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What is the point in having a WFO in a country where the whether is temperamental? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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What is the point in having a WFO in a country where the whether is temperamental?

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  • What is the point in having a WFO in a country where the whether is temperamental?

    I'd like to build a Pompeii (or Neapolitan) brick oven in the garden, because, well, they're cool and you can make nice pizzas

    My wife, however, is not at all sold. She points out that I don't make pizzas for our indoor oven (we yeah, but, it's a crappy indoor oven), and why would we want to cook in an oven outside when we can cook on one inside (we live in England, it's not like the weather is always great)?

    So, what is the point (ie, help me sell the idea)?

    Thanks

  • #2
    My wife hated my brick oven project. But she misses it now that we moved from that house and three years later I'm working up the design for the new oven.

    In my opinion, a WFO's primary benefit isn't its day-to-day utility for the average suburbanite. It's a functional piece of hand-built art that adds a unique charm to your garden and allows you to explore cooking in the "old" way.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by azatty View Post
      My wife hated my brick oven project. But she misses it now that we moved from that house and three years later I'm working up the design for the new oven.
      So not only did she not like the build project, she didn't seem keen once it was built and producing food?

      In my opinion, a WFO's primary benefit isn't its day-to-day utility for the average suburbanite. It's a functional piece of hand-built art that adds a unique charm to your garden and allows you to explore cooking in the "old" way.
      Yeah I think they can look great, and one would look nice in our garden. I'm currently alone in that belief.

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      • #4
        Then, don't sell it to her as a pizza oven. Build it with a little more thermal mass and a little more insulation. Call it a wood fired oven that is equally adept at turning out fine roasts and artisan breads. Of course, they can also be used for pizza when they are being heated up for cooking real food .
        joe watson

        "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

        My Build
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        • #5

          What is the point in having a WFO in a country where the (weather) is tempermenta?
          I originally got into this as a means to cook of the electrical grid. Interruptions in electrical power happen from time to time here in the piney woods near the gulf coast. The occasional hurricane and freezing rain can leave us without power for days at a time.It doesn't happen very often, but it is something that you will want to be prepared for if you have ever experienced it. Our hottest days down here in the deep South is the best time to cook in the WFO. It takes the heat out of the indoor kitchen and helps keep the house more comfortable. A roof or awning over the oven greatly extends the usable days of the year for the oven.
          joe watson

          "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

          My Build
          My Picasa Web Album

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gulf View Post
            Then, don't sell it to her as a pizza oven. Build it with a little more thermal mass and a little more insulation. Call it a wood fired oven that is equally adept at turning out fine roasts and artisan breads.
            Sorry if I mislead, I was already selling it as a WFO - 'but we've got an oven indoors' she says.

            I originally got into this as a means to cook of the electrical grid. Interruptions in electrical power happen from time to time here in the piney woods near the gulf coast.
            So if I understand correctly, I need to sabotage my local electricity grid, so we can't bake without a WFO. I'm on it!

            A roof or awning over the oven greatly extends the usable days of the year for the oven.
            Especially in the UK. I'll work it into the plan, but the hardest bit is going to be convincing the wife.

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            • #7
              I've shoveled a path through 4 ft of snow to get to my barbecue grill in January, why wouldn't one do the same for a pizza? Perhaps you need to live someplace with truly bad weather for a while to gain some perspective .
              My build thread: https://tinyurl.com/y8bx7hbd

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rwiegand View Post
                I've shoveled a path through 4 ft of snow to get to my barbecue grill in January, why wouldn't one do the same for a pizza? Perhaps you need to live someplace with truly bad weather for a while to gain some perspective .
                Yeah we don't know how good we've got it (was lovely out today). But back to the point, what's the point in having a WFO? Apart from Neapolitan pizzas, what can I cook in a WFO that we can't already do in our kitchen?

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                • #9
                  Sir,

                  It almost sounds like you need to convince yourself first of all. If you look through these forums there is an endless supply of different things being cooked in these ovens.

                  I'm pretty sure you cannot crank your home oven up to 800 f and turn out some pizzas. Also pretty sure you cannot damper her down and lay some smoke on a turkey? pork loin?

                  pork butt? The fun alone from cooking with these ovens is worth the effort before you even factor in how much better things taste. You may also need to consider wood sources.

                  Best,
                  Justin
                  Last edited by subzJC; 05-07-2018, 03:49 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by subzJC View Post
                    It almost sounds like you need to convince yourself first of all.
                    Nope.
                    I'm pretty sure you cannot crank your home oven up to 800 f and turn out some pizzas.
                    That's the obvious one.
                    Also pretty sure you cannot damper her down and lay some smoke on a turkey? pork loin?

                    pork butt?
                    I'd like to hear more about using a WFO as a slow cooker/smoker. I saw one poster here built a fire box to attached to his WFO for smoking/slow cooking. What's the usual way to keep the temperature consistent through a slow cook? My alternative for slow cooking would be a standard kettle or a kamado (which I don't own).

                    The fun alone from cooking with these ovens is worth the effort before you even factor in how much better things taste.
                    I certainly think they look fun, but more so when the weather is nice. I wouldn't have guessed than many things taste better though?

                    You may also need to consider wood sources.
                    What do you mean (consider what about them)?

                    Thanks

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                    • #11
                      Triggaaar, I discovered that my WFO could smoke food by accident when I cooked a couple of chickens. Once it was up to temp the chickens went in and I installed the door. This snuffed the fire out and filled the oven with smoke. Even with foil over the chickens the smoke got to them. If I don't want the food smoked I have to clear all of the wood coals out of the oven first and then install the door. I've slow cooked ribs for several hours and brisket for up to 16hrs during the winter. It helps to have a good digital food thermometer monitoring food temps throughout the cooking process.
                      My oven build in progress: http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...made-cast-dome

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                      • #12
                        ......what can I cook in a WFO that we can't already do in our kitchen?
                        Cook a caveman style steak directly on a bed of coals like this. Man up, build the oven. She'll be glad you did .
                        joe watson

                        "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

                        My Build
                        My Picasa Web Album

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by purplehaze View Post
                          Triggaaar, I discovered that my WFO could smoke food by accident when I cooked a couple of chickens. Once it was up to temp the chickens went in and I installed the door. This snuffed the fire out and filled the oven with smoke. Even with foil over the chickens the smoke got to them.
                          Sounds perfect. So you just close the door and don't need to add more fuel later? What temp range would you say it kept, and for how long?
                          I've slow cooked ribs for several hours and brisket for up to 16hrs during the winter.
                          Do you have to add fuel every now and then to do a cook that long? Also, what size is your oven, how thick are the walls and the insulation etc? Being able to do this would be great.

                          It helps to have a good digital food thermometer monitoring food temps throughout the cooking process.
                          I was thinking of getting a Maverick ET-732 or 733, but I don't know if you need longer probe cables for a WFO as the food if further from the door.


                          Originally posted by Gulf View Post
                          Cook a caveman style steak directly on a bed of coals like this
                          Er... how about a Tuscan grill?
                          Man up, build the oven.

                          She'll be glad you did .
                          My survival instinct tells me no

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                          • #14
                            POINT? There is no point.
                            Except you will be able to make a real margherita.
                            And slow roast all sorts of neat stuff.
                            And bake bread.
                            And have friends over to marvel.
                            etc.

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                            • #15
                              My oven door is insulated with a dial temp gauge installed to monitor oven temps. I also have a digital meat thermometer the lines are long enough to keep the plastic gauge at a safe distance. Its orange/black wireless Ink bird with two probes. While cooking foods for several hours I have never had to add more fuel. When cooking that brisket for 16hrs yes I had to add a small amount of wood twice to keep the temp in range. By a small amount I mean one piece of cherry firewood chopped into kindling.

                              My oven is 40" inside diameter, I used 3, 1" layers of ceramic fiber insulation on top of the oven. Approximately 5" of perlite/cement insulation with 2, 1" layers of Calcium silica board under the firebrick floor. I don't remember exactly how thick I made the oven walls somewhere between 2.5" and 3"

                              The link to my build thread in below. I did fix the pictures making it easier to follow.
                              Last edited by purplehaze; 05-08-2018, 07:35 AM.
                              My oven build in progress: http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...made-cast-dome

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