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Time for a BIGGER BETTER OVEN

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  • Time for a BIGGER BETTER OVEN

    Hey Guys
    Having built 2 ovens thus far and getting a feel of a Brick Oven vs Stainless Steel oven, I'm considering starting up a small Pizza Business from Home.

    I have found that each oven has it's pro's and it's cons which I will mention here and the plan is to build an oven that can rule out as many cons as possible. In the end, I wish to build a Brick Oven because my research shows this will be best suited in the long run for commercial use.

    1. My first gripe with both my ovens is size - my Brick oven is +-28" on the cooking floor and the stainless is 700mmX700mm of cooking space on the floor.
    I can just fit 1 x 12" pizza in the Brick Oven but that means cooking right up next to the fire.
    The stainless is a little more spacious and can handle 2 x 12" pizzas but again still cooking close to the fire.
    I have seen videos of commercial pizzerias cooking multiple pizza (up to 8 and 10) but I'm realistically looking at doing 4 to 5 pizzas at a time and the style is NY Style pies with a 4 to 5 minute bake time per pie. Most of these videos show the Pizza's being cooked a fair distance away from the fire allowing the operator to rotate and move the pizza around with little to no obstruction.
    And my question is ... What size floor should I go with to give me ample space to work in the oven whilst cooking?

    2. Let's talk about heat up time and heat retention. The stainless has a 25mm floor and it's heated in 45 minutes ready to cook. Recovery time on the floor is 2 to 3 minutes before loading in the next pie.
    The brick oven takes more than 3 to 4 hours to heat and my 75mm Fire Brick floor is hard to maintain the target temperature of 650F+. Recovery time is as long as 15 minutes
    So..... do I stick with a thicker floor (75mm) in a commercial setting or go with a thinner floor (25mm)

    3. Insulation - is it really an overkill or can you really have too much. The Stainless oven has 50mm throughout and holds heat pretty well - of course you need a live flame all the time to keep the heat because of very little thermal mass.
    The brick oven also has the same insulation and also holds heat really well except for the floor - this oven stays hot till the next morning.
    How much is too much insulation in my oven.

    4. Floor/Hearth Material - Firebrick vs Refractory modular floor. This is a problem on both my ovens - my spades and peels constantly get stuck in the gaps formed by placing 1 brick next to the other. Would a one-piece floor made from refractory cement be more suitable?

    5. Dome Material - My brick oven is made with refractory cement which I poured into molds and then put everything together. I don't know if it might be easier to go with Firebrick in the long run?


    Can't wait - brings back memories of my first build over 10 years ago - what indeed an awesome experience, extremely rewarding.

    Take Care
    OM

  • #2
    Welcome back!
    I'll throw in my 2 cents worth....

    1. I have built myself a 42" brick oven. My floor is 40mm thick, well insulated. I can handle two 12" pizzas at a time with ease, three at a push. In my view, if you want to cook 4-5 at one time, you'll need to go bigger than my 42". Having said that, I cook mainly Neapolitan style pizza, so cooking time is usually around 1 minute per pizza, which slows to around 2 minutes after a while.

    2. I would prefer a slightly thicker floor, for better heat retention, but, of course, it takes longer to heat to optimal temperature.

    3. You can't have too much insulation. The more you insulate, the less wood you need to get back to optimum cooking temps.

    4. If your bricks are laid herringbone and on the diagonal to your entry, you should not have a problem with hitting the edges of your bricks with your pizza peel.

    5. Brick or refractory works, your choice really. More thermal mass with a brick dome, of course, so for daily use, it will get back to cooking temperature quicker, but from cold, it will take longer to heat up.

    Kind regards,
    Mark
    My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
    My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Mark
      Thanks for the welcome.

      I think I'll settle to a 55" with 3" Firebrick on the dome and 2" on the floor. All round, I want to put 4" ceramic fiber for insultation.
      I have done he heringbone pattern on my Brick oven but still my peel gets caught - I'll have to maybe set it better on this one.

      Thanks again.
      OM

      Comment


      • #4
        OM,

        Since you're not looking for a super thick floor, you could try 12"x12"X2" bricks if you're close enough to a source to avoid shipping. There will be less joints and you could still set them on the diagonal.

        Giovanni
        My Build: 42" Corner Build in the Shadow of Mount Nittany

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Oven_Man View Post
          Hi Mark
          Thanks for the welcome.

          I think I'll settle to a 55" with 3" Firebrick on the dome and 2" on the floor. All round, I want to put 4" ceramic fiber for insultation.
          I have done he heringbone pattern on my Brick oven but still my peel gets caught - I'll have to maybe set it better on this one.

          Thanks again.
          OM
          Have you gone on the angle?
          Click image for larger version

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          My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
          My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

          Comment


          • #6
            Giovanni Rossi here in South Africa, we are limited with variety - i have only seen the regular size firebricks. Maybe I should consider making a mould and do my own bricks.

            MarkJerling Nope, I did not angle them and looking at both side by side - I can see why angling them would make a world of a difference. Thanks for this, I have added it to my notes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oven_Man View Post
              MarkJerling Nope, I did not angle them and looking at both side by side - I can see why angling them would make a world of a difference. Thanks for this, I have added it to my notes.
              You're most welcome. What part of South Africa are you located? I'm from Port Elizabeth and later Cape Town.
              My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
              My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

              Comment


              • #8
                MarkJerling Durban sir! Are you still in the KaapStad?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oven_Man Good ol' Durbs. No, I've moved to New Zealand 22 years ago.
                  My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
                  My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    MarkJerling Ahhh Ok - Thought you still in SA - was hoping maybe you could come down to Durbs and I could bribe you with a good ol' Bunny Chow in exchange for your Oven Building Skills

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oven_Man hahaha. I'd be up for a bunny chow. LOL Throw in the flights and I'm there!
                      My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
                      My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My oven is 50" on the inside. Still working on the enclosure, and i've been cooking on it for a few months. I can readily fit 8 pizzas, but i can only juggle 3 pizzas at a time with my newb skill set. I love having a ton of room, so i don't need to wait on the floor to recover between pizzas. Or, if my kid or I accidentally make a calzone and get crap all over the floor, we can shift our spot with a new pizza and keep cooking.

                        Heat up time with all the insulation we have is only 2hrs for pizza, if I do it exactly right. Defintly need a longer warm up time for retained heat cooking.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          fhausback thanks for your reply. This give me some assurance the size I am considering is about right. Any pictures of your oven?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a build thread that I’m behind a bit on. Plenty of pictures of my struggles and mistakes on there.

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