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Greetings from sunny South Africa - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Greetings from sunny South Africa

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  • Greetings from sunny South Africa

    Hi all.
    I have been lurking for long enough... I have decieded that it is time to join. I am in the process of buiding my own oven at home as I am sick and tired of making pizza's in my gas oven. Two of my sisters married italians and it was the mums who taught me to cook.My own mum struggled to prepare tv dinners...I have also worked in or owned a couple of resturants that served pizza's. Some one once asked how many pizza's had I made ,so we sat down and worked out that it was about 15000 /20000. At home in the gas oven my best afternoon was 17 for friends.
    The only snag is at the moment I am broke so my budget for the oven is the local equivalent of about 15 us dollars.....
    I live on a farm and have been using vineyard poles cut into 12 inch bits for cordwood building of the six support legs, we have a fair source of clay which I am using and I have discovered an old brick works on a mates farm.There must be 30 tons of fired clinker bricks along with slag, ash and other bits of brick making goodies.
    I can now prdict that this will not be the most fancy oven but all I want out is wood fired pizza....
    I have loads of questions but I will post them to hopefully the right places.

  • #2
    The Eclectic Pizza Oven

    An all brick oven has been done. One of the members is working on a oven where the stand is round and done in brick – looks very nice. Having clinker bricks will only add charm to the overall look. One of the other regulars will guide you in terms of determining if the brick is suitable for the actual oven. You really want Fire brick for the oven as the heat capacity of “normal” brick may not be optimal. Then again the natives of New Mexico used regular clay bricks for their ovens. If the brick does not hold heat then you will end up using more wood to keep the temperature up.


    • #3
      Hello Mike,

      Welcome aboard. We are, of course jealous of the sun. I can't speak for the rest of North America, but we've had 23" of rain since November. It is seriously dank here.

      My guess is that there is an oven in the discovered bricks. Michaelangelo found the human form hiding in a block of marble, and you get to uncovered the hidden brick oven. The good news is that it will cook great pizza once you have finished it. :-)

      Send photos.
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces


      • #4
        Mixed medium art work...

        Greetings all
        Thanks for the kind words guys. 23" of rain thats about two years worth round here. So far since the begining Dec we have had 9mm about 1/3 ".Temps in the 100/110 F range... But in winter we have snow on the mountains around us and frost on the windscreen. So-one once said Africa aint for sissies....
        The oven has been delayed by a couple of broken ribs so physical work is only starting again tomorrow.
        I think that I will try a brick dome covered with a layer of slag and then clay over the top. All thoughts and suggestions will be most appreciated. If the oven is a bit wood hungry, I dont mind, as I work as an organic consultant to farmers and can access about 100 tons of grape vines and fruit tree wood.Grape is ok for a barbeque or braai as we say but the apricot wood burns much better and smell great as well.
        Till next time
        PS how many other south africans out there?
        Last edited by RSAmike; 01-20-2006, 11:36 AM. Reason: keyboard problems.


        • #5
          Fellow South African

          Hi Mike,

          I am from Kempton Park in Gauteng. I completed my Pompeii oven last year September. I am still learning how to use it, but am having great fun doing so.

          Sounds like you are in the winelands somewhere. Where exactly are you?