aren't alredy past that point. HTH
    Last edited by Lburou; 08-28-2011, 01:16 PM.
    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: thermal mass vs insulation

      Are you building an enclosure ?

      The reason I ask is that you have the option of going with the 3 inch mass you have now and adding more some time in the future if you find that is not enough for your use.

      Three inches is adequate for most home cooking. I would be tempted to add an inch of mortar to bring it nearer to the 4 inches or so most ovens are built with.


      • #4
        Re: thermal mass vs insulation

        I think the answer to your question is NO!
        Adding thermal mass will allow you use your oven in different ways. If you want a WFO for cooking pizza and things with an open flame or a single load of bread with a cleared oven the 3 to 3.5 inch of thermal mass will do fine. then as the mantra goes insulate, insulate , insulate.

        If your looking at doing multiple loads of bread and not re-firing the oven between batches you may want more thermal mass. I have 7 inch all around in my oven but I bake lots of bread. A commercial wfo may have as much as 11 inches of thermal mass.
        Even with the increase of thermal mass the mantra stays the same ...insulate insulate insulate.