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Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

    To participate, just vote for the size range that fits your oven design. Look above this box for the Poll selections.

    OPTIONAL, AFTER VOTING: Post a reply with any other information you think is important or interesting that concerns your oven (heat up time to pizza temp and how long it stays hot, for instance).
    • Post a link to your pictures if you want, or attach a picture or two of your oven, that's OK too.
    • How you insulated your oven, the vent landing dimensions, oven chamber opening size, flue size and height, dome height.....
    • Any specific information about your build could be of interest to newbies in the WFO experience.
    • What would you do differently next time?
    We have some excellent posts reflecting broad ranging types of construction, sizes and experiences. Don't be shy, we want to hear from you!
    81
    <28 inches
    3.70%
    3
    between 28 & 32 inches
    4.94%
    4
    between 33 & 36 inches
    22.22%
    18
    between 37 & 41 inches
    17.28%
    14
    between 42 & 46 inches
    41.98%
    34
    >46 inches
    9.88%
    8
    Last edited by Lburou; 12-23-2010, 08:47 AM.
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

  • #2
    Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

    Here's the results the last time this was polled:

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/36-vs-42-a-6929.html

    along with obligatory "how big is it" jokes.

    Mine's a 36, btw
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

      Originally posted by dmun View Post
      Here's the results the last time this was polled:

      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/36-vs-42-a-6929.html

      along with obligatory "how big is it" jokes.

      Mine's a 36, btw
      Thanks

      Member's remarks for this poll can give us a chance to match some performance issues with oven sizes. For instance, I'm interesteed to hear real world reports about heat up time as we compare the various sizes of ovens. So, in defense of a repeat poll, You vetern owners have a lot to share with us newbies.
      Last edited by Lburou; 12-16-2010, 07:48 PM.
      Lee B.
      DFW area, Texas, USA

      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.

      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

        Ours is a 38 and it takes about four hours to fully heat up. However, our floor bricks are set on end and we added an inch of extra mass to the dome. 3 1/2 inches of vermiculite/portland mix underneath and 3 layers of ceramic fireblanket on top. The dome height is 19inches and the door is 19x13 arched. The oven cooks very well but I wouldn't mind a 42 because bigger is better. It would be nice to be able to cook the pizza a little further from the flame to avoid the burnt edges.

        Dave
        Album: http://picasaweb.google.com/fornososo/Pizza#

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

          Originally posted by DaveW View Post
          Ours is a 38 and it takes about four hours to fully heat up. However, our floor bricks are set on end and we added an inch of extra mass to the dome. 3 1/2 inches of vermiculite/portland mix underneath and 3 layers of ceramic fireblanket on top. The dome height is 19inches and the door is 19x13 arched. The oven cooks very well but I wouldn't mind a 42 because bigger is better. It would be nice to be able to cook the pizza a little further from the flame to avoid the burnt edges.

          Dave
          Great response, Thanks Dave!

          Hoping others will report their heat up times also. That one detail could make all the difference in my decision. Would less mass in your floor and dome have made that much difference in the time it takes to heat your oven? Four hours heat up time is a show stopper for us. How long will it stay hot enough to cook Dave?

          I'm thinking about a one meter to 42 inch oven if I can get a quick heat up interval.

          Veteran WFO builders out there: What can I do to speed the heatup time? Is it as simple as less mass in the floor and dome with copius amounts of insulation everywhere?
          Lee B.
          DFW area, Texas, USA

          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.

          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

            I always plan on two hours from match to cooking. This is a thin, well but not extravagantly insulated dome, with standard brick floor. I can shave a half hour off that, but pizza is always better if the dome has a half hour to moderate and balance floor to dome heat.

            The biggest factor is dry, thin wood. Back when I was firing with construction scrap, I got slightly faster heat up times than I do with split logs.

            Some people who build a 42 say they want space to cook three pizzas at a time. Stretching, topping, placing and tending three pizzas in ninety seconds is a feat beyond the scope of most home cooks.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

              I built a 42" oven and I think the size is great for a novice like myself. I like to keep plenty of space between the pizza and the fire/ash. The extra room makes it easy to get a small peel under the pizza to rotate it so the side facing the fire doesn't burn. I start the fire with a "top-down-burn". Which means I put larger pieces of wood on the hearth and build it up with smaller pieces until the kindling tops everything off. This method was introduced to me by a mason/pizza oven builder/owner and it really works well. The fire starts without any problems and minimal smoke. It is key to have really dry wood too - which I do - and it's all oak for me. I start the fire in the front/middle of the oven and add logs off to the sides and back to start spreading the heat evenly across the floor. I like to heat it up for at least two hours. It usually takes one hour to clear the dome and then I let it soak for at least an hour but longer if I plan on doing more than fifteen pizzas. I then push the hot embers to the left side of the oven and always keep a small log burning on top of the embers to maintain a flame licking-up the dome - see picture below. At this point the floor is usually 850 degrees which is way too hot to cook pizza. So I have a clean mop that I ring-out to be just damp enough to cool and clean the cooking area. This really does a nice job of cleaning all ash from the cooking area and after several scrubbings the floor temperature comes down to 750 degrees Fahrenheit which I believe is a great temperature to start cooking. The pizzas cook in 90 seconds - two minutes. If a pizza has a lot of toppings I'll "dome" it - basically lift it up close to the dome so the toppings finish cooking - it really works well and keeps the bottom from burning. I mop the floor every two or three pizzas to remove the burnt corn meal. I've done fifteen pizzas without having to rake coals over the floor. My hearth bricks are laid flat on top of five inches of vermi-crete mixed 5:1 ratio. The vermi-crete encapsulates 2" thick blocks of FoamGlas insulation which span the footprint of the floor and entryway. I think the FoamGlas is the reason my floor doesn't cool down quickly. The dome is 4.5" thick firebrick with no extra cladding on the outside. Then there is 3"-4" of ceramic blanket and then at least 6" inches of loose vermiculite all around the dome and the enclosure walls. The dome interior height is 19 1/2" inches and I did a hearingbone pattern on the floor. I have an 8" inside diameter stainless steel flue that is double-walled. I did two full brick lengths (18") for the vent landing depth. This makes it a little difficult to reach the back of the oven for shorter people but I am 6'6" tall so it's not bad. The hearth height is 55" which I think is great to work at chest height. I kinda' wish I used larger bricks or tiles for the cooking floor. I have few chips on the corners of some bricks that annoy me. These happened from either the pizza peel or dragging clay casserole dishes across the floor. I left a 1/8" gap around the cooking floor and dome walls to allow for expansion when heated. I might leave less if I were to do this again because it seems as if the hearth bricks get gaps in certain areas that annoy me too. They fill with ash but are still there.
              Check out my link for additional info and here are our holiday photos we used for our post cards this year - yes that is a "bun" in the oven. The Christmas cards say "Warm" wishes for the holiday season! The oven veneer was completed a couple weeks ago so all this chatter above is only from a couple months of using the oven so I still have a lot to learn and the veterans on this site have really helped - thanks guys!

              ~Bob
              My Oven Progress: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...uild-7155.html

              If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                I have a 40 inch dome. I allow 2 hrs from first fire to push back.
                I start with a small fire for 45 min and then load it. This then takes 45 min to burn down to coals. Oven temperature 900 to 1000 F.

                I push to the back of the oven not to the side and don't add any wood while cooking. I figure on using about 1.0 cu ft of wood per firing, using seasoned Douglas fir (which is not a fir).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                  Hi All,

                  I bought a 36" oven bundle but it actually measures 37" x 38" inside cooking area. Average time to clear the dome is just under an hour. It has 2" of insulating refractory concrete, 4" of perlcrete, and 4" of rock wool insulation. Over all that I poured perlite. The floor has 2 5/8" poured Kaolite insulating refractory concrete. The oven is enclosed. See link below.
                  Bob

                  Here is the link to my oven number 1 construction photos!

                  Here is the link to my oven number 2 construction photos!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                    Originally posted by Lburou View Post
                    Great response, Thanks Dave!

                    Four hours heat up time is a show stopper for us. How long will it stay hot enough to cook Dave? [/B]
                    Hmm, everyone seems to heat up faster than we do. I plan four hours from match to first pizza so it is about 3 1/3 hours of burn time. I could probably do it in less but I like to be certain the oven is completely heat soaked so that we can bake bread afterwards. As Bob said, you have to keep a pretty good flame in the oven while cooking pizza or it will cool down quickly. But after I rake the coals out and put in the door it will easily hold heat for several bakings of bread and then coffee cake the next morning.

                    Dave
                    Album: http://picasaweb.google.com/fornososo/Pizza#

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                      Originally posted by pizza_bob View Post
                      I built a 42" oven and I think the size is great for a novice like myself. I like to keep plenty of space between the pizza and the fire/ash. The extra room makes it easy to get a small peel under the pizza to rotate it so the side facing the fire doesn't burn. I start the fire with a "top-down-burn". Which means I put larger pieces of wood on the hearth and build it up with smaller pieces until the kindling tops everything off. This method was introduced to me by a mason/pizza oven builder/owner and it really works well. The fire starts without any problems and minimal smoke. It is key to have really dry wood too - which I do - and it's all oak for me. I start the fire in the front/middle of the oven and add logs off to the sides and back to start spreading the heat evenly across the floor. I like to heat it up for at least two hours. It usually takes one hour to clear the dome and then I let it soak for at least an hour but longer if I plan on doing more than fifteen pizzas. I then push the hot embers to the left side of the oven and always keep a small log burning on top of the embers to maintain a flame licking-up the dome - see picture below. At this point the floor is usually 850 degrees which is way too hot to cook pizza. So I have a clean mop that I ring-out to be just damp enough to cool and clean the cooking area. This really does a nice job of cleaning all ash from the cooking area and after several scrubbings the floor temperature comes down to 750 degrees Fahrenheit which I believe is a great temperature to start cooking. The pizzas cook in 90 seconds - two minutes. If a pizza has a lot of toppings I'll "dome" it - basically lift it up close to the dome so the toppings finish cooking - it really works well and keeps the bottom from burning. I mop the floor every two or three pizzas to remove the burnt corn meal. I've done fifteen pizzas without having to rake coals over the floor. My hearth bricks are laid flat on top of five inches of vermi-crete mixed 5:1 ratio. The vermi-crete encapsulates 2" thick blocks of FoamGlas insulation which span the footprint of the floor and entryway. I think the FoamGlas is the reason my floor doesn't cool down quickly. The dome is 4.5" thick firebrick with no extra cladding on the outside. Then there is 3"-4" of ceramic blanket and then at least 6" inches of loose vermiculite all around the dome and the enclosure walls. The dome interior height is 19 1/2" inches and I did a hearingbone pattern on the floor. I have an 8" inside diameter stainless steel flue that is double-walled. I did two full brick lengths (18") for the vent landing depth. This makes it a little difficult to reach the back of the oven for shorter people but I am 6'6" tall so it's not bad. The hearth height is 55" which I think is great to work at chest height. I kinda' wish I used larger bricks or tiles for the cooking floor. I have few chips on the corners of some bricks that annoy me. These happened from either the pizza peel or dragging clay casserole dishes across the floor. I left a 1/8" gap around the cooking floor and dome walls to allow for expansion when heated. I might leave less if I were to do this again because it seems as if the hearth bricks get gaps in certain areas that annoy me too. They fill with ash but are still there.
                      Check out my link for additional info and here are our holiday photos we used for our post cards this year - yes that is a "bun" in the oven. The Christmas cards say "Warm" wishes for the holiday season! The oven veneer was completed a couple weeks ago so all this chatter above is only from a couple months of using the oven so I still have a lot to learn and the veterans on this site have really helped - thanks guys!

                      ~Bob
                      Welp, PizzaBob, you win the prize so far for the most pertinent information

                      The points you make are useful in my choice of oven size and details of construction. At this time, I'm leaning toward an oven smaller than 42", maybe as small as 36" in an effort to shorten warm up times. Your insulation plan gives me something to talk about too.

                      Each post has offered something to consider and I appreciate every one

                      Thanks
                      Lee B.
                      DFW area, Texas, USA

                      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.

                      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                        Talk about a personal question!

                        Some of the things you need to keep in mind is the outside temperature and when was the last time you fired your oven, Type of wood, how dry your wood is, and the phase of the moon.

                        Most folks who I know who have WFO's only cook 2 pizzas at a time. One friend in particular bought a place with a modular oven. The floor cools down after about 5 pizzas and he has to keep the coals rotating, even after a 2+ hour warm up!

                        I do know that even after running others ovens during parties, that I prefer a larger oven since floor temp rebound is quicker and burnt crusts are minimized. Although I love the big ovens, I just do not think a 81 inch oven would go over well with my wife - she rolled her eyes when I showed her the pics - same look when I wanted the $2000 shotgun too
                        Jen-Aire 5 burner propane grill/Char Broil Smoker

                        Follow my build Chris' WFO

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                          I built a 'typical' 42" Pompeii using the FB plans. I cook one 18" pizza at a time. It takes from 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours of firing for the dome to be entirely white. (really clean!) I sometimes have to wait for the dome and floor to even out and cool a bit down to 750 degrees (f) but I find the floor recharges quicker than just coming up to temp and cooking from there.
                          On another subject, I just bought a 5 ton electric log splitter. If you buy cord wood like I do, it's so easy to resplit it with this tool. I highly recommend it!
                          View my pictures at, Picasaweb.google.com/xharleyguy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                            My oven is 34" and only 1 of out every 10 cooking sessions had I wished I had a larger oven, say about 40". But that only occurs when I'm doing roasts along with some fixings on the side. For pizza only, I know I can go with an even smaller oven. I usually do pizzas and appetizers, or steaks and a small side dish so 34" for me seem practical.

                            With the right start up fire my oven interior becomes clear in about an hour and is ready to go for pizza.

                            My hearth insulation is 3" of ceramic board and rest of the dome is covered in 3" worth of ceramic blanket and I'm happy with that.
                            George

                            My 34" WFO build

                            Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Poll: How big is your Wood Fired Oven?

                              My oven is quite small 21" in diam actually. My first oven was actually even smaller. For the life of me I can't understand why you'd want a huge monster that takes up most of your backyard. The smaller ovens can cope quite easily with a party of 20 or so guests. They also consume far less fuel. Fuel usage is directly proportional to oven volume. As most of us cook one pizza at a time a large diam. seems a bit pointless. I can fit 3 nine inch pizzas in mine at a time if pressed. Having said all this there are times when I wish the oven were bigger, but there are more times when I am grateful it's small, we use it more often.
                              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

                              Comment

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