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brick or fire brick - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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brick or fire brick

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  • brick or fire brick

    how much more heat loss in normal brick vs fire brick iam only going to use the oven to cook maybe 4 pizzas at a time the oven is a 36 inch with a 3 1/2 vermiculite under were the floor will be and around the dome will be a 1 to 2 inches vermiculite the a 4 inch brick wall and 2 to 3 inches of vermiculte on top of the dome so do i realy need to spend the extra monney on fire brick

  • #2
    Re: brick or fire brick

    I have used solid clay bricks that were recycled from a 92 yr old fence. I have only just finished my oven and cooked twice now but they work just fine and I have no cracking yet. I had the top of the dome at over 400C yesterday and the same place 20 hrs later with no door attached just a few bricks placed in front still measures at 120C. Check out my build on the link and there are photos on this site as well. Good luck which ever way you go and we would like to know which country you are in.

    Picasa Web Albums - rodneyaf - Pizza oven


    • #3
      Re: brick or fire brick

      Well, I think the issue with regular brick isn't so much the heat retention. The problem can arise with the continual cycle of heating and cooling which will cause regular clay bricks to flake and crack over time.


      • #4
        Re: brick or fire brick

        I know of clay brick ovens that have been in use for 20yrs and there has been no problem. You will get some spalling but I am told this happens on the cool down cycle and that is not going to affect the taste of the pizzas.
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Re: brick or fire brick

          Members from "down under" have had pretty good success with what they call pressed red bricks, which have been used in construction there for a long time. I'm pretty sure they are a much better brick than a standard brick found in the US. I would not recommend using the standard bricks found at the home improvement stores, they have been proven to spall, crack, and crumble in no time.....unless you enjoy REALLY crunchy pizza, stick with firebricks.
          I guess the question is, where are you located?



          • #6
            Re: brick or fire brick

            I want to see this builder cook four pizzas at a time in a 36 inch oven. Now there's a you-tube I would watch!
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


            • #7
              Re: brick or fire brick

              dmun, I didn't catch that part the first time, I had to reread. I sure hope he ment a TOTAL of 4 pizzas.....4 at the same time would be a comedy event for the ages. I remember how frantic I became the first time I attempted 2.



              • #8
                Re: brick or fire brick

                One time I had three personal-sized pies in the oven, but the third went in just before I took the first one out (and I had a helper).

                Once his oven is built and he's cooking, he'll understand
                Ken H. - Kentucky
                42" Pompeii

                Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album


                • #9
                  Re: brick or fire brick

                  Well as everyone has pointed out you are going to find it hard to cook four pizzas at once. Not that it's impossible, but it is a hard thing to do until you've cooked literally hundreds, if not thousands of pizzas.

                  Anyway, clay bricks will hold something like 15 - 20% less heat as compared to firebrick if that is useful. Clay bricks will be cheaper, but will crack & spall more. But it's still better to use clay bricks than have no oven at all.

                  Do you happen to live near a firebrick manufacturer? If so you might be able to buy factory seconds (firebricks) cheaper than clay bricks normally cost. Or keep an eye out on Craigslist. HTH

                  edited for clarity & typos
                  Last edited by pacoast; 08-20-2009, 11:56 AM.


                  • #10
                    Re: brick or fire brick

                    my father built a barbeque gill using standard brick and mortar over 60 years ago and was used on a weekly basis for 40 of those years, it is still in good condition, i chose to use regular brick for my oven based on that.


                    • #11
                      Re: brick or fire brick

                      I live in NZ. I can get good, old, pressed clay bricks for about 50 cents. Firebricks are about $5 plus. I am tempted to use old school clay bricks for the dome, and firebricks for the hearth.

                      Either this or I don't do it.

                      Can someone look into the future and tell me how things will turn out if I go in the direction of good quality, ancient clay bricks?




                      • #12
                        Re: brick or fire brick

                        If these bricks of yours have been fired at 1100F you will have no problems with your oven. The bricks i used came from a 100 yr old fence that were fired in a wood fired kiln and they are doing a great job and have not spalled at all after a fair bit of use.
                        Good luck with your build.


                        • #13
                          Re: brick or fire brick

                          I believe it has been said - "A firebrick oven is best, but a clay brick oven is better than no oven at all."


                          • #14
                            Re: brick or fire brick

                            im also in oz .. adelaide..
                            and i have also used the old reds that i picked up for free and most of them looked like they were part of a fire place or chimney or?...

                            anyway i had the oven for about year and a bit and can say there is no cracks nor spaling ... having said that the oven was used once a week on average!
                            furthermore the hearth of it is two layers of clay pavers (5") thick on top of (5") of perlite.. hope it helps!!

                            ps $3.50 per fire brick vs free reds.. after a year and a bit im very happy.. no worries at all also the whole project from go to finish came just under a grand!!


                            • #15
                              Re: brick or fire brick

                              I built my oven with all clay bricks, it's over a year old now and no problems.
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