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Larger Oven Design Help

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  • Larger Oven Design Help

    Ok after much back and forth and deliberation and good tips on everything from twin ovens to coal ovens to solar ovens (ok I just made that last one up), the Mongo has decided to find the space for an oven even if it means moving locations from the current cramped one. What Mongo needs to know (Mongo likes to refer to himself in the third person to feel like a big man) is what size you guys think I...I mean he...I mean I need to comfortably be able to fit 4, yes Four, 15" (Fifteen Inch) pizzas in at one time. I know I can fit two-three in a 42" (these will all be internal dimensions I'm quoting here) oven, but I really want that extra space for cooking other items and the capacity for four if I really want it. I have come up with somewhere in the range of about 50" - 54". What do you think?

    I would imagine a little bigger oven means bigger fire but I'm prepared to deal with that. Also I would like to get some feedback on landing sizes and door sizes and internal oven height measurements for this size oven. I have read somewhere on here it's about a 5 to 8 ratio of door height to cooking chamber height, or say 60%...but when I'm not sure about the oven height that doesn't help me much (note: I want to build the lower roof style oven).

    ...and just so ya know I've got about 240 bricks on order which I think should cover it up to about a 54" oven.

    Whatdyathink?

    thanks and cheers,

    Mongo

  • #2
    Re: Larger Oven Design Help

    Mongo,
    once you get your oven up to temperature and you are cooking your pizzas in 90 seconds or there abouts, how many pizzas do you want to cook in an hour?
    The amount of room taken up in your oven by the burning logs and coals will also decide on your optimum oven size with your 4 X 15" pizzas.
    I have built a 40" Pompeii and used only around 120 fire bricks, the dome bricks cut in half and the hearth laid on the larger surface (3.5" thick). The front arch and vent were built with standsrd clay bricks.
    I reckon you will need close to your 240 bricks for a 50"oven.
    With a 50" diameter, one wouls assume that you would end up with a 25" dome height and when the openning os around 60% of dome height, a 15" high entrance would suffice.
    The width may be decided by your pizza max width plus a little for comfortable placement and retrieval, say 20".
    Good luck.

    Neill
    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


    Neill’s Pompeiii #1
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
    Neill’s kitchen underway
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Larger Oven Design Help

      Originally posted by nissanneill View Post
      Mongo,
      once you get your oven up to temperature and you are cooking your pizzas in 90 seconds or there abouts, how many pizzas do you want to cook in an hour?
      The amount of room taken up in your oven by the burning logs and coals will also decide on your optimum oven size with your 4 X 15" pizzas.
      I have built a 40" Pompeii and used only around 120 fire bricks, the dome bricks cut in half and the hearth laid on the larger surface (3.5" thick). The front arch and vent were built with standsrd clay bricks.
      I reckon you will need close to your 240 bricks for a 50"oven.
      With a 50" diameter, one wouls assume that you would end up with a 25" dome height and when the openning os around 60% of dome height, a 15" high entrance would suffice.
      The width may be decided by your pizza max width plus a little for comfortable placement and retrieval, say 20".
      Good luck.

      Neill
      I'm only in a small city so my pizzas per hour at a peak time would only hit 20-25, which I realize is well below what a bigger oven can do - but I want to have that room to put other menu items in there at the same time as well (that may take longer to cook). Using some graph paper and laying out the 15" "pizzas" I came up with the range of say 48" to 54" internal. I guess one problem I'm having is never having fired one I don't know how much room the coals will take up once they are raked over to the side and aprox. how close one can place a pizza to said coals (6"? 12"?). It ain't easy being a newb

      I guess the width of the opening isn't as important as the height then? It's more for placement and retrieval (sounds militaristic now)?...or if it's too wide then I'm thinking maybe it affects the convenction and heat loss? I guess I'll go with what you say of just wide enough.

      Thanks for the tips - good stuff there.

      le Mongo

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Larger Oven Design Help

        I have to ask also...have you been in the pizza business before?...making pizzas commercially?...if not are you going or have you gone to any of the training programs by FB. Reason I ask is it will be rather dicey to keep track of more than two or three pizzas at a time when you have 90 seconds to 2 minutes cook time. I am pretty good at throwing a pizza and don't think I could keep up with spinning and topping pizzas in less than 2 minutes.
        If you can my hat is off but, those would be some of my concerns. Oh, I sometimes get a pizza within about 2-3 inches of the coals but, gets even more dicey then to avoid serious char!
        Dutch
        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

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        • #5
          Re: Larger Oven Design Help

          Mongo,
          i appreciate what you are trying to achieve but nothing teaches like experience.
          Although I have had only minimal experience with my Pompeii but that is enough to pull one into line with the limitations of cooking and what you can cook in them at any one time.
          We know and I believe that you can cook anything in them, BUT if you have the oven up around the 500°C mark for pizzas, then you ain't gonna cook much else in there without constant watching and turning to prevent/reduce burning! You are looking at temps double that of conventional ovens!
          After cooking pizzas in my oven, the fire was almost out but hot coals still remained, so I decided to try some breads, made and proofed the dough as required, 2 different types and put into the oven with a temporary door on. They looked great so removed them and cut in half to find that they were quire doughy in the centre, so put them back in and cooked further until the crusts were a little scorched. See:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f25/...-veg-2158.html
          Russell Jeavons resautant (a well known author in wood ovens here in Adelaide South Australia) has 2 ovens going in his restaurant and has them at different temps to cook all the different meals for his customers.
          See:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f27/...alia-1930.html
          Hope this helps you to consider what you can or might be limited to do.

          Regards.

          Neill
          Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

          The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


          Neill’s Pompeiii #1
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
          Neill’s kitchen underway
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Larger Oven Design Help

            Well, if he needs anything seared...

            or broiled...

            He's good. <shrugging smilie here>
            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

            "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
            [/CENTER]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Larger Oven Design Help

              This forum is really an invaluable resource I must say. Thanks for all the feedback/info. guys. Ya I am in the pizza business now doing thin crusts in pans in a gas deck oven but I am a newb when it comes to the wood burning. I definitely don't want to go to all this trouble of building one only to find it's too big or too small. Good point too about the two ovens with different temps. What I was thinking is I wanted the ability to sear and broil but really I wanted that extra space to put in some deep dish pizzas which would take longer. I assumed the high temp would work for that as well and they would take longer than 90 sec. so I would need a little extra room to keep those in while I could cook a couple 15" thin crusts.

              I think to do that I'm in the range of about a 50-52" oven which is 8-10" bigger than the largest plans on here of 42" as you know - doesn't seem like much but my one big concern is the heat up time - will it make that much more diff. with the bigger diameter?

              mOnGo

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                Plans? what are they? I drew my own up from information found within this forum to suit my location, proposed use and to a lesser degree, budget.
                All you need to progress is decissions!
                Choose the oven style, (often governed by your intended use), the internal diameter which leads to a formula for a recommended dome height, the amount of thermal mass that you require (for the duration or number of bakes that you need to bake your goods), the openning height and width of your openning, the door(s) required if at all, the chimney and vent area, the aesthetics, your budget and so on.
                Build what suits you and your needs. I agree that you require a certain size and style, but do you really need specific high detailed plans. Get one that suits your needs and increase or decrease the dimensios proportionally to suit.
                We are here to help you decide and to build, even to enjoy the outcomes.
                Decide, build and enjoy!!

                Neill
                Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                Neill’s Pompeiii #1
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                Neill’s kitchen underway
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                  Mongo, why not draw out the floor (usable space) on a piece of cardboard full size and play with it? Tape it to a card table (raised to the level the oven will be at if possible), use pizza pans the size(s) you plan to use and fool around with it. Get really creative and make a cardboard arch the size of the doorway and see how easily you can work in there (use a peel if you have one - if not, more cardboard). See how well things fit and pretend to cook so you see how easily you can maneuver when you've got pizzas in the back that need to come out, etc. That will give you a much better idea of what you are going to need for your use.

                  All said, a bit too big would probably be better than a bit too small.
                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                  "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                  [/CENTER]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                    Seems to me that double 42" inch rather than one single large would allow for a hot pizza oven and a "cooler" oven for other items. With that thought how about a pizza oven over a mailbox design that could be used for bread and other items?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                      Good idea about the cardboard arch layout. I'm gonna pick up my bricks on Tues. and can actually do a mock layout and get the size then I guess.

                      As far as the double oven, again good idea but I think at that point I would just use a conventional, smaller oven for other things if I can't use the pizza oven. If I had the space, time, budget I might consider it though.

                      I guess other than that I'm still unsure, not having used one, in say a 42" - 50" oven how much space the coals will take up aprox. and also how close one can get the pizzas to the coals. I'm guessing about 6" away but no clue as to how much space the coals will need.

                      le MoNgO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                        'Fraid i can't help there - I'm still very much in the dreaming stage myself. I'm sure one of the old pro's will wander in and be able to answer though.
                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                        "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                        [/CENTER]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                          I'm only guestimating here, I would say once my oven reaches temp and I push the fire and coals aside, there is about 60-70% of the hearth cleared for pizza. I only have a 36" oven, so the fire/coals may be more for a larger oven.
                          Keep in mind, I usually only do one pizza at a time and I only try to clear enough space to make turning easier and keep charring from occuring too soon. I place the pizzas 4-5" away and turn twice (I like it to just begin to char)....90-100 seconds total (I cook in the 900 degree range)
                          I've only attempted 2 pizzas at the same time twice; both times I mushed the fire and coals to the wall as much as I could, and still maintain a good flame. Actually had enough room for 3 pizzas (2 down the side, 1 in front), but did not attempt.....too much of a 'juggling' act and it woud have been tight. Also, I usually only make my pizzas in the 12" range for easier turning and handling in a 36" oven.

                          RT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                            Hi Mongo, I have a 40" internal Pompeii and you can plan on close to 160 to 175mm around the edges of the oven for the coals and fire to burn once pushed back and to the sides. I do this to even out the heat distribution as best as possible, If you use larger logs (I use around 4" in diameter as recommended on Forno Bravo).
                            If you take out 300 to 350mm from the 1000mm diameter oven, you have an area approxomating 650 to 700mm in which to cook your pizzas.
                            As far I am concerned, you can almost touch the coals with your pizzas BUT you will have to continually turn then to prevent burning the outer crust. The fact that they cook so quickly, I usually cook 2 at atime in the centre as far away from the coals as possible. Rather I get my guests to place, cook and turn their own. Hell, they need to learn as well, my home is not their restaurant and they thoroughly enjoy it as well. Besides, I usually demonstrate the first pizza made and cooked and then enjot it whilst it is hot, letting them do their own thing. I don't enjoy cold pizza as much as straight out of the oven. Who else have they to then blame but themselves????
                            If you want to cook 4 X 15" pizzas, they will require a 40" cleared floor space minimum but with only 3 X 15" pizzas, a 35" diameter oven space is all that is required. See the attached .pdf diagram.
                            I hope this helps.
                            Regards.
                            Neill
                            Attached Files
                            Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                            The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                            Neill’s Pompeiii #1
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                            Neill’s kitchen underway
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Larger Oven Design Help

                              Thanks for the measurements you guys, and the diagram. Good thing I'm a Canuck and speak both Inch and Millimetre Got the bricks from the States today and will be able to do an actual mockup with the bricks and pans and that should do it as now I have an idea aprox. how big the fire will be and how far away the pizzas need to be. I know it's not an exact thing (size of coals) but it still helps a lot.

                              Cheers,

                              Mongo

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