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Using Pompei WFO in the Winter - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

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  • Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

    Hi everyone, myname is Nick and I'm thinking of building a WFO at home but my concern is the extreme cold in Montreal Canada. Sometimes it can reach as cold as -40 C and because I'm crazy enough to BBQ in ths weather, I'm wondering if when I fire up the WFO would the shock (cold bricks going to super hot) causethe morter and or bricks to crack? I realize the bricks are good for extreme heat and so is the mortar but would they be able to withsand the heat shock that they will experience in the heart of winter? The last thing I would want is to realize in the spring that I have hairlinescracks all over my dome.

    Does anyone here use their WFO in the winter and if so did it produce any cracks in your dome?

    Comments are well appreciated.


    Nick from Montreal

  • #2
    Re: Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

    Dear NIck,

    Thank you for your question. A wood-fired oven would work very well in cold climates, and it won’t have any trouble with snow and very cold temperatures. A modern wood oven is installed using high tech insulation, which holds the heat in when the oven is cooking and keeps the cold out. We have many photographs of ovens working in the snow on Fornobravo.com, and the because of the insulation, the snow never even melts on the outside of the oven enclosure.

    It is important that your oven is installed properly, using the insulation that comes with the Forno Bravo modular oven kits, and that it is installed with a waterproof enclosure. The Primavera and Toscana assembled ovens can also work in your your climate.

    Please let us know if we can answer any other questions.

    Forno Bravo


    • #3
      Re: Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

      I've used my oven many times during the winter, which are pretty cold here in Finland. No cracks as far as I can tell. Just take it easy at the start of the firing.

      The only side effect of the cold I've noticed is that your upper body gets really hot during the heating and your feet freeze at the same time.


      • #4
        Re: Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

        Hello Nick from Montreal, I am not to far from you Sudbury Ont 4hrs north of Toronto.

        I built a 48" pompei oven and have used in the winter as well without any issues as the temp here is also cold like -40 deg. First off, you pick and choose the days to cook as I don't think it would be to pleasent cooking in those temps. The key is to make your fire small to start and slowly build it up allowing the bricks to climatize. Once he bricks a evenly heated then (avancer) Bonne Chance.

        Cheers, eh


        • #5
          Re: Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

          Wow! -40 C !!!...just be glad it doesn't get to -40 F !!!

          Materials don't interpret "cold" like humans do...Materials are more sensitive to temperature gradients and temperature shock. Also, moisture is something that needs attention in all climates. So, the same rules should apply to Montreal as would anywhere else.

          Take care in designing your foundation....your frost line must in Montreal must be pretty deep. I live in Pennsylvania and our zoning here requires foundations with footers 3 feet deep! (which is ridiculous).

          Good Luck!

          Oh, and by the way, anyone who didn't realize, -40C = -40F


          • #6
            Re: Using Pompei WFO in the Winter

            From Calgary, which is relatively cold by Canadian standards, winter is no problem at all. Sometimes the warmest place around is in front of the oven with a good fire going.