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Smooth or Rough Domes? - 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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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
    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