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Smooth or Rough Domes? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Smooth or Rough Domes?

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  • Smooth or Rough Domes?

    I'm seeing both smooth and rough domes out there, Does it matter?

    Do we want a smooth dome specifically for pizza?

    We tend to build nice smooth good looking domes now...but why? Does a rough dome do any harm? Granite, the ones I've seen are rock based domes. It might even work better for a bake oven, maybe causing turbulence to keep the heat in???

    I guess the point might be that if you're using firebrick, you will have a relatively smooth dome surface and shoud not be too worried about it being perfect! ....don't let some roughness worry you too much.

    food for thought....here's are "flat" stone and rough stone dome examples
    Attached Files
    sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

  • #2
    Re: Smooth or Rough Domes?

    I have seen quite a few rough domes in the countryside here. The way it was explained to me, the local farmers were not very well off (contadini), and they made and grew just about everything they had and ate -- which included the ovens. Rather than use bricks, which had to be bought, many of the ovens are made from local rock. The domes are very rough, and it looks as though the builders hand selected the best stones for the cooking floor. Still, they are pretty wild.

    It has always sounded like a pretty tough life -- so much so that many of those families either moved into the cities to take factory jobs, or only had one child -- where the family would give everything they had to help him find a better life. The house we are renting was sold for next to nothing in the late 1940's, when the owners moved into Florence. The property has four houses and over 100 acres -- not a bad deal for the family that bought it.

    Wait a minute, this was suppose to be about ovens. Sorry about that.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces


    • #3
      Re: Smooth or Rough Domes?

      As I had explained in old messages, the flue (flux) of fire goes from the ignited embers, run facing the dome surface and goes out through to the door lintel, vent and chimney.
      When running facing the dome, any inconsistence in the surface will create a turbulence zone. This turbulence will be an obstacle to the hot gases flue, spending energy.
      More obstacles, more fuel.
      Smooth dome be always better.
      As a detail, we are talking about an almost imperceptible energy loose here. Nobody needs to be worried about the perfect finishing of the dome. Be happy.



      • #4
        Re: Smooth or Rough Domes?

        Hopefully a rough surface won't do any harm. I had a small saw, so to save time cutting my bricks into thirds for the dome, I made a thin cut, and then hit the brick with a hammer, leaving a rough surface.

        The only thing I'm worried about is brick pieces spalling into the food, but I think that will mostly happen while the oven is coming up to temperature, as the bricks are expanding and driving off moisture.
        I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:
        Il Forno Fumoso


        • #5
          Re: Smooth or Rough Domes?

          There is rough, and then there is rough. A dome built from found stone is rough.

          Chris, your dome is made from firebrick with should do a much better job with spalling. I've had bits of red brick fall in with my Scott oven, but that was made with basic red clay bricks. I think you are in great shape.
          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces