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Fire inside or under floor?

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  • Fire inside or under floor?

    Hi, What are the pros and cons of a pizza oven design with the fire under the floor as opposed to the more common design with the fire inside the dome? cheers.

  • #2
    Welcome GravelSandwich! The two chamber WFO is called a white oven (because the soot & ashes are separate from the cooking chamber). The design is oriented primarily to commercial bread baking. Advantages are; the cooking chamber stays clean and can be "boosted" during the baking process if necessary, because of its large thermal mass...once at temp, it maintains very well. Disadvantages are; much more difficult to build, normally the design works best for a larger scale operation, much more expensive to build/use/maintain, long heat up time due to the mass, sheer size/weight are far more than the Pompeii (black oven-where the heating fire is made in the cooking chamber. Pompeii (and other black oven designs) are easier to build, very efficient, generally have a much smaller footprint, and can be brought up to pizza temps much quicker.

    Lots of other pros & cons for black vs white ovens, but that should give you a general feel for the difference. Some people have built smaller (more home user friendly) white ovens but in my opinion, the inherent complexity of the design and difficulty in bringing the cooking chamber up to pizza temps makes it a poor option for someone's back yard party WFO.

    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
    Roseburg, Oregon

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