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Oven sizing question

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  • Oven sizing question

    Help sought re size disagreement with partner.
    Here in this Andean ecolodge we plan to build a pizza oven. With 60-90 seconds to cook a pizza at 800 degrees F. I reason that a smaller oven (42"?) could serve many people hot pizzas or just a few with equal facility, plus easier to heat and using less wood. My partner thinks that would be too small and that it should be larger to cook more pizzas at once. What do you think?

  • #2
    Re: Oven sizing question

    I have done 30 pizzas for a party in one go in less than an hour with my 40 inch oven.
    Last edited by Neil2; 01-15-2011, 11:11 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Oven sizing question

      Some here have reported that 800F is too hot and the pizzas come out scorched; typically, if you run your oven say, 650-725-ish, it'll most likely take your pizzas a little longer to cook.

      If fuel is plentiful, go with a larger oven!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Oven sizing question

        The time taken to cook the pizza is not really the issue because it takes way longer to prepare the pizza. Most cooks will only cook one pizza at a time because of this. Just done a party of 70 and two of us cooked all afternoon, one prepping, one cooking, all in a 21" oven maintaining a flame on the side. We also cooked a large Rainbow Trout.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: Oven sizing question

          If you are running a commercial operation, and the oven is fired every day, you loose one of the main objections to a larger oven, which is the time and fuel it takes to heat up. The oven never really cools down.

          Remember, in a wood fired oven, pizzas are cooking so quickly it's difficult to stretch and dress a pizza in the time it takes for one to cook, so anything much larger than a 42 is overkill, unless you plan to have more than one person working the pizza station.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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          • #6
            Re: Oven sizing question

            Ok folks, there is a lot of talk about how many pizzas etc. but we might not all be on the same page as it were. When we say pizza are we all talking about the same size? I mean one person is thinking 9 inchers another 12 another 15...
            What I am hoping to find out about is before I get into my serious designing phase, I need to know about the oven's interior dimensions and what they actually mean.
            Is a 42" oven talking interior or exterior diameter.?
            How many pizzas do you realistically fit into this size oven at what diameter pizza each?
            How much room is needed for the fire?
            Typical door is how wide? I guess that is also a limiting factor.

            Then for non-pizza issues how about roasting a turkey?
            Are these ovens too hot for the bird?
            Will a 22 pound bird fit through the door?

            If these questions have been asked already I apologize. I thought they must have but did a search and didn't see what I was looking for?

            Thanx all
            Bob

            Always ready for pizza

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Oven sizing question

              My opinion, and like many other things everone has one, is that over 38 inches and it becomes about what you want to do with the oven after the pizza. 38 inches, 1 meter, is plenty big enough to make and serve a very good sized pizza party. Bringing the dough balls to pre baked pizzas takes longer than to cook them and about all I'd want is 2 in the oven at once. Other than pizza I want to be able to get a large turkey or a very large roast with all of the trimmings in the oven or both. I have a 43" inch oven and a 38" would do all that I might need..

              Other than pizza what size WFO might you imagine you could need.

              Chris
              Last edited by SCChris; 02-07-2011, 06:30 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Oven sizing question

                Well, from what I have seen so far I was thinking 42 inches would be good. After all the work I expect to put into this project I want it to be able to handle a lot.
                Typically, I think I would need big enough for 3 pizzas. Because when I make them now at home in a conventional oven, convection at 500 degrees with two pizza stones I often get two in and have to wait because I can not get a 3rd into it. In our family half the fun is in the prep, So I will assemble one side by side with my son & often the wife too. So we will have 3 prepped all around the same time. And if we have guests over we'd likely be doing it faster. For my son's birthday party a couple weeks back we had 24 kids over all prepping their own pizzas. So it would have been real nice to be able to handle more than a couple at a time.
                Then on other occasions when I get my American Turkey into the oven ( I live in China) I want to be able to fit all the side dishes in there as well.
                There is also the dome height to be considered. Since living here I have really gotten fond of roast duck (sorry Daffy, Donald). And that means hanging the birds vertically. So I need a good idea about the oven's interior dome height as well.
                So for me I think its best to be prepared, size wise.
                Bob

                Always ready for pizza

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Oven sizing question

                  If you go vertical on the ducks. How much vertical space are you going to need? The door is going to be a trick. My oven is about 22 high in the middle, so the door is 14.75", unless my duck is short I'll have to bring it in on its side and then hang it from some sort of frame to drip into a pan.

                  Chris

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                  • #10
                    Re: Oven sizing question

                    Vertical is the only way when it comes to duck. Too much fat, it needs to drip off. A typical duck is maybe 12 - 14 inches long, So a 22 inch dome should be ok. I suppose if my calculations are ok you will lose 1.5 inches in height for every inch you go off center.
                    Given a skewer for the duck with a couple inches on either end to give ducky a skewered length of 16 - 18 inches, and you put a short bar across the top to hang from maybe an inch below the top of the dome, it should be ok for one to three ducks I am guessing.
                    Realistically all I suppose I need is room for one duck per five people. So two if you have guests over. Should be fine thanks
                    Bob

                    Always ready for pizza

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Oven sizing question

                      I suppose you could modify the hemisphere of the dome up and that would also push the door up. You could a run full soldier ring and then start a full hemisphere. If it were done with US 2.25 by 4.5 by 9 inch bricks the central high point of the dome would end up about 28 inches rather than 21 for a normal build 42 inch dome and the door would be 18 and change. That would allow you to push a roast pan with a rack and the ducks thru the door.

                      C

                      PS you'd still have great pizzas with the high celing. I always end up finishing my pizzas by raising them up into the dome anyway.
                      Last edited by SCChris; 02-07-2011, 08:54 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Oven sizing question

                        I'll have to look into it some more. I do not really need to put them thru the door vertically. Only to hang them inside that way. So, should the door be a bit lower I do not think it would be a problem. Inside I really will just need a short iron bar going from one side to the other, to hand the skewers onto.
                        I do not anticipate doing duck more than once or twice a year so I don't want to get too ambitious with modifications.
                        Bob

                        Always ready for pizza

                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Oven sizing question

                          I do duck in a roasting pan on a bed of root vegetables in my 42" oven. After 10-20 min I take out the pan and drain the fat. Then return to finish cooking. Duck is good. Vegetables are amazing.

                          I do ~14" pizzas in my 42" (inside diameter) oven. Two at a time. I've done 3 smaller pies. They cook much faster then in a conventional oven.
                          My oven build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/m...and-13300.html

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                          • #14
                            Re: Oven sizing question

                            Since I am in China, and have gotten addicted to Beijing Roast Duck I will likely end up trying to do it their way most of the time.
                            For BJD the bird is normally cooked twice. 1st it is roasted just long enough to get the skin to its nice crispy texture and full of flavor from that thin fatty layer just below the skin, mmm... Then ducky is removed from the oven. The skin, some of which is trimmed very thin with no fat attached will then be put on one plate. Then more skin cut with much of the fat still in place is placed onto another plate and then both put on your table before returning ducky to the oven to continue cooking. Later, after you've finished with the first course the rest of the duck will be brought out prepared into different dishes all the way to the ending duck soup which is normally served at the end of the meal as opposed to the western way of having it before.
                            I am looking forward to getting this oven built so I can start cooking! Hopefully I will shed a few pounds with all the hard work of building in order to give myself a bit of a cushion. So, when the food starts coming out I don't end up too much heavier than when I started!
                            Bob

                            Always ready for pizza

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Oven sizing question

                              Also, I do remember how surprised I was when I saw how fast Pizzas were cooking in the WFO.
                              Two years ago I spent 6 weeks in Italy on a training course for a new aircraft our company bought. It was in a fairly small town outside of Milan and all the little Pizza shops had brick ovens. I remember walking in and placing an order and being shocked by just how fast I got my Pizza. It was like the guy put it in, blinked twice and took it out!
                              And the pizzas there were sooo good! Six weeks and 7 kg later I arrived back home and have missed those pizzas ever since. I would've been back there this month on a week long refresher course and enjoying those pizzas again, but funny thing, since I gave my notice at work in preparation for our move up north the company didn't want to pay me to go on another course, bummer.

                              I truly hope I can do similar when this oven is up and running...
                              Bob

                              Always ready for pizza

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                              Comment

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