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James has done a beautiful job of putting the Pompei plans on his site FornoBravo.com. He also offers some pre-formed items to make the job cleaner and easier.
I've looked at, and purchased, a few sets of plans. I settled on the Pompei and have not regretted it for a moment. I cannot call my self an expert by any stretch--unlike some of the gurus you'll find on this forum. But I would have to say that the Pompei design is simply, easy construction with tried-and-true track record. You'll find several here who've been thrilled with the results.
If you are not so handy, or are just a little more pressed for time, take a look at the pre-casts and kits James offers here. You won't be disappointed.
Last edited by PizzaMan; 02-27-2006, 02:50 PM.
Reason: I left out an important sentence.
Thanks for that Michael. I think that just about sums it up.
The main thing I would note is to make sure you put in a pizza oven, not a bread oven. They heat up fast and easily hold the 750F you want for pizza -- you'll love it and never look back. I can't remember the last time I used a regular grill. Having too much fun with my pizza oven.
I'm torn between the Pompeii and the Casa or Premio. The Pompeii of course offers the cost savings and the flexibility of size. The Casa and Premio on the other hand eliminate the more complex and presumably more time consuming process of building the dome. I just saved $1100 by deciding against attending the Alan Scott class in Duluth and that could go a long way to offset the cost of the modular option.
The difficulty comes in that the Pompeii design can yeild a 42" oven. To get a similar size in the Casa will run me $2950 and in the Premio $3550. That becomes a bit harder to justify. Can the average family of 4 be happy with a smaller oven, such as a 90 or 100?
I say the bigger the better. As you get to know and use your oven, you'll find there are lots of things you can jam in there at once besides just pizza...big pans of potatoes, pies, chickens, etc. I wish I had gone bigger!
Good questions. You can definitely cook for a family and parties in either a 35" (90cm), 39" (100cm) or 43" (110cm) oven. I had the Casa90 (35") at our last rental house in Florence, and we have one in our demo kitchen in Healdsburg. It 's great. It bakes 2-3 pizzas at a time and can roast multiple platters, small-mid size turkeys, etc. We did Thanksgiving, Xmas, Boxing Day and New Years one season in the 90cm oven. (I know folks who love their 80cm /31" ovens).
If you have the space, the 39" oven gives you more wiggle room for juggling multiple baking dishes and it can take a full size turkey. Jay's right in that you will always find more things you want to cook in your oven (I'm doing Tandoori next), and a lot of what you want to cook uses flat baking pans or trays that use floor space.
The 43" Casa110 is a great size for backyard entertaining. It is also considered a small restaurant size (it's one of the three Pizza Napoletana oven sizes) and a pro pizzaiolo can make 50+ pizzas an hour in a 43" oven. Great for larger parties.
Hope this is helpful.
The Forno Bravo precast ovens are made and shaped to be the perfect pizza oven -- the refractory material is very sophisticated, and they are reliable, easy to install, and cook great. We make a huge number of them. At the same time, the Pompeii builder community is growing, which is great.
That's what really matters. You are going to love having an Italian wood-fired oven -- I think it will change the way you cook, which ever way you go. Just make sure you go for the Italian design.
I definitely want to go larger than smaller on the oven. I guess it will come down to how much is it worth to me to have the dome premade and eliminate that step from the total project. I love the challenge of the Pompeii but worry the project might drag on longer, well actually that would be a greater worry of my wife's!
Of course the final cost for all the work going on around the house this spring and summer might play a role too! We're adding a garage, second story, swimming pool and lanscaping the entire yard. You can bet I'm trying to come up with a sweet set up by the pool for the oven.
I'll be sure to let you all know my decision, to all who weighed in, "thanks for your input".
The best plans for an oven are by far right here at Forno bravo. I spent days searching the web and looked at many. While in Italy I had a chance to look at some that were 3 hundred years old. They are very similar to these in style. I have started my own and the only thing I had to have help with was dumping the concrete. I am ready to start the oven itself, my foundation is done and so is the hearth and I went with a 36". It's very helpful to ready through the directions a couple times. Now that the Seattle rain is letting up I am ready to get her fired up so if a girl can do it you can do it.