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Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!! - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.
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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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Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

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  • Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

    Hi everyone, this is my first time ever on a forum so let's see how we go...

    I am renovating an old stone cottage on my parents farm for me to live and the kitchen has a fireplace where there was once an old style cast iron oven. I would love to brick it up into a wood-fired oven to cook pizzas, breads and whatever i may be able to cook in it... Is there any reason this would not work?? The chimney would be at the back... Is it a problem if i brick out from the original fire place to give myself more room? Would i need to line the inside to make sure it is properly sealed as it is very old? Could i put shelves in it?

    If someone is interested in giving me some feedback then i would love to share some photo's...

    Positive vibes

  • #2
    Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

    It can be done, but you will face some challenges you'll face. First is the chimney. A chimney with an opening at the rear of the oven will allow heat to escape, and you'll never reach pizza temperatures. You would have to reroute the oven flue to match the existing chimney, which could require some demolition. Another solution is to bend the flue from the oven vent back over the dome and then route it to the existing chimney. The "beavertail dome" demonstrated at the link below could give you an idea of how to do it.

    MHA News - 2006 Meeting - Backyard Oven with Peter Moore

    Second, you have some spatial limitations unless the fireplace is huge or you have a free hand to demolish what you need. Space will dictate size, placement, insulation, etc. in your build.


    • #3
      Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

      Hi azatty
      Looked through the pictures at that link. What advantage has that almond shape dome over the more conventional and appararently simpler construction of a hemispherical dome?

      Also I couldn't see the reason why the chimney/flue was routed to the back in this case?

      Judging by the smoke marks at the front of what seems a pretty large entry, that design doesn't draw all that well which is OK outdoors but not recommended if what I understand is Rynos plan to build it indoors.

      I know it's not your design but I just like to understand peoples reasons for doing stuff.
      Last edited by Amac; 06-05-2012, 02:41 AM.
      Link to my WFO build


      • #4
        Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

        Does something like this give you any ideas?
        flexible flue liner chimney kit kits for stoves and open fir


        • #5
          Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!


          I don't know what advantage (if any) the beavertail gives. I agree that the shape seemes inefficient, and I see no real advantage to it in this case. The Masonry Heater Association comes up with designs every so often and builds them for kicks at its annual workshop.

          However, Ryno wants to build inside an existing fireplace. The first problem that came to mind was the chimney routing. I remembered seeing the chimney design on the beavertail, and it's a *possible* solution to the issue. The mason who designed the oven apparently puts the chimney at the back of all his ovens, and that's how he did it for that particular design. One could probably accomplish the same thing with pipe. My guess is that the mason is frequently faced with indoor installations and had to vome up with a solution that would work within a traditional chimney chase.


          • #6
            Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

            I've seen the chimney designs like this called "squirrel tails" (there are some on this forum e.g aceves), and you call the teardrop shape a "beavertail" - so they have grafted a squirel tail onto a beaver tail - I think that's carrying animal experimentation a step too far
            Last edited by Amac; 06-05-2012, 08:13 AM.
            Link to my WFO build


            • #7
              Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

              My first oven had its flue at the apex of the dome. It worked very well, but you do lose a certain amount of heat straight out the top because thats where the flame wants to go. One of the advantages is that it draws really well there will be no problem with the thing smoking. You would need to make an arrangement so you can close it off for baking and roasting though. I had a cap with a smaller hole in it which acted like a choke and another plug that i placed into it to shut the oven fully. another advantage is that you don't have an entry to have to work past.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


              • #8
                Re: Converting a fireplace into a wood-fired oven!!

                Hi Amac,

                The reason why I did my vent/flue towards the top of my dome was purely aesthetics/design. I wanted a specific roof design to go with my WFO, so I figured out a way to make the vent and flue work together with the roof sloping backwards towards the top. Let me tell you, this vent design works GREAT! No smoke coming out the front, plenty of draw up the vent, and no issues with heat retention.

                Ryno, in your case, I think a flexible flue might work. But make sure this type of flue can take the heat, as it gets super hot in there!