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  • Ideas for a prep station?

    I have finally started my build and am at the point where I can start forming my hearth slab. It occurred to me that while I'm here I may as well make some prep area attached to the oven if I like. Looking down at the oven and the bottom being the opening; these are the ideas I have so far. Any thoughts or suggestions.

    ALSO how hot does it get in front of the entrance to the oven? I'm sure it's hotter but I would figure with the chimney being where it is, it would cut down on a lot of heat blowing out at me. Thanks!

    -John

  • #2
    Hi John! I have a corner build and built in cart areas underneath the stand with fairly deep "wings" on sides for working surface. I find that only the immediate front areas to the left and right of the oven opening get used for prep and the back areas are used for holding dust . I'm right handed and with my carts pulled out I prep on the left side and put finished bakes (pizza, bread, cookies) on the right side to cool and serve. For Pizza, I seldom have enough space on my left for all the ingredient toppings (in small containers), the dough balls, the rice flour shaker (I use instead of corn meal for the peel), the dough working surface, and a place to put the peel as I transfer a stretched pizza skin. For breads, it's a bit easier to set my couche tray and flipping boards on the left. Loading the bread from the left into the oven and then putting the baked loaves on my cooling racks set on top of the right side is very convenient for the baking process "flow". Having an adequate landing in front helps in almost every situation.

    If you are going to fix your pizza in the kitchen and put it on the peel, the process is a bit easier. Still, I note that even when you think you are ready to slide the pizza into the oven often times something happens that requires a bit of oven management (burning log rolls onto cooking surface, beer can placed in front of the oven, etc.) and it's nice to have a place to set the loaded peel while you tend to the "emergency".

    Bottom line is, if you are going to put a cover over the oven area counter & working space are a high priority IMHO. If the oven is just going to be standing out in the open, plan for having some prep space and finishing space relatively close (left & right) to the front of the oven. Consider tables or carts if you don't have room to build counters. I know a lot of folks get the "job done" without lots of work space near the oven...but I'm not one of them.

    As to your question of how hot it gets in front of the oven...not very. As you guessed, the chimney will pull much of the heat out of the area so radiant heat is pretty much all you get. Standing in front of my oven when doing pizza is no problem heat wise and we love not having to heat up the house with the inside oven during the summer

    Hope this helps a bit...looking forward to seeing what you come up with (certainly is the right time to be thinking about these questions).
    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
    Roseburg, Oregon

    FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
    Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
    Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      I had not thought much about keeping it clean due to weather. Good call! the more I think about it, the more I like being able to work away from the oven. The oven will be a about 50 feet from the back of the house. I wound up making the slab similar to #7, the the front went all the way to the right. I'll have a 2" reveal all the way around! I am NOT a concrete worker! But it's done... lol

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      • #4
        What are your plans for the area in front of the oven (where you will be standing)? I suspect that unless you put down some sort of pavers or gravel, you'll find yourself standing in mud before too long (and tracking it into the house when the 50' dirt/mud path forms ).

        My wife had me put in a concrete slab before I started building my oven. She had the vision to see that using the oven with any sort of regularity would trample and kill any grass we might have...and it wouldn't take much rain to turn our clay soil into sticky mud. Just thought I'd throw that out there since entertaining and using the oven is a lot easier when you eliminate those "issues".

        Your base structure and top slab turned out good (...and isn't it satisfying to do a job like this when you tell people "I am NOT a concrete worker!")
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
        Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
        Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Some how I missed your response SalbeSprings! Thanks so much for the kind words and YES! It's an amazing feeling. I unfortunately haven't done much with the oven since. One job has me working nights and weekends, the other has me on days. Then the Eastern NC cold whips around that corner of our lot and is miserable!

          One of my friends gave me a plastic? HVAC pad he had replaced. I'm thinking of using that for a start and it I like the size of it, in the future I may put a concrete pad down to replace it. My goal (not the girlfriend's) is to put a brick pig cooker/smoker to the right of the pizza oven. We built a 12' picnic table to go a ways in front of the oven, and I will build a sorta pergola around it. But that's after lunch tomorrow! HAHAHAHAHA

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