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which oven to get??

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  • which oven to get??

    ok folks, after settling in (sort of) to my new house, it is now time for me to seriously start planning my kitchen and oven. Originally I had been "planning" on getting a 40" Premio, but now I am not quite so sure. Space is somewhat of an issue (but not a huge one), but I have evolved somewhat in how I plan to use the oven. So here is "me" .... and how I plan to use the oven. First of all, it is just me (and my house) .... I will *not* be doing any level of commercial baking. Pizzas, certainly, but only 2-4 at a time . Second, I will *definitely* want to be baking hearth breads .... especially sourdough .... but again, not commercially, but maybe 3-4 at a time for household consumption. I will also want to use if for general baking of other foods .... casseroles, and other foods cooked on baking sheets and pans. I seriously doubt I will want to rely on long-time retained residual heat .... much more likely heating up to a target temperature ( or somewhat above) shutting down the flame, and letting the oven equilibrate and settle down to a temperature suitable for general purpose baking.

    so .... it seems to me that the 40" Premio is overkill for my needs. So ... I am considering one of the Casas. they come smaller, and have a shorter heat-up time. Wondering if the 40" is still larger than I really need .... but am concerned that the 36" will start to be too tight and uneven in heat, especially if I am looking at baking, say, four round soudough loaves. I just dont have the experience to judge .... what do all of you think based on your experience?
    (EDIT ... I forgot to make clear that I will principally be relying on a natural gas burner to heat the oven...)

    Last edited by rchamlen; 08-28-2023, 07:31 AM.

  • #2
    Based on you projected cooking needs, a 40" is ways to big and even a 36" as well. I built a 42" and it is a party oven, and not effective to heat up for a few pizzas. David S our casting expert utilizes very small oven, mid 20 inchers and he can handle even moderate size parties. Smaller ovens heat faster and use less fuel. At the temps the oven cook at (700-800F) pizzas cook quick. The dome shape of the pompeii ovens make the cooking even no matter the size. Do not do a DIY natural gas burner but rather a UL burner and installed by a certified plumber, Caveat Emptor, UL burners are very expensive but have been tested and have the necessary safe guards built in.
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    • #3
      Hello Russell,
      thank you for your reply. I definitely understand that the larger the oven the longer it will take to heat up. You spoke about cooking a few pizzas ... BUT as I posted, I am actually equally or more interested in using the oven to cook baked foods (residual heat), and especially, say, 3-4 round hearth loaf sourdough bread loaves at a time. with a smaller oven I worry about both headspace (height above the loaves) and also just working space on the floor of the oven with 3-4 loaves in the oven simultaneously. do you have a sense of what size oven would be suitable for that type of cooking? (I might be wrong, but 22" seems pretty small to me for doing that type of cooking.....????)

      definitely will use a UL rated burner, possibly even your professional programmable one....



      • #4
        I have a 39" diameter WFO and do mostly sourdough baguettes & whole wheat loaves. Normally, I load 8 baguettes at a time & then as the oven cools after those, I'll comfortably load 4 sourdough rounds. No problem with head space, but turning or working partially cooked loaves in the back can be a bit of an issue. I am a little concerned with how much cooking floor you'll actually have with the burner assembly... especially if you're doing larger rounds (+1.5 lbs). Get the floor specs & make a mock-up of cardboard to see how things will actually "fit", remember you'll need to load/work through the smaller opening of the oven. Also helpful to check opening with cookware you intend (or may need) to use. Full or half sheet pans, roaster heights for that Thanksgiving turkey, etc.

        I do like the capability to bump up temps during or between loading with gas...& not having the need for a wood pile (and ash dump). I'll be interested in how your plans develop as you continue to gather info the way, giving bread to friends & neighbors is something that brings a lot more smiles into your life & also will increase the demands on your baking schedule & output. Looking forward to reading more about your baking journey Cushing!
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
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        • #5
          There you go, Mike is one of our bread gurus.
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