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Indoor Oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

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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Indoor Oven

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  • Indoor Oven

    Hi, I'm new here, this is a great resource! So much knowledge!
    I've been wanting to build an oven for some time now, my original thought was outside but now I'm looking at my fireplace which needs a new flue. My thought now is to tear apart the fireplace and build the oven inside.
    Any thoughts on doing this would be great.
    Can I incorporate some kind of grill into the front portion maybe near the door?
    Is there any heat output from the oven?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Indoor Oven

    Hi Mant,

    And welcome to the forum.

    There are a couple of folks who have had indoor ovens on this forum. I think the only part of the process that needs closer attention when you are building inside your house is confirming the venting issues are well addressed. It would be terrible to end up with an oven that you wouldn't use because it was putting smoke out into your room.

    I wouldn't plan on gaining to much room heat from one of these ovens. They do throw off some heat from the door when the fire is burning, and the basic technology is heating brick to then return the heat over time. However, they concentrate heat inside the oven, and don't particularly distribute heat outside the oven. Yes, the heat does go some place, and it will end up in the house (if the full structure of the oven is inside the building walls) but it will redistribute this heat very slowly, and won't add to much to the heating requirement in an northern latitude home.

    We do 'grill' in these ovens. Look up the "Tuscan Grill" in the Forno Bravo Store and in the 'cooked food' section of the forum. You will see this process in action!

    Good luck with your build, and do keep us posted with your progress!



    • #3
      Re: Indoor Oven

      Our oven is in the kitchen. We have only used it for several weeks now. It took some refining to get the flue just right. It works beautifully now. You will want to have a damper. I have read of double doors, Maine Wood Heat sells a damper that slides horizontally. I opted for a roof top damper with a cable that runs through the chimney. It keeps the chimney a little warmer and closes tightly. The down side is the handle that makes your hand black because it is in the smoke path. As for heat while firing...it is quite pleasant to sit in front of the oven on a cool or cold as it has been this winter evening. The fact that the heat leaves the oven slowly keeps the space warm over time. All those BTU's are going into your conditioned space if you close the damper after the fire is out. The summer may be a more complicated issue. I have french doors right next to the oven so I don't think we will over heat much,but if you are cooling in the summer, you will be adding a heat load for your ac. That is where leaving the damper open will be to your advantage, letting the heat draft up the chimney.

      We love the oven. We love sitting in front of it, and we especially love the bread and pizza it has produced.

      The biggest down side I see with the indoor oven is the mess. We have ample supplies of juniper which is not a real clean wood...lots of stringy bark and ashes. Also removing the fire after the pizza phase is a challenge. Cooking bread is the main reason we made the oven. The coals need to be removed for that. We have a fireplace in an ajacent room that we take the hot coals and let them burn out. It isn't a pleasant process sweeping hot coals out of the oven into a bucket and then hauling them across the house. We are working on alternatives, like a square sided bucket and perhaps a grill out the french doors where the coals could be relocated.


      • #4
        Re: Indoor Oven

        Interesting! I didn't think of the hot coal thing. I do have 2 flues that are bad in the same chimney, one was the fireplace the other was for and old oil furnace (not used anymore). Both clay flues have seen better days. How about converting one to an oven the other some kind of masonry heater or just a wood stove. That way there would be an easy place to deposit the coals and heat the house some. Can the flues be offset a little to make more room and better center things up? I would be switching to metal venting. This has potential to be a great project!


        • #5
          Re: Indoor Oven

          I had to do some serious offsetting to get my existing chimney to work with the oven. See pictures at this thread.


          If you are considering building a masonry stove you may want to check out Maine Wood Heat. They put ovens in some of their stoves. They would work a little different than an open fire pizza oven, but I can image great bread, bake beans, etc coming out of one of them. The down side would be summer use. You wouldn't want to be firing it up in hot weather.


          • #6
            Re: Indoor Oven

            Another question, how much room air does the ovens use to maintain a fire? Can there be an outside air source be used to keep the fire? If so where would that be incorporated into the oven?



            • #7
              Re: Indoor Oven

              I think the jury is still out on the necessity or the effectiveness of having an outside air source for wood burning appliances. I think having a source inside the oven may be problematic because it would be difficult to close it and insulate it after the fire was out. If I were putting one in I may locate it near the oven door, but outside the oven. I don't have one for my oven. Some building codes may require you to have one. The latest science that I have read is very inconclusive. I don't have time right now to relocate the several articles I read several years ago from trusted sources that both proved necessity and convincingly discrediting the need for outside air. If you have a very tight house, you probably should have an air to air heat recovery ventilation system which is a controlled way to introduce fresh air into the house. It may be interesting to do a blower door test on your house to determine what the air exchanges are. A wood burning appliance should in theory create a negative pressure in the house which will tend to pull air through any hole it can, which will tend to cool the house off. My understanding is that the chimney actually brings in a fair amount of that air. I am not personally convinced either way. I have built Rumford fireplaces in very tight houses that have worked just fine with no outside air, and I have gone to great lengths and expense to provide outside air and that worked fine, too.
              I would be interested in hearing the collective experience and wisdom of the many readers of this forum.


              • #8
                Re: Indoor Oven

                how much room air does the ovens use to maintain a fire? Can there be an outside air source be used to keep the fire?
                There have been several threads on this topic:


                is one I can put my hands on right away. One thing you don't want is a blast going into your cooking chamber to blow ash around on your pizza.
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2