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  • deciding whether to build or buy oven

    Hello, Philip from south texas. My wife wants me to build an outdoor oven, so I don't cook pizza in the house. I've thought about buying a pre-assembled (like an ooni), but understand the openings are so small, and the heating so uneven, that you have to rotate the pizzas multiple times and it's not that easy to do with the limited size of the opening. Still haven't ruled that out, but I have one advantage over most of you. I have a crew with 2 stonemasons and several other laborers. If i do this, i will incorporate it into an outdoor kitchen. There are many considerations, and I don't know what I don't know, so I hope I'm in the right place, and I hope by going through all these design considerations, it will be helpful to others, not just myself. I'll throw out a few of the considerations and questions to start, knowing that that will lead to more questions. I should say that I don't have any qualms about starting big, since I have a qualified crew. I want it to be beautiful.

    1) I would like to be able to cook multiples at a time, in order to host pizza parties. But I don't want it to waste too much fuel. Any thoughts on how this can be accomplished.
    2) Is wood burning the only way to go, or is it possible to use gas, or preferably either gas or wood, or wood burning with gas to start the wood. I have access to natural gas.
    3) Is there any way to build one that can slow cook pork butt or brisket, without getting all that grease all over your oven?

    I'll start there, thanks in advance for responding/

  • #2
    Philip, welcome to the forum. There is tons of information here. It's how I was able to build my oven.

    Building your own is certainly the way to go in my opinion.

    My oven is on the smaller side, 32" diameter, but once it's hot it takes less than 2 minutes to bake a pizza.
    I still have to rotate the pizza, since the fire is on one side, but not a big deal.

    I didn't have space for a bigger oven but am pretty happy now that I didn't build it any bigger. When we have parties we have everyone build their own pizza and then I cook then. I'm baking the pizzas faster than most people make their pizza, but then again, we only have space to prep two pizzas at a time.
    So unless you want to make other foods and need more space I wouldn't go too big.

    Just my thoughts.

    Andreas
    ​​​
    ​​​​

    My oven build thread https://community.fornobravo.com/for...y-32-cast-oven

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Philip A View Post
      Hello, Philip from south texas. My wife wants me to build an outdoor oven, so I don't cook pizza in the house. I've thought about buying a pre-assembled (like an ooni), but understand the openings are so small, and the heating so uneven, that you have to rotate the pizzas multiple times and it's not that easy to do with the limited size of the opening. Still haven't ruled that out, but I have one advantage over most of you. I have a crew with 2 stonemasons and several other laborers. If i do this, i will incorporate it into an outdoor kitchen. There are many considerations, and I don't know what I don't know, so I hope I'm in the right place, and I hope by going through all these design considerations, it will be helpful to others, not just myself. I'll throw out a few of the considerations and questions to start, knowing that that will lead to more questions. I should say that I don't have any qualms about starting big, since I have a qualified crew. I want it to be beautiful.

      1) I would like to be able to cook multiples at a time, in order to host pizza parties. But I don't want it to waste too much fuel. Any thoughts on how this can be accomplished.
      2) Is wood burning the only way to go, or is it possible to use gas, or preferably either gas or wood, or wood burning with gas to start the wood. I have access to natural gas.
      3) Is there any way to build one that can slow cook pork butt or brisket, without getting all that grease all over your oven?

      I'll start there, thanks in advance for responding/
      Welcome Philip!

      I think most people get more enjoyment from a built oven than from a steel oven, but I have cooked in both and you work with what you've got!
      To answer your questions:
      1) I've built a 42" oven and that is large enough for 3x 12" pizzas at once. As the pizzas cook so fast (under 2 minutes per pizza) I find that, practically, I seldom cook more than 2 at a time. So, yes, a smaller oven will work for pizza parties.
      2) Gas burners can be used but there are risks, so most of us stick with wood.
      3) Mostly, when you cook roasts, you tend to do so in a pot of some description, so there's no mess in the oven. Ceramic and cast iron works and we have a very large (read giant, commercial catering size) stainless steel baking dish too, which is perfect for the Christmas turkey!

      Kind regards,
      Mark
      (New Zealand)
      My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
      My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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