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Fire source divided from cooking floor and food via bricks

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  • Fire source divided from cooking floor and food via bricks

    Hi All,
    Wonderful resource you have here, many thanks to pioneer's and contributor's.

    I am in early planning stages of some version of an igloo style oven described in the plans. I have many questions on shape and outer finish, That's for another post.

    But something i have seen on a commercial oven i used years ago was a division on the cooking floor to separate the fire from the food. It looked like a row of fire bricks on edge and the fire was kept behind.
    Is there anyone who has done this? Or has anyone seen what i have and know if it is a worthwhile feature to include in a new design?


  • #2
    You can do this temporarily by simply putting fire brick in the oven as needed. This allows maximum flexibility as you can rearrange the layout as needed. I have often wondered if a simple row laid flat between the fire and pizza would help cook pizza more evenly by protecting the edges from being burnt while the top and bottom cook through. Might give you an extra 15 seconds to turn the pie before really charring the outer ring. I might try that next bake. My weakness is to get distracted and have burnt edges, waiting for the middle to cook through.

    I have seen a number of ways to isolate or raise the cooking surface with firebrick dry stacked in the chamber. You can create a cooler corner for heating water or a side dish just by building a temp wall with firebrick. I often see guys brick in the opening to encourage a faster build up of the initial fire. The restriction causes air to rush into the fire and really creates a blow torch effect.
    The cost of living continues to skyrocket, and yet it remains a popular choice.


    • #3
      Cheers dakzaag,
      I will keep the divider as a temporary and movable option then.
      I am reading a lot about people burning pizza bases and edges. I feel some charring adds to the pizza, but i want to make sure the oven size and materials i select give me the best chance of cooking evenly.
      I had started out thinking my internal diameter would be around the 1200mm mark or 47" but i now wonder if this will be too large for heating up times and fuel consumption.


      • #4
        Because my oven is small (21"), it becomes more difficult to keep some distance from fire to pizza. I don't always use it but I have a piece of stainless bent into an "L" form around 5" wide and 5" high, wi the horizontal part cut to fit the circumference of the oven. It works very well, preventing burnt edges, unless the pizza is left in too long of course. It provides more room in the oven because the fire is contained tightly against the dome wall. If I used a fire brick in my oven it's thickness would reduce the available space.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          Thanks David,
          Good to know it's a done thing. It seemed to work well with the oven i used. But then again i never had to remove the ash. So i think removable is the key.
          I will see if i can find a shaped fire brick on a seconds pile somewhere to do the job! something curved will suit.


          • #6
            Oven size really comes down to what you plan on using it for. In my not so humble opinion, bigger is not better. If you are planning to entertain a lot and want to be able to cook three or four pies at a time, then the 48" or so will work for you and you will be happy. I was at a party a few weeks ago, and we pushed 125 pies through a 56" square oven over the course of five hours. If you are planning a back yard oven for family and friends then 36" is really fine. I have a 36" and have cooked 50 plus pies in a couple of hours with no problem. I started with a 32" and got along fine with that as well so you can see that size is really relative.
            Bigger definitely means more wood and longer heat up time, but you can still get to pizza temp in an hour just by feeding the wood to it aggressively and making sure the wood is seasoned. A big oven would struggle to turn out a few loaves of bread because of the volume of air inside vs just a few loaves. If you fill a big oven up with dough, your going to get a bunch of bread. If you plan to cook lots of different stuff at the same time, then a bigger oven will be nice to have room to organize. If you have to buy wood then I think you are going to want to size it down some to keep your operating cost in line.
            The cost of living continues to skyrocket, and yet it remains a popular choice.


            • #7
              All good points thanks Dakzaag.
              I might tone down the size a little. Providing i can get 2 pizzas garlic bread in without clogging the space up i will be happy. and on those days we roast one large pan /dish would be enough.