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First post and plenty of questions??? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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First post and plenty of questions???

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  • First post and plenty of questions???

    Hi Everyone,

    My family and I are in the process of redesigning our front garden and we have decided it would be nice to add a pizza oven/ outside fireplace to the garden as a central feature. I would really like to build a brick dome pizza oven, very similar to the one seen on Jamie Oliver's cooking show.

    I would really appreciate any expert advice some of you pro's might have to share. I have a load of questions though which I am sure have probably been asked before but perhaps not all together.

    So here goes:

    How deep do the foundations need to be in a cold frosty country like Denmark?
    What type of foundation would you recommend?
    How big an oven should I build? I was planning on something about 1.5 meters in diameter. We plan on using it for pizza's but also bread, and outdoor cooking. As part of an outdoor open plan kitchen if you like.
    Are there any guides on laying bricks for pizza ovens? How do you work out the angles that the bricks need to be cut in?
    I am a bit of a perfectionist so it is really important that the finished result looks bang on!
    Any tips and tricks to recommend or plans for this specific type of build.

    Thanks and can't wait to hear from you all!
    Jamie Oliver Pizza Oven Brick pizza oven

  • #2
    I'd start by getting a copy of the Pompeii oven plans - you can get them at the Forno Bravo store (for I think $3), then start reading forum posts. Here is a great thread that has links to many awesome builds https://community.fornobravo.com/for...n-the-archives
    I see you mention 1.5 meters in diameter - are you talking about outside diameter? You can read some posts on oven size - most are built with inside diameters between 36 and 42" (mine is 39" ~ 1 meter). I think 1.5 might be a little large and require more firewood and time to bring to temperature than a smaller oven that would serve your needs, but that is why you need to do some reading to see what others have experienced.
    My build thread


    • #3
      First of all FB offers a really cheap ebook for $3USD. It is a good baseline, a little dated (currently being updated but will be a while).


      Second, some of the more documented builds are at the following link:


      For you information, not many of the builds on this forum have a chimney that comes out the top of the dome unless they do a squirrel or beaver tail vent.

      To answer you questions

      Some builders install below frost line footings, others build monolithic pour slabs with a foot or so of 1" minus gravel or crushed stone. If you need a building permit, the local office will dictate base requirements. I install a 6" reinforced concrete mono pad with 12" of crushed gravel and I live in Utah where we received several feet of snow per year and sub zero F temps. No issue here but preparation is the key,

      1.5 m (59"+/-) assuming ID is a really big oven. Many builders are very happy with 36-42" ovens for pizzas, baking and extended cooking. I have a 42" and there is more space than I will ever need.

      Already gave you the link for the e-book. But in the second link there is a sub link for a spread sheet that calculates angles for brick, numbers, etc. (for dome ovens only)

      The forum is full of threads for tips and tricks so you probably need to post a specific question.

      Good luck
      Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]


      • #4
        Welcome to the forum! As JRPizza and UtahBeehiver have already noted there's lots of great information, help, and examples available here. Make sure you think about wood storage, access to the kitchen, and putting up some sort of roof for the oven. We have lots of relatives in Denmark and we know you get plenty of rain...it will be much easier to cover your oven with a roof than to try and waterproof it.

        Again, now's the time to really read as much as you can here and look at lots of the build photos before you start actually building. Looking forward to helping answer your questions...don't be afraid to ask!
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
        Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
        Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/


        • #5
          Thanks everyone for the great info. and resources!
          UtahBeehiver Why is the eBook dated? What sort of changes are coming in the new version?

          As for the size! The measurement of 1.5 meters was actually an external measurement, I didn't realise everyone spoke internal measurements when speaking about Pizza ovens. I should probably say that i dont want the external oven to fill more than about 3m2 so I guess a 42" oven would be fine!

          SableSprings Do you need to waterproof a pizza oven? Jamie Oliver lives in the UK which is just as wet as Denmark and as far as I can see his oven has no roof???

          The actual oven will be very close to the house kitchen and I am thinking of having a pagoda or similar close to the pizza oven but those details are still in the design process...

          Thanks again for all the great input... Right I am off to read about building a pizza oven!


          • #6
            There have been quite a number on building and material innovations by the forum members that are not shown in the eplans. There are also some inconsistency in the information or data. All and all, the plans are a good baseline and the forum is a good place for new and innovated ideas,

            Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]


            • #7
              Yes, the oven needs to be protected from rain/moisture. The problem is that the insulation must remain dry to be effective. This means both the insulation board underneath the cooking surface (bricks or tiles) and the insulation that covers the top (outside) of the oven. Water is readily absorbed by most insulation materials and can seep in from the bottom concrete hearth/oven platform, through cracks along the seam where the oven rests on the concrete, or through whatever coating you may put over the oven insulation (stucco, for example). There are some products that can be added to stucco (or concrete) that can keep water out, but there will always be maintenance. I suspect Jamie Oliver's oven is waterproofed somehow and I would also bet that the outside of his oven is checked regularly for water leaks by professionals . Incidentally, Jamie Oliver's oven is a very different design from what most of us build (or Forno Bravo sells) - notice the position of the chimney in his oven...I'm not sure he even has a oven door so he can close it off and bake with residual heat. I really would like to have some details of his build because it has always interested me.

              Many of us who live in climates with wet winters (and summers) either do constant maintenance on the oven's outside surface or put a roof over the structure to keep it all dry that way. The other nice thing about having a covered structure over your oven (and maybe a place to sit) is that you will be probably use the oven more because you don't have to stand in the rain while baking your pizza or bread

              If you planned the pagoda so the oven was in one corner it would keep the oven dry and give you a place to enjoy it even if it's raining. This is a great time to be thinking about how you'll get food from the kitchen to the oven, will you need to have some preparation area(s) near the oven, where will you put the bread to cool or the pizza to be cut, etc.

              Again, we're all here to help you...but it is YOUR oven. It's all about what you and your family (and friends ) want.
              Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
              Roseburg, Oregon

              FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
              Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
              Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/