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Trying to save a poorly made 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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Trying to save a poorly made oven!

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  • Trying to save a poorly made oven!

    Yesterday was the third time I've made pizzas in a wood oven at craft shows held at a historical farm nearby. It is loads of fun. I need some help from you all on what can be done for this poor oven, though.

    The oven is not terribly well built. Single layer of firebrick, and then what looks like about 4" of cement. Outside of the oven can get to 350+ when firing. Cement is cracked. Natural stone base. Large stone across the front the spans the ashdump has cracked badly. Red brick chimney and where it meets cement is cracked very badly. The oven is not sheltered so the cracks let water in. Oven is only used a few times a year, but is something that people really enjoy seeing and I enjoy baking pizzas in.

    Obviously, some sort of roof sounds like a good idea. What else can be done to help the oven keep holding on for another few years at least?

    I should have got some pictues, but got busy and forgot. I drive by the farm quite a bit, so I'll try and get some soon.

  • #2
    Re: Trying to save a poorly made oven!

    It sounds like you have a flair for cooking in that oven, and it sounds like fun!

    How old is the oven? Is it just cracked, or is it crumbling too?

    Without seeing it, it is premature to respond, but, not having all the facts hasn't stopped me from voting or giving my opinion on many topics

    You need to patch the cracks, insulate, and take steps to keep it dry (I'm assuming the oven is worth the effort it will take to proceed).
    • Patch with a mixture of three parts sand, one part lime, one part Portland cement and one part fireclay (with water of course).
    • Insulate with a ceramic insulation and cover with an enclosure or a stucco layer according to the Pompeii oven plans, (Add to cart and checkout for free).
    • Be sure the oven is very dry before you start the process, it will increase your chances of success.
    The basic design and construction process to keep an oven dry are explained in Fornobravo's Pompeii oven plans, you can adapt them to your situation, I'm sure.

    Good luck
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.


    • #3
      Re: Trying to save a poorly made oven!


      "The oven is not terribly well built. Single layer of firebrick, and then what looks like about 4" of cement. Outside of the oven can get to 350+ when firing."

      Sound s like there is no insulation around the dome.A roof would help too. Also a fire in it the day before, (to drive off retained moisture), you want to cook would help.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.