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Giardino 70--Texas Build - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Giardino 70--Texas Build

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  • Giardino 70--Texas Build

    I started with a fairly simple goal--to rebuild an existing outdoor kitchen island. Took out refrigerator, sink and gas grill, spent 4 days forming and pouring concrete to fill the grill and sink holes, then it started to crack (3rd photo). Bad omen, didn't feel good about putting several hundred pounds on the structure, so I demolished the whole thing to start from scratch. Unfortunately, I had already received and uncrated my Giardino 70, which was the largest oven I could fit on the existing structure. With hindsight, I should have started from scratch and gotten the larger Casa 2G90, which would fit in the new platform.

  • #2
    Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

    With a blank canvas, I laid out the new design in CMUs, stacked them (ridiculous amount of work handling each block 3-4 times from the store to my truck, re-stacking on the truck, unloading truck at home then carrying to the back yard). Poured concrete from a u-cart trailer (big labor/time saver, only hauling mixed concrete to the backyard, rather than 80 lb sacks of ready-mix). With help from the first charter members of the "pizza for life club" I went from bare concrete to pouring the hearth in a 3 day weekend.


    • #3
      Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

      Setting the insulation and floor tiles was pretty straightforward, although doubt crept in when I used fine dry sand under the tiles like the instructions said then later ready on the forum that the preferred mix is wet 50/50 fireclay/fine sand. 4 strong friends helped carry the dome (~230 lbs) from the garage to the hearth slab. Insulating was pretty straightforward, ended up with a fair amount of extra since I was pretty careful with the 3 layers. Covered it in 2 layers of chicken wire and ran into next hurdle. I bought Miracle-Gro brand perlite for for the insulating concrete layer, and didn't notice the fine print on the bag that it also contained fertilizer. Strong smell of ammonia while applying perlcrete, so I ripped out wire and perlcrete to try again. The good news is that I learned enough wrapping in chicken wire to do a better job the 2nd time, using stucco lath instead. While it's harder to work with, it creates a stiffer shape that holds up to perlcrete/stucco application better, as well as making a better surface to adhere the perlcrete to (smaller, sharper-edged "holes" to grab onto).


      • #4
        Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

        I purchased the entryway arch from FB, but the photo was pretty misleading. Turns out it wasn't "3 pieces," but a single piece that didn't include the landing bricks like the photo showed. That was inconvenient but the worst part was that the arch was built so that it would have "rested" at the level of the insulation board, not at the top of the fire bricks. Had to cut it down a couple inches, requiring purchase of diamond circular saw blade and a resulting extra-short first brick in the arch. After putting the perlcrete layer on, I diverged a bit from the instructions and put a brown coat of stucco over the perlcrete the same day, at the recommendation of my stucco guy. Since I wanted to wrap the whole outdoor kitchen in stucco, and didn't want my trowel skills on prominent display for the whole neighborhood, I hired professional help to apply the stucco (scratch/brown coat 1 day, finish coat the following day). The funky wood structure coming out of the oven opening is my impromptu "scaffold" to help support the arch while the special order landing bricks continued to be delayed. I just didn't trust the fairly narrow strip of mortar on the vertical face to hold it completely with no mechanical support. Better safe than sorry.


        • #5
          Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

          Here's the oven with the finish coat of stucco, and the landing completed. Pretty much done now, just waiting for a 4' chimney extension from FB. Starting curing fires on Sunday.


          • #6
            Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

            Looking good
            Lee B.
            DFW area, Texas, USA

            If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
            Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
            An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

            I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.


            • #7
              Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

              Very nice, indeed. Let us know how the cooking goes.


              • #8
                Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build

                Thanks. Cooking is going pretty well so far. I cooked a chicken and a pork roast while curing the oven, and since that was complete I've cooked ciabatta, 1 "dirty steak" and 37 pizzas. Big lessons so far are to keep enough "live" fire to maintain floor heat while cooking, to be more careful pulling out pizzas with my small turning peel (2 of them have flipped over and landed face down ), and that working with round dough balls produces round pizzas much more easily (as opposed to the overproofed 'blob' of dough balls that really want to produce square skins). Here are some photos: marinara (first pie out of the oven), a margherita and a bianco mushroom, my 'house specialty' Spanish pie (mozzarella, cooking chorizo, piquillo peppers and smoked paprika), and a bananas foster dessert pizza that I'm still perfecting (needs more caramelization next time). Just got an Ischia sourdough culture up and running, I've only made one batch of dough with it, more experimenting underway to fine tune the fermentation process. Heading to Naples next week to see if I can learn a few lessons to bring back to my pizzas!