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Pompeii vs. prefab - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Pompeii vs. prefab

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  • Pompeii vs. prefab

    I am an absolute neophyte to this forum and am using it to determine whether I can (or maybe can NOT) afford to put a pizza oven in my back yard.

    First, I am totally NOT a DIY'er, so will have to find someone in the Milwaukee, WI area who will be willing to build/install it for me. Given that these things are pretty rare around here, I am aware of no resident expert. The first question I have is, if I am paying time and materials to have this done, is there a price advantage to going with the Pompeii oven plans vs. the prefab insert? Will one be more likely to stand up to the winters, especially since I fully expect to cook in it year round? Finally, I have looked at other threads about the foundation and am getting a sense that slab on grade is OK so long as adequate drainage with crushed rock, etc. is planned. Does anyone have a strong opinion otherwise -- what about sonotubes?

    That's enough for now. I'm happy to be participating (hopefully not at the expense of you other "experienced oveneers").


  • #2
    Re: Pompeii vs. prefab

    If you have to pay a mason, you probably want to get a pre-fab. There is still a lot of masonry involved, but it's simple stuff aside from the internal dome. If you are paying by the hour you might be paying for somebody's education if you go for a site built brick oven.

    FB does sell an pre-built brick oven, but the refractory ones work just as well.

    The only consideration for year around use is that the oven be really well waterproofed.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Pompeii vs. prefab

      I think David has it right. If you need to hire a mason, you will be better off using a modular kit (either a pre-cast oven or an Artigiano brick oven). The precast ovens are more cost-effective, and they cook great.

      The ovens definitely will cook year-round -- though whether you want to go out in the snow is up to you. :-) There are brick ovens in the Alps, Rockies, Sierras, Ontario, the upper midwest and NE. If your oven is waterproof and well insulated, it will keep on baking.

      Welcome to our group -- and keep the questions coming.
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces


      • #4
        Re: Pompeii vs. prefab

        I already have my sights on the Premio or Casa 100 (depending on what it will cost to build around it). Regarding the snow, I am an absolute grilling junkie and have been known to stand in a snowstorm. Afterall, we can't allow something as trivial as weather stand in our way of the perfect meal!


        • #5
          Re: Pompeii vs. prefab

          I'll second the advice to get the prefab oven. While I had a lot of fun building my Pompeii oven, it took a lot of time. Not just building time, but time to find, buy, and haul materials.

          If we move to a new house, the next oven will be purchased pre-fab and finished by hired masons (under my expert supervision, of course!) :-)

          I with the rain here in Texas would stop, so I can get a roof on the oven and get it finished up.
          I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:
          Il Forno Fumoso