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Help deciding - 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

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Help deciding

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  • Help deciding

    I hope this is not considered in poor form on a Forno Bravo forum, but I am on a limited budget and limited timeline - will not be interested in making my own from scratch. Looking at three ovens sold via EBAY. One is a local guy who makes ROUNDBOY ovens, a 24 x 28 firebox and cement shell that goes together in a couple of hours - kit is $1300 - $1400 picked up and super easy. Seems decent, nice guy, a bit small.

    The other is imported by a Canada company, brick covered with insulation and cement, made in Portugal, Door but no chimney, 32" round inside, assembled of firebrick for $1099 picked up locally. Weighs about 1300 pounds. Seller has like 400 positive reviews.

    Last is same seller, Portugal made brick oven but with chimney and toolkit, which looks decent, for $1499, local pickup. The Forno Bravo kits are great but more time intensive and expensive than the above. Same Weight.

    Another consideration is that in this silly town there is supposed to be a 50 foot clearance between anything that burns wood and anything combustible, so why pay a lot for something I make have to get rid of anyhow? I have 1/3 acre, but a 50' radius circle is hard to find. So if I happened to get caught...

    Anyhow, any suggestions short of building my own of brick welcome and thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Help deciding

    Hello djm3801,

    If only given the three choices, I'd go for the big one. You won't regret the larger oven floor.

    Check for an exemption for outdoor cooking devices. Our county has tough air quality restrictions for any kind of outdoor burning, including permits for certain types. However, they exempt devices for cooking food.


    Here is the link to my oven number 1 construction photos!

    Here is the link to my oven number 2 construction photos!


    • #3
      Re: Help deciding

      I was in your exact shoes a month-and a half ago. I didn't like the Portuguese ovens because they have such a high ceiling, and appeared to lack insulation.

      The Roundboy oven seemed good if I was mostly interested in cooking pizza and bread. I don't think that it has the heat retention needed to slow roast a turkey, nor does it have an oven door. I am uncertain if you can use one with the oven, as it appears to lack a ledge for the door to seal against. - With the stand your looking at 1700$+ I believe. You might make up the difference in cost of wood too heat and cook with between the Roundboy and a Forno Bravo oven over a few years.

      So I ordered the Giardino 70 oven for 1987$ shipped. I am building a wood stand like Kevin0422 did, except out of pressure treated wood. I think the whole job is settling in at around $2250.00, and I won't regret it.


      • #4
        Re: Help deciding

        Your logic is exactly where I am at. The folks at Roundboy are really nice and local. Seems to have good feedback. Assembly is easy and I can fabricate a door. I really like the idea of going with a local entrepreneur. 90 minute drive. Actually for the money I would take it over the Giardino 70 (which is really nice but for me $2,000 is a stretch . They are almost the same size. The Portuguese ovens are 32" and i can get one without a chimney (The folks who sell them say functionally they are the same as the one with ) for $1100. It is the weight - assembled and getting it onto the stand, plus I have not seen anyone who owns one report on them. I am really interested in that stand, and am going to look at the one you mentioned. I figure I get one and use it a lot, I give the old one to my kid and get a better one. I do that with a lot of things.


        • #5
          Re: Help deciding

          Had a chat with the wife and I think she helped me decide The Roundboy will be easy to install (hours, not days), no heavy lifting - as in a 1500 pound assembled oven, can be disassembled if i want to move it or give it away or sell it, and is a cost effective introduction to owning and using a pizza oven, given I pick it up myself and save money. Smart lady.

          That wood base, though, is the way I am going. 6x6 legs for sure. Thanks for comments. Going to start that base this weekend.


          • #6
            Re: Help deciding

            Originally posted by horrocks007 View Post

            The Roundboy oven seemed good if I was mostly interested in cooking pizza and bread. I don't think that it has the heat retention needed to slow roast a turkey, nor does it have an oven door. I am uncertain if you can use one with the oven, as it appears to lack a ledge for the door to seal against. - With the stand your looking at 1700$+ I believe. You might make up the difference in cost of wood too heat and cook with between the Roundboy and a Forno Bravo oven over a few years.
            That Roundboy looks interesting - but my guess is you'll grow out of it after a few parties.

            First - it doesn't look like there's much insulation. Is there any at all in the floor? how much "loose insulation" coats the barrel?

            The oven installation guide says "Do not touch the oven while firing" and "Do not push on or lean against the oven." That concerns me. Does it lose that much heat - that the exterior of the oven gets hot - even when insulated? And why can't you "lean" on the oven?

            How thick is the refractory material? Is it 1"? 2"? the performance of it will depend somewhat on the mass of the oven. If it's thin - heat loss will be an issue. It'll heat up fast - but cool down fast as well.

            I'll bet that once you add in the cost of proper insulation - the cost of the Roundboy is at least equivalent to entry level FB ovens.

            Djm3801 - I hope it works out for you - please be sure to update everyone on how it turns out.


            • #7
              Re: Help deciding

              Originally posted by djm3801 View Post
              there is supposed to be a 50 foot clearance between anything that burns wood and anything combustible, .
              That sounds insane.
              Check out my pictures here:

              If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


              • #8
                Re: Help deciding

                50' clearance? Really?
                Being from Ohio originally, I know there are more than a few fireplaces in that part of the country, not to mention a lot of brick bar-b-ques that were built and very popular in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. What are these people doing?
                I can't believe people would let such a crazy legislation pass.



                • #9
                  Re: Help deciding

                  If you contact a local Forno Bravo Dealer you might be able to get a better deal if your willing to pick it up.


                  • #10
                    Re: Help deciding

                    Aren't those Portuguese the ones with the flue Inside the dome? Bad idea all around. No matter who makes the oven, insulation is ALL important. And wood stands usually aren't stable and rigid enough for masonry ovens.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                    • #11
                      Re: Help deciding

                      Yeah, 50'! 100 foot circle of non combustibles. Everyone lives on 2 acres, right? Absurd! I bought a pool heater. Called my propane company for a tank. NO PROBLEM! Then they asked where I lived. Oh - well I can tell you where you CAN't put it!! about 10 feet from from anything combustible or any source of spark. Never installed it. Do not want a tank in the middle of my yard.

                      About the oven - I have smokers - I guess that is illegal too! - and things for larger items so it may be some chicken, but mostly pizza and breads. I am calling about the thickness of the refractory innards. You set that dome, put up front and side walls, then fill it with Vermiculite and put on the roof. $1300 picked up. Base like I saw here made of PT wood about $100. I have a LOT left from building my desk last year. 6x6 legs, 2x6 side bracing, 5/4 on the shelf I figure. Mostly spend it on cement top and perhaps casters.

                      Actually, newer model of the Portugal ovens either have NO chimney OR a chimney in the doorway and not in the oven. I have called a couple of local FB places and the Giardino 70 will go $1900. Then the outer coating and work associated with it. GREAT stove no doubt. I have seen the ones with the chimney sticking out of the center... Agree not a good idea.

                      Thanks for all the input.


                      • #12
                        Re: Help deciding

                        If you get the Roundboy oven and want to build a wood stand, you will need to invest in FB Board, or an equivalent for the hearth. You need that for insulation. The roundboy oven's skimp on insulation and a lot of heat is lost out of the bottom. - I think that adds more cost- Are we getting closer to the Giardino 70 yet?

                        Have you tried calling Fred's Music and BBQ for the oven? He gave me a good price if I could have it shipped to a commercial location.

                        My oven will be cooking in a month, if you want to trek over here to see it before you commit to a roundboy your welcome to come over.


                        • #13
                          Re: Help deciding

                          Was at Fred's last year to buy a Digi Q. Great little device. Already called them. Good people.


                          • #14
                            Re: Help deciding

                            Well, got the Roundboy. And then it rained here in PA. And rained. Fired it up for real on Labor Day weekend. Made dough the night before and cooked up a little Linguista - a Portuguese sausage like chorizo. My kid worked in a pizzeria some 20 years ago for 2 months. Started banging out nice 10 - 11" pies - marargita, pesto and ricotta, linguista and mushroms and onions and a Avocado and pepper jack for the heck of it that was very good. The stove fired up nicely and held its heat well - tossing in a hunk of wood maybe every 20 minutes. Given the price and labor - 3 hours - and performance, I am pleased. The metal stand was well worth the money.

                            Oven was still warm the next day. Not important to me but decent at holding heat, considering I did not build a monster base. Going to put a little Roxul rock wool insulation batts under the base at the top of the stand (cause I have it) but seems fine as it. Going to do more this weekend and some pretzels and focaccia. Owners Harry and Karl very helpful.
                            Last edited by djm3801; 09-16-2011, 04:52 PM. Reason: spelling


                            • #15
                              Re: Help deciding

                              Hi Guys,
                              I am a Forno Bravo 'lurker' in the same scenario... not sure what to choose, and on a somewhat limited budget. I have base built, and hearth deck formed & soon to be poured. I just can't decide on what oven to purchase(don't have the time to build a brick oven like I had hoped). In my research i found a guy importing what he calls a 'Volta 100', made buy a company in Italy called "Sunday", part of the MCZ group. Looks to be VERY SIMILAR to the Casa2G from Forno Bravo. So, i'm trying to decide the following:

                              Casa2G 100, 40" - $2400 plus ~$700 for crating/shipping = $3100

                              Volta 100, 39.3" - $1600 plus ~$200 for shipping = $1800

                              The Volta cast oven does not include any insulation package, so that is probably about $300 difference. I had planned to just go the vermicrete & loose fill vermiculite route for a fraction of the cost, so not sure if this can truly be considered a true difference.

                              Even with the insulation package, it looks like it will cost me an additional $1000 to go the Forno Bravo route(granted, ~$500 is shipping/crating difference).

                              The Volta product looks nice, however I can't find much information on it, besides what is on his website(and bits and pieces on European websites). Says it is casted from ALUTEC®... but I can't find any information on that brand on the web after a quick search. Kinda alarms me a bit. However, documentation for the product looks good. Just not sure if I should risk it....

                              Thanks in advance for your help/thoughts!