The Wood-Fired Blog

Wood Stove Design Challenge

This isn’t exactly what we do (we use wood for cooking, they use wood for heating), but it is very interesting none the less.


From their web site:

The Next Generation Wood Stove Design Challenge is now underway! The Challenge seeks to promote next generation stove designs, build a community of innovators and showcase stove innovation to the public. 

The Design Challenge will culminate in a Wood Stove Decathlon, modeled after the Solar Decathlon, which will take place on the National Mall in November 2013. The Challenge grew from discussions between the Alliance for Green Heat and editors at Popular Mechanics magazine who believe innovation can overcome some of the problems inherent in the wood stove and that a “smart” wood stove may be on the horizon.

The finalists were announced today in a Press Release.

Among the 14 designs are stoves controlled by microprocessors and connected to smartphones, as well as ultra-efficient stoves based on 17th century Scandinavian designs and several state-of-the-art hybrid stoves that are already on the market. Six are from Europe.


More Snow Pizza Stories

We’ve been getting some great photos and stories on pizza in the cold and snow. Check out this one:

ottawa valley eastern ontario canada
while it was not that cold when I took this shot before xmas , last night we had a pizza party and I made 10 pizzas while it was -31C [about 24 below zero f.]  the oven was hot .[.2 minute pizzas ], the cook .. not so much!
this morning the oven is holding at 400f .

Great stuff!


$15M Pizza Oven with a Mansion (and three guest houses) Thrown in for Free

Wayne Gretzky is selling his mansion and three guest houses for $15M, but from this headline, you would think that his pizza oven is the property’s best feature. Who knows. Maybe it is.

From the Inquisitr:

Wayne Gretzky Selling Mansion: $15 Million Pad Has Outdoor Pizza Oven, Three Guest Homes


The (Nearly Final) Pizza Oven Contest Photos

We have posted the web pages on with the submitted photos for the Winter 2013 photo contest! There are still a few days to go for submissions, and we are still getting more photos — so keep ‘em coming. We are getting some nice pictures from our community in the north.

Click here to see the photos page.

We’ll be picking the finalists and posting the poll where you can vote soon.



Pizza Sorrentina in the Wall Street Journal

Friends and family are always sending me interesting articles and recipes on pizza and pizza ovens — and I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while.

Sorrento is located on a peninsula on the southern edge of the Bay of Naples. According to our friends at Wikipedia:

Sorrento (Neapolitan: Surriento) is a small town in Campania, southern Italy, with some 16,500 inhabitants. It is a popular tourist destination which can be reached easily from Naples and Pompeii, as it lies at the south-eastern end of the Circumvesuviana rail line. The town overlooks the Bay of Naples as the key place of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and many viewpoints allow sight of Naples itself, Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri.

View Larger Map

In addition to its natural beauty and access to the sea, Sorrento is known for its wonderful lemons and Limoncello. The lemon trees are well maintained on terraces throughout the peninsula. We stayed just outside Sorrento the first time we visited the Naples area, and had a great time, so this recipe has a little bit of special meaning for me.


The toppings are:

18 thin lemon slices (about 3 lemons’ worth)

9 ounces smoked fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

15 large leaves fresh basil

You can Read the Entire Article and See the Recipe Here. Interestingly, their dough uses Caputo flour, but it also includes sugar and olive oil.

A Novel of Ancient Rome

You know that I have always found ancient Rome interesting (to this day I get a kick just thinking about the wood ovens in Pompeii), and so does my wife — who recently published a historical novel on Galla Placidia, empress of Rome in the mid 400′s. She started researching the book when we were living in Florence, and has now put the finishing touches on the novel, and has published it through It is available in both print and Kindle editions, and the early reviews have been very positive. We are all so proud; completing any novel is a big task, and taking on a historical novel as her first book was huge.



Our oldest daughter did the cover art, so it was a family effort. There is a wood-fired oven mentioned on page 75 (I think), so I think it reasonable to post it here. haha.

You can find it on Nobelissima: A Novel of Imperial Rome. It is also available through the Amazon lending library.


Here is the Book Description. Enjoy!

Nobilissima is the story of Placidia, a Roman princess who marries the King of the Visigoths and later becomes Empress of the Roman Empire.  It is a story of love, ambition and war, set against a backdrop of barbarian invasions and the Empire’s turbulent transition from paganism to Christianity.  In 410 AD, the Visigoths sack Rome and seize hostages. That dark, violent night marks the beginning of a perilous journey through Italy, Gaul and Spain for Placidia and her companions. She survives immense hardships and an attempt on her life to find happiness in her marriage to the new Visigoth king and the birth of their son. But a series of terrible tragedies forces her to return to her brother’s court, where further trials await her. A strong and courageous woman, Placidia is also a skillful politician capable of building alliances with popes, kings, senators and generals. She gathers power and influence, but all seems lost when a scandal erupts and her life is again threatened. She flees to Constantinople, only to learn that her brother has died and a usurper has seized the crown. At the head of an army, she returns to Ravenna to fight for the throne. 

New Fire Within Workshops

Our good friends at The Fire Within (Bolder, CO) will be holding a new workshop targeted at everyone who is thinking of getting into wood-fired catering. They’ve been doing this for years, and they make great trailer ovens (in lots of different shapes and sizes for different types of catering), they exclusively use Forno Bravo ovens (yay), and their workshops provide a great deal of practical, hands-on information that you can use.

Here’s a blurb.

Getting Started With Your Own Wood-Fired Oven Catering Business

Are you ready to become a catering pizzaiolo?  This workshop is designed to take you through all of the stages of starting your own wood-fired pizza oven catering business.  Learn first-hand from professionals in the field and practice using the very same equipment you’ll need to run your own thriving business, including our Forno Bravo mobile wood-fired oven! Our next workshop is coming up February 23rd and 24th. Space is limited–register today!  Come celebrate our fifth year of hands-on workshops with us!

Our up and coming workshop is:
February 23rd and 24th 2013

Don’t you really like their graphic?