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No insulation - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.

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.

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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  • No insulation

    I've been reading over this site, and keep hearing about the large amounts of masonry and insulation needed for a complete oven project. If I am not concerned about effeciency, burning a bunch of wood, or how much heat my oven has in it the next day, what's the harm in having the floor and dome of an oven only? With no other insulation?

    Will the oven not work at all? Will it burn the neighbors' kids when I cook in the driveway? Will I simply burn more wood than normal, and lose all my heat relatively quickly?

    Also, what would be the downside(s) to casting or pouring my entire dome with a high temp castable and not bricking it at all?

    Just curious,

    Greg Fly

  • #2
    Re: No insulation

    The main argument for insulation is time. An insulated oven heats only the masonry that you want, and heats up quickly. You can start a fire when you get home from the day's activities, and be cooking a couple of hours later. A poorly insulated oven takes half a day to heat up, and may never reach pizza temperatures at all.

    Also, most of us don't live on woodlots, and have to buy our firewood, which is increasingly expensive as the price of oil heads up. A well insulated oven will get to pizza oven temperatures with a couple of armloads of wood, instead of half a pile.

    As a final bonus, all that heat has to go somewhere. An insulated oven is hot in front of the door, and the top of the chimney, but cool every where else. It's much more pleasant to work around.

    Several members have used castable refractory concrete to build their domes. You will have to research this carefully if you decide to go this route. Many of these are insulating, rather than solid, and not suitable for oven use. Others require curing at temperatures higher than our cooking ovens will ever reach to achieve strength. I used brick because I like the look of a brick oven. Around here, firebrick is cheap and easy to get.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2