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Aluminium v Metal - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Aluminium v Metal

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  • Aluminium v Metal

    Hello, I'm new to this forum with a burning question (well for me anyway). I have had conflicting reports on aluminium trays in wood fired ovens. We are new to wood fired pizza ovens. Some oven professionals are telling me that you can't use aluminium in wood fired ovens because they will buckle, other professionals are telling me that aluminium is better as it is a slower conducter and will not buckle.
    Anyone willing to comment and add to my confusion?
    Thanks in advance for your comments.

  • #2
    Re: Aluminium v Metal

    What are you cooking, and at what temperature? You might not want to use aluminum pans, at least thin ones, at pizza temperatures, but for retained heat baking, i think any sort of pan will do fine.

    If it's pizza you're making, you don't want any kind of pan at all.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Aluminium v Metal

      We are going to use the aluminium trays for making pizzas, thin crust. The pizza oven we have is made from metal(?) ... where you have the wood going in a separate level under the pizza 'shelves' where you open up separate doors to accomodate the wood . . . then the 'pizza shelves' are above with a separate door/s to access the pizzas. I hope this makes sense as I may not have explained it properly. I think we already have regrets about the oven we bought unfortunately . . . thanks for your reply


      • #4
        Re: Aluminium v Metal

        Originally posted by StellaR View Post
        other professionals are telling me that aluminium is better as it is a slower conducter and will not buckle.
        In my opinion, this isn't a professional. Aluminum conducts heat way better then iron. Metals that carry electricity are very good conductors of heat; aluminum, copper, silver and gold (to name a few). Steel is not on the list. It obviously conducts, but not as well.

        Check out my pictures here:

        If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


        • #5
          Re: Aluminium v Metal

          The melting point for aluminum is 660C (1220F), and probably gets substantially wobbly at 1000. It makes sense that if you anneal a metal to 90% of its melting point, it will change structurally.

          The other issue is that aluminum isn't really inert. Acidic ingredients will react and cause off flavors, pitting and is potentially toxic (some studies have linked to neurodegenerative diseases). Most aluminum cookware you can buy is anodized, which makes a nice inert oxide coating and doesn't reduce the thermal conductivity too much.

          Aluminum is a terrific heat conductor, and stainless is terrible. Most of the fancy cladded pans have a copper or aluminum core and are cladded by stainless, giving the best of both worlds, conductivity and inertness.

          My two cents: Try and find a stainless/Al or Cu cladded sheet to use as the floor.



          • #6
            Re: Aluminium v Metal

            Stella, I remember coming across a line of WFO available by an Australian company called "Pivot" or "Piviot Stove and etc etc." that offered a WFO with a separate cooking chamber back when I was researching steel lined pizza ovens. They were/are touting it as a pizza oven but my first thoughts were of granny's old wood cookstove and how her stove looked nicer and could probably cook better. I mean if one is going to remove the fire from the cooking area and cook in metal box why not have a griddle and a couple of burners for frypans and a water jacket and a warming hood etc. If I remember correctly their product was called a "Koala" or something like that or maybe they recommended it for cooking koalas. I don't remember exactly, that was over a year ago and as you may have guessed I wasn't all that excited about their product. Sorry, if that's what you purchased, I don't mean offense to you.

            But in regards to getting a surface, a hearth upon which you could place pizzas and breads directly; is it possible to place quarry tile or brick on top of the existing oven floor? Sort of like a pizza stone in a conventional oven.



            • #7
              Re: Aluminium v Metal

              Thanks everyone you have helped me immensely. Wiley, yeah it kind of looks like nanna's old stove but no not the same company, however good pointers from you and everyone else. We'll experiment over the next week using some tips given here and see what we can do with this oven and let y'all know how it goes. Thanks again for your straight up replies.


              • #8
                Re: Aluminium v Metal

                Yeah, I'd vote for the pizza stone, and use a placing and turning peel to handle your pizza. Unless you're going for a thick Sicillian pie, I'd stay away from pans for pizza. Let us know how this works for you.
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2