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where to start... - 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.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

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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  • where to start...

    Ive been parusing this great forum for most of the summer, and thinking and planning,,planning and thinking. Initially, I was going to just build an oven....but now...if im building an oven, I shoulld plan for more of a kitchen as long as Im diggin, pouring concrete, stacking blocks....Hopefully I can get out of the planning phase sooner than later....any hints on how to start putting that shovel in the ground? This is a great site, and Im psyched to start building.

  • #2
    Re: where to start...

    It's great fun isn't it

    What I have done so far, is plan out my entire outdoor kitchen in general arrangement and size, in order to determine where the oven will go, what its orientation will be, what level I wanted the top of the slab at to go with the rest of the kitchen etc. I also wanted to look at where I needed to run electricity, water, etc. before I started building anything.

    Then I started planning out the oven in detail, and started playing with block and fire bricks and the like to get it straight in my head what I wanted to do with the slab and the base. That is where I am now, ready to dig and then pour the slab.

    Good luck, and post picts on how it's going. You will get a lot of very good advice here from an lot of very knowledgable folks.



    • #3
      Re: where to start...

      Why not plan out how you'd like the kitchen, then start building the oven where it needs to go, and do the rest afterwards... fuelled with lots of pizza so's to keep your energy up.
      "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



      • #4
        Re: where to start...

        That is essentially what I'm doing.

        I made a rough plan for the oven and kitchen, established the grade of the patio, built the oven at (more or less) the correct height for the finished patio, poured the footings for the kitchen, leveled the grade. and then built a patio around it.

        As I had to build up the grade around the oven - so for the first 6 mos of pizza making - I had a seriously tall oven. was kinda nice peeking in the oven without bending over....

        It was really nice to have the oven working and making pizzas to keep me excited about finishing the rest of the kitchen.

        Still not finished but getting closer!

        My oven progress -


        • #5
          Re: where to start...

          My post does not point out, that though I did all that planning, the slab I am getting ready to dig and pour is for the WFO only! I plan on tieing in the rest of the project at a later date.



          • #6
            Re: where to start...

            Hi Lance and welcome to this great forum.
            May I make a suggestion to take a few pictures of the location where you would like to have your 'additions' with a description of what you would really like to achieve together with the direction of the prevailing weather (and also the degree of privacy from the neighbours).
            Although there are numerous outdoor kitchens within this forum (do a search) which mainly gave derived from an extension of their oven builds. There are also excellent books on outdoor kitchen design available, eg. "The new outdoor kitchen" by Deborah Krasner, ISBN -13: 978-1-56158-804-6 and (I wasn't aware that a book can have 2 numbers) ISBN-10: 1-56138-804-0
            There are a lot of quite experienced people who will throw up suggestions and ideas which you may totally overlook.
            The hardest thing is making all those decisions, finding the time to get into it and of course the costs.
            My outdoor kitchen build is located here:


            Happy decision making.

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

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

            Neillís Pompeiii #1
            Neillís kitchen underway


            • #7
              Re: where to start...

              Welcome lance

              I made several kitchen plans. Then I would lay them out in the yard, until I found the one that I liked. I figured I had a two year project on my hands. I am on track so far. One year down and hopefully only one year to go.





              • #8
                Re: where to start...

                I am a carpenter and I done other things like Architectual courses.

                On big thing to do is try and get a feel of what you want to achieve in the end.

                I will give you an example : my pool area was bleak and un interesting, it had a hut near the pool but the old owner couldnt build to save his life & needs to be removed. So we wanted to replace that hut & build in an oven. we wanted to entertain in this area eat pizzas & anything else we cooked. Therefore that told me what I need.

                Enough room for 8 people sitting around a table. and a block wall high enough for another 10 people to sit on.

                as most of your entertainment is done at night you need lighting & power & Maybe some garden lights.

                I have plans for a bench that is big enough for making pizzas & storing equipment.......& enough room for a bar fridge.

                once you have the basics of what you want then you have to plan where u will put them...

                who are these children? & why are they calling me dad?


                • #9
                  Re: where to start...

                  Plan some, but be open to change as you see how your parties develop around your oven. I've had to add a whole new area just to accommodate our flow pattern.
                  Get your pizza peel early in the process and swing it around the area where you'll be cooking. If your guests will be making their own (half the fun!), a counter near the oven comes in handy for the prep work and to dump the cooked pizzas on... however, don't get it too close to the oven or you'll find yourself knocking the peel up against the guests.
                  Paradise is where you make it.