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Dome vs Barrel Ovens - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Dome vs Barrel Ovens

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  • Dome vs Barrel Ovens

    After my first question concering the placement of the perlite concrete slab (below the hearth slab or above), the advice I received forced me to do additional research. It seems that the advice to put the perlite concrete under the slab is more for Barrel Ovens or ovens that you want a lot of mass to store the heat energy that will be used for repeated bread baking.

    Now for my next question, I will be building a wood fired oven! Now for the type. My time at home is limited for now (I get home only every other weekend). Purchasing an oven kit is not an option at this time. I will be getting help from my son for this build.

    Due to the preceived difficulty of building a Dome oven I will be building the Barrel oven...unless I am told other wise from those of you that have the experience. Based upon this, would you all still recommend that the perlite concrete go ontop of the supporting concrete slab for the Barrel oven design?

    I will be doing pizza's and bread and occasional roasts and other meats/meals.

  • #2
    Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

    Hi gdest,

    Which ever oven style you decide to build, install the structural supporting slab first, then install the insulation on top of the structural slab. Whether you use perlite (or vermiculite) mixed with cement, or a board of masonry insulation under your fire brick floor, install the insulation directly under the fire brick. There are lots of discussions why, and you can search for those and read about the why's of this suggestion, but "structural - insulation - fire brick" is the correct order.

    As to shape of oven: The Italian style round, dome shape has proven to be perfect for the back yard, all purpose wood fired oven. The barrel oven will also do a fine job. The consensus with most of the people on this forum (where we focus on the Italian style, round dome oven) is that the Italian style round dome oven is the better choice for the back yard cook. With out experience with both, I can only report that the people who have used both say the Italian style round dome oven is the better performer as an all - around back yard oven. Build the dome. I can't report with experience that it is easier to build than the barrel oven, but it is plenty easy - and my only caveat is that the hard part is that it is a masonry project, and masonry pieces are heavy. It can be heavy work to build an oven and the solution there is to go slow and only move small bits at a time, and put the oven together, one bit at a time!

    Good luck with your build, and keep us posted with pictures.

    JED

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    • #3
      Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

      The only hard part about building a round dome is the entry and vent, and you have to build that with a barrel vault also. It's a lot of work to build a absolutely perfect dome where every brick fits seamlessly on the inside, but if you're willing to see a little mortar showing on the inside of the dome, you can just lay up half bricks all the way to the top.

      I think the inherent strength of the round dome argues in it's favor. All that concrete buttressing the barrel vault ovens? It's not just for thermal mass, those tall walls have a lot of sideways force that needs to be contained.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

        I agree with Jed. I have a mixed oven - my slab design is Scott's barrel design from "The Bread Builders" with the insulation below the structural slab. While it is certainly not a disaster the structual slab clearly serves as a path for heat loss. Were I doing it over I would put the insulation on top of the structural slab. The round ovens have advantages in giving you more working room for fire and pizza.

        Good luck!
        Jay

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        • #5
          Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

          Thank you all for your input. Now to let you all know, the Dome design wins out and the support slab will have an insulation layer ON TOP and under the oven.

          I have posted another thread asking a few more questions and hopefully you all will be able to address these issues.

          Ther is One issue that I have been hesitant to bring up but with all of the great advise I have been getting I am now embolden to bring up.

          As I mentioned on some of my earlier postings I only get home every other weekend.......Who will be wiling to work on the project the weekends I'm not there? Location- The Woodlands, Texas.

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          • #6
            Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

            On the years I worked on my project, I often felt like the "little red hen" Toward the end I felt like uncharitable behavior toward anyone who asked "when will it be done" but never picked up a finger to help.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

              hey, we built a beautiful barrel oven last year and yes although it takes a little longer to heat (ours is 1m x 1m) it works perfectly, we made roasts cakes breads and pizzas...
              [IMG]<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/?action=view&current=P1010662ovenjune2009.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/P1010662ovenjune2009.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
              [IMG]<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/?action=view&current=P1010660sml.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/P1010660sml.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
              'it is better to be hated for the person you are, than loved for the person you are not'

              My Facebook

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...g-our-wfo.html

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ned-glass.html

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              • #8
                Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                [IMG]<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/?action=view&current=P1010660sml.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v681/shvuntz/P1010660sml.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]
                'it is better to be hated for the person you are, than loved for the person you are not'

                My Facebook

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...g-our-wfo.html

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ned-glass.html

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                • #9
                  Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                  urgh seems my photo posting doesnt work.. well click on the links below and you will see our spectacular oven!
                  'it is better to be hated for the person you are, than loved for the person you are not'

                  My Facebook

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...g-our-wfo.html

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ned-glass.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                    You're overthinking your photo posting. Rightclick on photobucket image, choose "copy image location", come back here, hit postcard icon over text box, paste URL in dialog box. Done. No fancy html tags required.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                      Purdy oven!
                      "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                      "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                      [/CENTER]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                        Originally posted by Archena View Post
                        Purdy oven!
                        Seriously - David did a major remodel.
                        Check out my pictures here:
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

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

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                          I used the bread builders design also, it works fine but the heat loss is truly there.
                          My next oven will have the insluation just under the fire brick floor .

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                            I built a barrel oven using dome principles. Insulation under the floor and on the sides and top. My oven goes white in about an hour and will hold heat very well. I didn't build it with all the mass of the normal barrel oven (Scott oven). If I want to be efficient, I'll cook pizzas on friday nite, clean the oven and put the door on and bake bread in the morning. Maybe mine is considered a hybrid?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dome vs Barrel Ovens

                              Just bumping a useful thread...








                              'Cause I'm finally buying a house!!!!!
                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                              "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                              [/CENTER]

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