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  • #16
    Re: Question about vent

    Hi John,

    I hope my response didn't come across as too forceful, and I apologize if it does. I find the PN thing misguided and frustrating -- and I'm sorry if I took it out on you. I think we all take pride in the fact that our forum is constructive rather than confrontational.

    I do think this is the right forum discussing all types of oven construction issues -- not just the FB ovens, so let's keep going.

    What do you think of my obervations (attitude aside)?
    James
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Question about vent

      Other than the thoughts I expressed in PM, I'm not sure why you would find the goal of accurately reproducing PN (assuming you mean pizza napoletana) misguided or frustrating? I would disagree completely.

      Regarding oven design, here's a thought:
      If someone asked me if a Chevy Tahoe could hit 120mph... I'd say "sure, might take a while".. Can I get there alot faster in a 'Vette? I'd say "you bet"! Can I fit less stuff in the Vette? Is it less practical? The answer.. who cares... it's a Vette... it's designed for a specific purpose... So, is the Tahoe... both can do some of the same things... each does some of those things better than the other... Would you fault me for wanting a 'Vette?

      I spent a couple years thinking about building an oven and only recently opted for the dome shaped oven vs the Alan Scott / Rado Hand style... I went round and round with Rado on making pizza in his oven and he insists to this day that his oven will make pizza just as well as a dome shaped oven... That may or may not be true, but I'll wager there are many here on this forum who've done the research will contend it's harder to make it in a rectangular / high mass oven, just like "I think" it's a little harder to make pizza in higher domed Tuscan oven than in a lower domed Neapolitan oven. I know it's hell of a lot harder to make it using the cleaning cycle of my modified electrical oven... But, If I'm going to build an oven that in my home will be used for making pizza 90% of the time, why wouldn't I choose "what at least some consider" is the best design... If I was going to run quarter miles every weekend at the track, my first thought would not be to go out and buy a Chevy Tahoe would it? (no flames on the analogy please.. it's just an analogy...)

      Everything else you said make sense, except maybe the fire part and all pizza ovens venting well.. I've read numerous accounts here and elsewhere of the benefit of starting your fire at the front of the oven, under the vent, or lighting handheld newspaper to warm up the flue before lighting your fire. Likewise, I've seen a lot of ovens photo's with soot all over the front the oven... Could some of these be designed/excecuted a little better? You bet.

      This leads me to my very specific post.. it had nothing to do with neapolitan vs tuscan, or open vs closed vents, or whether running your flue over the dome was better or not.. I just posed an idea for the group to consider... I hope to hear some comments on the idea...

      Which leads me to my final point. Right now, this is THE BEST place on the web (in the world I think) to come for information on how to build an italian dome shaped oven. That's a credit to you James. Yes, there are other sites, but none have the depth of detail and diverse discussion we have here. I hope it stays that way... so, please try to be neutral on the PN thing... it's the free and unsuppressed exchange of ideas' that will enable this movement to grow and mature here in the US.

      By the way, before writing this message I went back and read the sticky on the "Tuscan and Naples designs" here: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/t...igns-1467.html and I think your synopsis is fair and neutral. From what I've read, the dimensions, might be off a tad (you based them on the Casa series ovens rather than what's in commercial production), but l won't argue that.

      Thanks for the opportunity to express my opinion.

      JB
      Last edited by johnrbek; 02-18-2007, 01:25 PM. Reason: grammar..

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Question about vent

        Hey John,
        I appreciate your passion. One really good thing might be to find a friend who has a wood-fired brick oven, and do some cooking. That might be the best way to see what works for you -- before you start building. It's kind of like skiing; you don't know what it's going to feel like before you start doing it.

        Can you find someone locally who might help?
        James
        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Question about vent

          That would be nice, but would be pretty hard. There are a few ovens down here, but not Neapolitan ones. On the other hand, I know good pizza and I've watched some good pizzaiolo's in action...

          I've been to Patsy's, Grimaldi's, DiFara's, Spaccanapoli (and chatted and watched Jeff and his pizzaiolo make multiple pies), Frank Pepes, Marcello's in Vancouver, Anthony's Coal Fired, and some of the Argentine places down here.. I love pizza. I love Neapolitan pizza.

          There are very few true Neapolitan ovens here in the states.. There are alot of Earthstone ovens out there.. I mean alot. Alot of the oldies in NY & CT are rectangular coal fired ovens... Spaccanapoli is one of just a few VPN certified pizzerias here in the states that have an oven built by Neapolitan oven builders... I can't say enough about Jeff at Spaccanapoli. A very friendly guy who know's his pizza.

          So, no I don't think I"ll be able try one out before building one, but then again, how many here were able to try out a Pompeii before building one when trying to decide if they should go Scott or Pompeii??

          Comment


          • #20
            Question about state of the union

            (M) Hi, John, (johnrbek)

            (M) Your posts show your location as USA. If you can narrow that to one of the 50 states it would help us to make more relevent recommendations. You mentioned many Pizza restaurants but since I've not visited any of those I have no better idea of the actual (not metaphorical) state you're in. Would you be willing to list your state on the "User CP" ___?

            ==================================================

            (M) I made many "mistakes" on the construction of my oven yet it works well despite them. Some of my "mistakes" were calculated risks e.g., I wanted a significant roof over-hang on all sides. This means that smoke is more likely to collect under my peak. You mentioned starting our fires under the flue. That sounds like a great idea and if I could locate the poster of that suggestion I'd like to send kudos. Was it you?

            (M) In order to mitigate smoke collecting under my peak, I had a sheet metal shop fabricate a shroud or cowl. That, along with pre-warming the flue helps.

            (M) Be well and thanks for your thoughtful and articulate queries. I don't feel qualified to answer them other than to quote the adage about the "many ways to skin a cat"; a procedure I fortunately have not been called on to perform.

            Ciao,

            Marcel
            "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
            but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Question about vent

              I think there is enough info here to support the Pompeii over the Scott for pizza applications. Once you choose, a whole new world of variables opens up.. The Pompeii oven, in my opinion is at the cutting edge of pizza oven technology. Having the world pre make your mistakes and innovations for you, in real time is a luxury one does not encounter in many endeavors.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Question about vent

                Skinning cats....Two of the three ovens that I posted from the cave city did not even use any vents. The one had a very high dome that I was told helped store heat for cooking bread....
                sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Question about vent

                  Marcel,

                  I'm down in S. Florida.. I've updated my profile to reflect that...

                  Regarding the notion of starting the fire at the front of the oven, under the vent, or using a handheld piece of newspaper, some of this information is over on other websites and I found some here as well, but doing a forum search with the term "draw"... It was not I that came up with the idea.. Here are a couple links:

                  Here's some from http://www.rumford.com/oven/oven36.html:

                  "To build a fire start with a small kindling fire in the front of the oven under the flue. Add wood when the fire is burning well, and gradually move the fire back into the oven. Use the oven door (when you are not adding wood) placed out near the front of the entrance tunnel to keep heat in the oven but not block the flue while the fire is burning."

                  I've attached an image that is used on their site to illustrate the process... Their site credits Alan Scott with the photo.

                  Here's another:
                  On page 196 of Daniel Wing & Alan Scott's book, the breadbuilders: "... set a small fire of crumpled paper and split softwood just inside the doorway. Add larger pieces as the wood catches, pushing the starter fire gradually about one third of the way back into the oven. ... You want to get a nice draft started up the chimney... when the fire and chimney draft are going well, add the bulk of the wood"

                  Here's a link I found here on fornobravo, credit goes to aeneas1:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/16/h...=draw#post7572 :

                  "when my fireman friend saw this he rolled up a piece of newspaper tightly, lit it on fire, and once it had a good-sized flame going he held it up to the flue/chimney opening - after a few seconds of him doing this you could actually hear the air being sucked up the chimney, like a wind tunnel, and along with the air the smoke from the rolled up newspaper. once the chimney was "primed" none, and i mean none, of the smoke of my fire(s) even came close to lapping out the front of my oven. it was as if it didn't have a chance once it neared the strong draft started by the rolled-up newspaper."

                  If you poke around, there are more discussions on this. The idea of heating up the flue prior to getting a good fire going is not new. Building a starter fire close to the vent will promote this. That's why I think the Neapolitan ovens put their flue over the top of the dome.. Due to their vent design, they cannot build a fire out on the landing with their external/open vent. Running the flue over the dome helps to heat it up and thus promotes a better draw... That's my theory anyway..

                  By the way, I agree with redbricknick's last sentence in his post above wholeheartedly...
                  Last edited by johnrbek; 02-19-2007, 06:20 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Thanks for quotes, location, and great images!

                    (M) Hi, John,

                    (M) Your most recent post quotes two of my previous readings and, IMHO, should be required reading for all "Newbies". I own Daniel Wing & Alan Scott's book, "The Breadbuilders" and will look again at page 196.

                    (M) The sketches are wonderfully unambiguous and apply perfectly to my oven.

                    (M) South Florida as your home should not precipitate any queries about frost heave. Keep us posted on your progress and thanks for all.

                    (M) If, as it seems, you are just beginning to make building decisions, I'd like to proselytize and direct you to:

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f2/c...rtant+decision

                    "A Critical First Decision"

                    (M) If you want to see my 90+ images of my build, go to:

                    marceld - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

                    (M) but be aware that I discarded certain illustrated approaches, e.g. split ridge beam, all clay flue tiles, etc., as I gathered good advice on this forum.

                    Ciao,

                    Marcel
                    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
                    but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)

                    Comment

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