web analytics
Oven Size / Ease of use - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


1 of 2 < >


Hello, Forno Bravo Community Forum members.

As many may have noticed already, the Community Forum site was briefly down today. While working on scheduled routine maintenance, we encountered an error when trying to add a software update. As the site is now back up and running, some of you may notice that some recent data has been misplaced from November 10th up to today. We are currently working on resolving the issue. The forum has full operational capabilities and we encourage all forum members to continue actively posting in the threads.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this issue may have caused you. The Forno Bravo family values each and every member of our community. If you have any issues or concerns, please feel free to let us know on our issues thread here:


Thank you for understanding.
2 of 2 < >

Forno Bravo Forum Thread Message

Hello, Forno Bravo Community Forum Members!

The Forno Bravo team has heard the feedback in regards to the community forum. We wanted to take the time to re-enforce our commitment to a fully engaged Forum with professional moderation.

Our top priority as a company is to fix all forum errors and issues that you are experiencing. As we are swiftly working on these problems, we want to say that we highly value the Forum Bravo Community Forum and every single community forum member.

We have set up this thread so that every member can address any concerns, issues and questions about the forum. Please feel free to ask whatever you would like in regards to the forum; let us know what issues you are experiencing so we can work on resolving them as fast as possible. However, we stress that we would like constructive engagement, so please be specific about the issue you are experiencing.

Thank you for all of your patience and continued support.

Link to topic: http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...with-new-forum
See more
See less

Oven Size / Ease of use

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Oven Size / Ease of use

    Hello Everyone,

    I saw the Forno July newsletter today and it went into capacity of an oven. It seemd to me for home use there would not be a need to go too big because volume would not be high and cook time is fast. However, how easy is a small oven to use? Are the newletter capacities difficult to use without a lot of experience? In other words, how much more forgiving are big ovens?

    Pizza Oven Size | Pizza Oven Throughput


  • #2
    Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

    I'm a fan of small ovens. The wood fired oven comes from a tradition in Italy where you have dozens of uncles and aunts, grandparents etc. etc. those movies of the huge long tables outside in the garden in the sun etc. etc. the reality today is that our families are smaller and there is little need for a large oven unles you want to roast a whole pig or goat. How big is the standard domestic oven?
    The big advantage of a smaller oven is its economy of fuel use. It won't take a shorter time to heat up, that is more a function of the wall and floor thickness, but if you only want to cook two loaves of bread or pizza for three then the small oven is ideal. It can still cook pizzas for a crowd, but you're probably down to one pizza at a time. We can comfortably cook pizzas for 30 and have done parties up to 70 with our 21", but there are times that I wish it were bigger, although there are many more times that I'm glad it is so small. You tend to use a small oven more often.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

      I think it depends on who you are, what your needs are, and the availability/cost of wood.

      I have what I would imagine is a rather large oven as far as residential ovens go. It is a barrel vault style and measures 36 inches wide by 40 inches deep. I love it and wouldn't want it to be any smaller. I think a larger oven is much easier to use. That being said...I think that it probably takes more wood to heat it. I'm not really clear on how much less though because I think the rate at which an oven heats is more limted by the rate at which firebricks can accept energy than any other factor. Said another way...the vast majority of the energy generated by burning wood goes out the chimney because firebricks can't possible soak up all that heat before it goes out the chimney.

      My guess is that a higher percentage of energy released in burning wood is captured by a larger oven than by a smaller one. I say that simply because the hot gases travel across more surface area in a larger oven than a smaller one. The bottom line is that I think it's complicated. I'd love to see some data on how much a given quanity of wood increases the temp of varying sized ovens. I expect that there is not a linear relationship to the size. But that's a guess.

      A big oven has very clear advantages. I can cook ten loaves of bread at one time...I can cook four pizzas at one time (but that's keeping me plenty busy and would prefer to cook no more than two or three at once)...I can cook a whole bunch of things at once...or I can cook one small pizza. I tend to cook a lot in my oven. I entertain a lot. I bake bread. I use my oven very very frequently. I don't think my oven has dropped to ambient temperature for more than ten percent of the time over the last three months. If the situation were such that I only cooked a pizza or two for my immediate family...I might feel different.

      It's a choice thing...I like the fact that the big oven allows you more flexibility.



      • #4
        Re: Oven Size / Ease of use


        If I had an oven like yours it would probably become a priority in my life, which I can't really afford in terms of time consumed ( that is a compliment in case you misinterpreted it )
        On the question of fuel usage I weighed the amount of fuel used in a dry oven and it worked out to 4kg to reach 350C in my 21" oven. That makes cooking one loaf a distinct possibility on an evening whim.

        Last edited by david s; 07-28-2012, 04:38 AM.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

          I've got the 28 inch primavera and based upon reading some posts, figured I'd eventually want to 'trade up'. Now, I can't imagine that ever happening. For me, the size is perfect. I can't imagine wanting to cook more than one pizza at a time, the work is making them, not cooking them for me. And I can fit anything else I want right now. Love this little oven.


          • #6
            Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

            Thank you for the info. I am not really worried about fuel usage otherwise I would use my house oven. There is the fun factor and taste that I am after but I dont want to burn pizzas because I cannot manage them. I have a friend that has an oven in the 40+ range and I have never seen him handle more than two pizzas. To be honest, they cannot keep the oven flowing with eoungh pizzas.

            On a smaller oven, do you tend to over cook or burn the side of the pizza next to the fire?

            Thank you,



            • #7
              Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

              Hi Anthony!

              I have a 1 meter Casa and after having a moderate size oven I can't imaging going down to a 28 like ronh. It "feels" way tight and constricted. As it is I have wood and coals filling most of the right half of my oven and bake pies on the left. A 1 meter oven gives you plenty of room. OTOH it takes about 12 pounds of dough to have enough bread in the oven to give a great crust without major humidificaiton efforts so... there are advantages to smaller ovens! While many on this listserve have bigger ovens, I think a 36 is a really nice compromise between small and large.

              Good Luck!


              • #8
                Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

                Apparently...everyone is happy with the oven they have. Beautiful! I think, as a rule, a person who puts an oven in their backyard puts a great deal of thought and research to the project. ( I know I did.) I guess the result of that process is that we are likely to end up with what we are looking for in an oven.

                David...that is a very impressive stat. on the wood! What level of saturation is that? In other words, how much masonry have you heated to that temp? Is that an IR reading off the surface, or is a thermocouple reading from some given number of inches of brick from the hot face?

                I need to weigh some wood to generate that type of data. I'd like to know that stuff.

                On a happy note...had a cocktail party at my house last night for sixty-five people as a pre-party for my thirty year high school reunion (The reunion was today.). Cooked five large sheet pan (approx 12x18) sized foccia bread pizzas right as people began to arrive, put them on some platters, and put away my peel to enjoy the party with my guests. I threw a bunch of logs in the oven and the roaring fire visible through the entry served as a great backdrop for the party around the pool. In conversation it turns out that one of my old good buddy classmates who I'd lost contact with is in the process of removing and re-planting several old citrus and avocado orchards which are past their prime. In the process they are also clearing a bunch of eucalyptis and several large oaks which have died. It seems that wood availability has just gone through the roof for me. Oak for a hundred bucks a cord, avocado for a bit less. Basically, just enough to cover the cost of his farm hands to cut it and drop it in my driveway. Two cords of oak are coming this week.


                • #9
                  Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

                  "that is a very impressive stat. on the wood! What level of saturation is that? In other words, how much masonry have you heated to that temp? Is that an IR reading off the surface, or is a thermocouple reading from some given number of inches of brick from the hot face?"

                  It is not as fully saturated as I would usually do for cooking pizza. I was just interested to find out how much wood I'd used to get to that temp. The walls of my ovenware 2" thick, floor 2.5 " and it took about 1hr 15 mins to get to that temp. My thermometer is about half way up the dome. If I'd used an infrared thermometer at the apex of the dome on the inside I'm sure it would have read a lot higher. The dome was completely white at that point. I think the fuel used is probably a function of oven volume. Of course the bigger the oven will mean the bigger the fire and of course the great er the volume of fuel consumed.
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


                  • #10
                    Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

                    I'm sure you're correct on that David. I'm just curious as to what does what. I need to weigh some wood and see how much oak it takes to fully saturate my oven. My guess, based on past usage, is that it takes about tweny-five pounds of wood to do the job. I base that estimate on the fact that I typically start my fire with about six pieces of wood which are each about three to five inches in diameter and about eighteen inches long. I let that burn for thirty to forty-five minutes and then add two or three more of the same size. I figure on average they weigh a bit under three pounds each.

                    That amount of wood will saturate my oven to the point I can cook a bunch of ninety second pizzas, bread the next day, and slow cook meat (like a pork shoulder) the day after that.

                    I am not counting the wood used to keep active flame over the pizza as I'm cooking them. That depends how many pizzas I cook, but it's probably an additional two pounds of wood per ten pizzas.

                    These ovens are fun.


                    • #11
                      Re: Oven Size / Ease of use

                      Apart from fuel usage. The size of the oven also dictates the length of the handles on the tools you use to work it. My oven has a wide mouth which gives good access but does not help heat retention. It also has a very shallow entry which makes it easier to work and takes up less space, but does not leave me room to preheat stuff.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.