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Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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.
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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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Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

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  • Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

    We manufacture low-duty firebrick for residential fireplaces, wood burning stoves and light industrial applications. Occasionally we receive questions about the suitability of our firebrick for use in pizza ovens. We have no reason to believe that our firebrick can't safely be used, but no real data to backup our believe save the MSDS sheet. Is there anything specific or measurable that makes a firebrick 'attractive' for use in a pizza oven? I'd love to hear your thoughts.



  • #2
    Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

    Welcome. We get so many questions about firebrick. We are glad to have an active member who is a firebrick manufacturer. Low duty firebrick, of the ordinary fireplace variety is what we recommend for oven building.

    It's good to have someone here who knows what he's talking about. Interest in brick ovens is increasing, and it could become more than a niche market for firebrick makers.

    I've often thought that a firebrick manufacturer could do a pallet loaded kit for brick ovens: the 150 firebricks, two bags of refractory mortar, some insulation sheet, and bags of vermiculite: The oven necessities that you can't get at home centers. You could have it trucked to any freight depot in the country, indeed to other countries like the UK where these supplies are exorbitantly overpriced.

    Thanks for being here. Hope you stick around. Maybe you should build a pompeii oven in your backyard, to get a feel for what we're doing in the forum.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

      Originally posted by WG Firebrick View Post
      . Is there anything specific or measurable that makes a firebrick 'attractive' for use in a pizza oven? .
      Price and availibility are the two most attractive things for this oven builder. After that, quality of the product and ease of use. Finally, customer service. However, I will always pay more for a product if I get good customer service. In dealing with a suppliler in my area the sales people had no idea about the contents of their fire bricks. I would ask questions about temperature ratings, alumina content and duty ratings and I would receive answers "like ...Uh...Uh...lots of people use these for ovens". If you had a specification sheet that did a comparrison between pizza oven temperatures and the specifications for your product it would be helpful.

      Welcome to the forum

      Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog


      • #4
        Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

        Wow! Thanks for the responses. The interest we've received has been enough to prompt us to explore some of the ideas mentioned, i.e. masonry oven kit, firebrick data sheets, etc. We'll be including more and more info on the web as it becomes available. I'll see what we can come up with as far as a comparison of pizza oven temps and recommended firebrick operating temperatures too.


        • #5
          Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

          Also, if you are a manufacturer, We would like to work with you to produce a unit that bridges the entry, has a tapered transition to a flue tile or stainless chimney unit, and a curved surface for the next row of firebrick. We have lots of cad designers, and woodworkers to produce forms.

          There'd also be a market for a plug for the top of the dome, which is the fussiest part of the dome to piece together with brick pieces.

          I don't know if your production facilities would accomodate larger-than-firebrick units.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

            Is there a rough sketch or photo of the shape you're interested in? We'd welcome the opportunity to take a look at it. There are a number of manufacturing limitations, but we do have some flexibility.

            Getting back to the question regarding oven temperatures and acceptable firebrick temperatures, low-duty firebrick are generally acceptable for temperatures up to 2000 degrees. They're fired at kiln temperatures of 2000 degrees. Ovens it seems are generally operated in the 600-700 degree range for pizzas and 400 degrees for bread. Is that temperature range close to accurate?


            • #7
              Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

              Contact James at FB as well...they are wizzes at this stuff...sounds like it could be a great relationship and cross marketing here...at least from my point of view!
              "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
              "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


              • #8
                Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                Originally posted by WG Firebrick View Post
                Ovens it seems are generally operated in the 600-700 degree range for pizzas and 400 degrees for bread. Is that temperature range close to accurate?
                Welcome WG...........seems some of the pyromaniacs on site cook pizza at 900F. Bread is a mine field and we have professional bakers that can give full details. Low duty firebricks are great for ovens and hopefully this can become a mutually beneficial liason.


                • #9
                  Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                  Welcome aboard WG,

                  You are very close with your temperature estimates. The ovens get over 1000F at various spots during firing, and pizza cooks in the 700-800+F range and bread in the 400-550F range. Low duty firebricks made for fireplaces work very well.

                  I should note that selling pizza oven kits (oven floor, dome, vent, door, insulation, etc.) is our real business. That's what puts food on the table for us. Our ovens are all made in Italy from custom refractory materials and purpose-made bricks.

                  At the same time, we are very happy supporting Pompeii oven builders and we are thrilled at how quickly our community is growing. It's good for everyone. The Pompeii oven e-book has been downloaded over 6,000 times, so there is definitely interest. :-)

                  If you folks are interested in doing some custom pieces to support Pompeii oven builders, we should talk. One option would be for you to make the pieces, and for us to sell them through the FB Store. We would be your customer.

                  My email address is james at fornobravo dot com.

                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces


                  • #10
                    Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                    Ok, Here are my ideas for custom refractory pieces for Pompeii builders:

                    This is the overall view. There are a pair of arches to span a 19 inch door opening, with notched sides to support firebricks to form a flue funnel. You will note the top is flat to accept an 8" refractory flue tile, or a transition plate for a stainless chimney unit.

                    There is also a tapered octagonal plug to complete the dome top, an fussy piece of work when done with brick pieces. If this is too massive to dry of fire, it could be made in two pieces.

                    Here is the dimensioned view of the arch:

                    Here is the dimensioned view of the plug:

                    This could be flat on top if it made it easier to produce.

                    (full size views in photo gallery, DXF available)

                    Pompeii builders; what do you think? Would these have made your life easier?
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                    • #11
                      Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                      Food for thought...when I fire my oven it is usually up to about 1100 degrees, then let it settle (equalize) down to 900 degrees for pizza, a bit hotter than some, but it works for me. Roasting usually starts with a 500 degree oven which tails off slowly during the bake, finally slow roasting - brisket, ribs, fresh ham shoulder all go in at around 325 degree, keep the door closed and several hrs later you have indescribably delicious meats and side dishes.
                      I know the brick yard I purchased from described his bricks as being low duty, wire cut bricks for fireplaces, also stated they were for up to 2400 degrees. No issues and I have been firing for about 10 months.



                      • #12
                        Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                        Great work as usual dmun. The arch/dome/flue transition is a subject that causes no end of grief and a kit of this kind must be a plus.

                        I'm not so sure on the dome keystone as it pre-supposes a perfect dome build and judging by the photos every one seems to be different and 'made to measure'


                        • #13
                          Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                          Thanks dmun. The shapes as illustrated are beyond our manufacturing capabilities. The engineer that designs our dies played around with them a bit, but didn't come up with anything that wasn't prohibitively expensive or possible with our particular process. I'm afraid we can't be of much help in this case.


                          • #14
                            Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                            How about half bricks? It seems that would save a lot of cutting............or am I mistaken.


                            • #15
                              Re: Firebrick suitable for pizza ovens

                              ".... and on the third day", etc etc.,but I shan't labour that point.
                              I reckon it was good that WG Firebrick took the time to even reply.
                              Because it's such a niche market, only a fool with money to burn would entertain the concept. (And then there's freight, eh.)
                              In our dreams maybe. Maybe?