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Outdoor wood-fired oven at home?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Assuming the seasons are still running in the correct order, spring should be here soon, hopefully followed by summer. I love having bunches of friends over for pizza, and have been cranking them out of two ovens in my kitchen on pizza stones. 

However . . .   I love the smoky flavor and the crunch of a crust baked at ~800 degrees or so in a wood fired oven

Forno Bravo has some really nice plans for wood fired ovens that I could build behind the house, however it's not a small undertaking and is more or less permanent.

I know some restaurants have wood fired ovens, but how many of you have built one at home, and if you did, did you like it, and how often do you still use it?

Is there anything I need to watch out for?

Anybody have any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks!

Terry
post #2 of 6
Hi Terry,

Yes, spring is slowly showing it's beautiful self. Despite the mud and rain, the warmer weather is surely lifting my spirits and eagerness to be outdoors.

I actually work for a company that makes outdoor wood fired ovens, and would be happy to share a few tips for you in terms of finding the right match. Depending on the space you have to work with or where you live, you might want to consider an oven you have the ability to pick up and move without sacrificing the overall structure or performance. By the sounds of it, you are bit unsure about the permanence of building an oven considering the type of time and energy you'd invest in it. Taking that into consideration, a portable outdoor oven may be a great option for you because if you decide you want to move it around, you'll have the flexibility to do so.

One thing to watch out for, make sure to research what type of weatherproof material is used to cover the outdoor oven both functionally and aesthetically. If the oven core tiles get wet or too much moisture is allowed in, the quality of the oven could be compromised. Having a weatherproof dome or cover is important in that regard. You also may want the oven facade to match your existing outdoor decor, luckily there are a number of options out there. I think copper and stainless steel facades are beautiful and can fit into a variety of settings quite seemlessly.

Another thing to consider - make sure you install your oven on a hard, flat or level surface. Depending on the weight of the oven you choose, if you set it on grass or dirt, it could settle unevenly over time.

Wood fired ovens are certainly a growing trend in outdoor living. There really isn't anything like enjoying the taste of perfectly cooked wood fired cuisine with your family and friends.

If you'd like any other pointers in terms of finding an oven that will meet your needs and lifestyle, feel free to let me know. I'd be happy to help.

Best of luck!

Amy Clark
post #3 of 6
Hey Terry, I have been looking at these for a few years, I thought about doing it myself and then looked at mountain one on a small trailer that I would skirt in brick. I wanted to be able to transport it between homes. I have a mountain home that at certain times have a no burning ban, because of Forrest fires. I would hate to piss off smokey. I also think it would be a great outdoor food fun idea, with wood fired pizza, Calzones, rustic bread, and flat breads. I have a favorite restaurant in Mexico that does thin crust wood fired pizza, I ate there 4 times in two weeks, in February..............Take care.....Chef Bill
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

Hey Terry, I have been looking at these for a few years, I thought about doing it myself and then looked at mountain one on a small trailer that I would skirt in brick. I wanted to be able to transport it between homes. I have a mountain home that at certain times have a no burning ban, because of Forrest fires. I would hate to piss off smokey. I also think it would be a great outdoor food fun idea, with wood fired pizza, Calzones, rustic bread, and flat breads. I have a favorite restaurant in Mexico that does thin crust wood fired pizza, I ate there 4 times in two weeks, in February..............Take care.....Chef Bill


I was thinking about a trailer also. I don't have a huge range of food that I can do a really great job on, reliably, but Pizza is one of them and I was thinking about getting a trailer-able brick oven and doing private parties, however our local health department makes it so freaking expensive and difficult that it turned out to not be worth the bother. Even a trailer would need hot and cold running water and refrigeration, and I'd need to rent a commercial kitchen just to make the dough and prep the toppings, even though I've been doing it with a Kitchenaid, knife, cutting board  and polycarbonate storage containers for probably 20 years.

It seems like a small trailer, a brick mason and the plans from Forno Bravo might do the trick. Maybe I'll give the guy who rebuilt my chimney a call and see if he wants to try something more interesting.

Being trailerable seems like a huge advantage. Maybe I'll move some day and take it with me.

Terry
post #5 of 6
I have been checking out a few sites, I myself will more then likely be building a cob style oven as they are much less expensive then a full brick oven. Here is a site that has several links on it, from brick to clay ovens. I really liked the Bread ovens of Quebec in spite of its small size it had some really informative things to say . The section on Leaveners is awesome.

Linky: http://www.heatkit.com/html/bakeoven.htm
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post #6 of 6
This topic has been discussed in earlier threads- possibly as long as five years ago. A member whose name escapes me planned and built one, complete with photos of the finished product and reports of its success.

I suggest you search this site to find that earlier discussion.
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