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Minimum Oven Diameter? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Minimum Oven Diameter?

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  • Minimum Oven Diameter?

    Hi All,
    I am just curious if there is a minimum size oven one should attempt, from an efficiency point of view (or any other)? I am looking at constructing a 28" oven; a bit small, I know, but the footprint of the slab has been somewhat pre-determined by an existing concrete pour. I know at least one other on this forum has constructed a smaller oven such as this, and from his photos/comments, it seems to cook pizza. Any thoughts?
    Thanks for any input,
    gene

  • #2
    Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

    It will work. I think most of us with larger ovens (34 inches up) probably enjoy our extra working space but... as long as you are making one pizza at at time (and most of us do, I think) the 28 is quite workable. You will probably end up with better technique than most of us for you will need it!

    You will probably need better wood too (to minimize sparks and such).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

      It will certainly work for one at a time pizzas. One of our Ausie members actually swears by his 21" oven that he is able to wheel in and out of the back of his truck. You will certainly use less wood and have faster heat ups, provided you insulate properly.

      RT

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      • #4
        Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

        I am looking at constructing a 28" oven; a bit small, I know, but the footprint of the slab has been somewhat pre-determined by an existing concrete pour...
        There are a few builders who have poured a cantilevered support slab a few inches outside the circumference of their base. I'll bet with a 4" thick support slab and a little extra rebar one could extend the slab 6" all the way around a base.

        If you could engineer this, I think the added oven size (34-36?) would add to the workability and versatility of your oven.

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        • #5
          Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

          One thing not mentioned is the height and width of the oven entrance. If you stick with the normal proven height of the entrance being .6 to .65 of of the oven's radius then your door height will be 8.5" to 9" inches high. This might be a limitation for doing larger roasts or turkeys. Keep it in mind..

          Chris

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          • #6
            Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

            My oven is 21" diam and is fine for cooking anything my family will eat. The opening is large enough to fit a 5Kg turkey. A pizza party of 30 or so is no problem, but 50+ is pushing it. My best was 70 pizzas in one night. A smaller oven is easier and cheaper to build and requires much less fuel so you tend to use it far more often.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

              "much less fuel so you tend to use it far more often."

              David makes a real good point. I like my 40 incher but only tend to fire it up if we are going to have a group over.

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              • #8
                Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                Thanks for the replies. I'll probably go with the 28" dome. David S, what are your opening dimensions for your 21"?
                Thanks again,
                gene

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                • #9
                  Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                  15 1/2" x 6 1/2"
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                    do you have any action photos of cooking pizza in your 21" oven?

                    I have built a square WFO of similar size and having trouble with the pie being too close to the fire/coals. This is causing the cornice to burn before the top is cooked, even though the dome is white hot

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                    • #11
                      Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                      Originally posted by TylerDavis View Post
                      do you have any action photos of cooking pizza in your 21" oven?

                      I have built a square WFO of similar size and having trouble with the pie being too close to the fire/coals. This is causing the cornice to burn before the top is cooked, even though the dome is white hot
                      No, I don't think I have any photos of pizza cooking in action, I'm usually too busy shovelling them in and out.
                      We usually find that cooking 9" pizzas works pretty well and sometimes I remove half the coals before cooking and maintain a fire on the side.
                      Last edited by david s; 04-16-2014, 07:42 PM.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                        My dome is 28" and I have the same problem sometimes; a fire brick or two between the coals and pizza as a shield works well.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                          After one minute or so you should rotate the pizza 180 degrees. But this applies for all WFO's too, not just small ones.
                          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Minimum Oven Diameter?

                            I put a little wall of firebrick between the fire and roasting meat when I am cooking without the oven being heated to the degree where it will maintain the cooking without a fire. It is only used when the timing is out but it works (along with a bit of alfoil). Never for pizza though, just keep it moving.
                            Cheers ......... Steve

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