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Absolute Newbie needs advice - 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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Absolute Newbie needs advice

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  • Absolute Newbie needs advice

    I sincerely appreciate all advice to the following questions.

    I am having my patio redone by a professional contractor. I want a pizza oven built-in to a larger masonry structure. In order to do this does the contractor need to purchase a pizza oven, and then insulate and do the masonry structure around it? if so, which pizza oven is best for this residential application? I am looking at the Artigiano model. Is the 31" too small?

  • #2
    Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

    Hi Ron and welcome aboard.
    As one who built a 40" Pompeii, I feel that anything much less would be a disadvantage. A small oven has limited capacity but might be all that you need.
    It really all depends on what you plan to do with your oven. Also remember, that since you will have one, it won't be used just for cooking pizzas, but for anything and everything. A 31" oven will only let you cook 3 pizzas (smaller) similtaneously with a fire still burning on the side whereas a 36" would allow 4 or 5 pizzas, (again smaller ones as I do - around 9-10").


    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

    Neillís Pompeiii #1
    Neillís kitchen underway


    • #3
      Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

      Neill brought up the most important point - what exactly are your intentions for the oven?
      Here are the key points for me:
      1) Pizza only? Typically, how many people will you be cooking for?
      2) Are you looking to bake large loads of bread?
      3) are you planning alot of lower heat cooking such as roasting? Again, typically how many people.

      As for the number of pizzas at one time......unless you are a real pro, you are probably never going to try more than 2 in the oven at the same time. Its just to hard, they are done in about 2 minutes (or less) - one small distraction, you miss a rotation, and presto a chared mess. A 31" oven would probably allow two 10" pies at a time.
      Roasting and such - a 31" oven will be a snug fit for a 20 lb Thanksgiving turkey. May not have a tall enough entry for large items like this.

      I built a 36" Pompeii and it seems about perfect for me. Usually only my wife and I - maybe a couple of guests. I have entertained a couple of large groups and had no problems turning out 2 pizzas at a time, I think 10 or 11 pizzas (12") are the most I have churned out. I have done Thanksgiving turkey WITH 3 smaller side dishes, all in the oven at the same time. Its tight, but you can squeeze a 20 lb bird with most of the "fixens".

      I think the consensus around here is that you should go with the largest oven your available space will allow along with your budget. 36", 40", 42", seem to be the best sizes for home use, but several members have built smaller ovens (in the 20s" in size) or have purchased one of the Primovera ovens and have been perfectly happy.



      • #4
        Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

        Extremely helpful. many thanks.

        I do plan on using the oven extensively for things other than pizza. I agree that baking more than 2 pizzas at one time is probably more than I want to tackle (I'd have to set down my wine glass!), but we do entertain a lot so pizzas will be made in large numbers. In a past life I worked in the restaurant biz, so I am a rather serious home cook, and I intend to use the oven for all types of food.

        I am pretty set on the Artigiano 39". I love the brick ovens, and I think it is worth the $$ premium. I found the instructions for installation, so I can pass those along to my contractor. My plan is to have one structure with a pizza oven and a fireplace.


        • #5
          Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

          It is very important to make sure the contractor puts proper insulation above and below the oven. I know of 2 people who had ovens installed by professional contractors, that didn't have their ovens properly insulated and were not happy with the performance of their ovens afterward. If you are buying from FB, you can be secure that James will have proper instructions for the installer. Good luck


          • #6
            Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

            I pulled the trigger on the Artigiano 39 inch. It arrived last week in a HUGE wooden crate. I showed the installation instructions to the contractor and he was impressed. In a few weeks, I will be making pizza!


            • #7
              Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

              Congratulations on your new purchase!

              Post photos of your contractor's oven installation progress if you can...

              My 34" WFO build

              Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


              • #8
                Re: Absolute Newbie needs advice

                Congratulations Ron!

                And welcome to the warped world of WFO addicts. You will never look at pizza the same again!