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insulation retrofit for pizza oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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.
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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.

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insulation retrofit for pizza oven

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  • insulation retrofit for pizza oven

    I just recently completed a home built fireplace/pizza oven and need some advice on how to add insulation to my oven. My original design idea was to combine a fireplace/pizza oven and focus more on looks and less on cooking since I thought the pizza oven use would be very limited.

    Well big mistake, over this last weekend we had friends over to cook pizza and we had a blast and didn't realize the "experience" of cooking pizza. While my wife gave me platitudes on how beautiful the oven turned out she was surprised why we could only cook three small pizza's, I didn't have the guts to tell her that I didn't add any insulation over the firebricks. I figured this was a small detail that she didn't need to know. To make matters worse she enjoyed herself so much that she is planning another pizza party with a larger audience so I somehow have to correct this problem without a complete tear down


    I built a modified barrel shaped(this is another story) oven with firebricks. I have no ability to add insulation to the sides but could add on the bottom and to the top. I am not looking for perfection but definitely would like to significantly improve the heat retaining capabilities of the oven or should I really call this a fireplace?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

    If you have a space over your oven, you can fill it with loose vermiculite or perlite. Getting insulation under the floor is another problem. Get us some pictures of the oven and maybe we can offer some suggestions. Are your floor bricks mortared in? Do your oven walls sit on top of the floor bricks, or the support slab?
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

      Thank you for the reply. I am on a business trip and will supply pictures when I return(weekend). The bricks on the floor are mortared in and I don't recall how the walls are constructed.
      One question I have; is the most important location to have the insulation is on the top then the bottom and somewhat less important on the sides?


      Mitch

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      • #4
        Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

        Ok, anyone could say that lack of isolation is a problem in a WFO.
        However, if you are baking pizzas, you are using wood coals and wood fireflame too. Whereas the fireflame be running, you have almost all that you need to bake pizzas. This, of course, if your oven is perfectly dry. If it is not dry, the inner humidity will limit the temperature, specially the hearth one and this will be your major problem in the next pizza party.
        Take a look at this.

        And good baking.
        Luis

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        • #5
          Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

          Hi munderseth and welcome aboard.
          The ovens are contageous aren't they. You really do get sucked in with their ability.
          I agree with Dmun for some pics. It will make a great deal easier to suggest possible solutions.
          In the meantime, I would be looking at wrapping it with thermal blanket an then chicken wire and finally a waterproofing render.
          This would use less space and probably easier and quicker to achieve without an enclosure build.
          You might like to check my build as I have pics and tips for these stages.

          Cheers.

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

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          • #6
            Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

            Neil

            Thank you for your comments and I hope to get the pictures posted over the weekend. Your project was very impressive and I am a little embarrassed on the lack of research and planning that I did before commencing with the build. However, I am committed to correct my mistakes and I am encouraged with the depth of knowledge and willingness to help from this forum.

            Mitch

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            • #7
              Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

              Great attitude - admit your failures! Share it with your wife. She'll forgive you for not insulating it quite right. I bet she'll love you even though you messed up just this one time. If all else fails, get a new wife!
              GJBingham
              -----------------------------------
              Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

              -

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              • #8
                Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                Yes, pictures will be appreciated.

                Add what insulation you can.

                This may be a good project to share since it get's discussed periodically.

                good luck
                XJ
                sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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                • #9
                  Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                  You said in your first post that you recently completed the project. Is it thoroughly dried out? That also affects your temperatures. I also couldn't tell from your wording whether you're keeping a fire going while you bake the pizzas.

                  Have you downloaded the wood-fired pizza ebook from Forno Bravo? If you haven't, do so. It has the technique for cooking with the fire in the oven. (and some dandy recipes!)

                  The others are right about pictures. Not only are we all vicarious oven junkies who all love to look at pictures of ovens, they can really help us to get a sense of where to begin!

                  (and speaking as a wife, I'd rather know about my husband's mistake. Makes it easier to help fix it... but maybe that's just me!)
                  Elizabeth

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

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                  • #10
                    Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                    Elizabeth

                    After I realized that I had a heat retention problem I came to this forum for help only then did I discover about the other issue of not breaking in my oven properly. The oven sat for a week prior to my first fire, which was about an hour or so, then the next day I had the big pizza party. I am having my wife build some fires throughout this week according to some of the information I gleaned from this site.

                    For the cooking of the Pizza, I let the fire burn completely down before putting in the pizza.

                    Thank you for the tip on the book.

                    Mitch

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                    • #11
                      Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                      For the cooking of the Pizza, I let the fire burn completely down before putting in the pizza.
                      Unless you're doing some seriously weird stuff like those chicago style casseroles you want your fire in the oven with flames licking up the side wall while you're cooking pizza.
                      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                        To me it does not sound like an insulation problem, Its either the fact that you were not fully soaked with heat, Or you are not propperly dried out. Having no insulation will reduce your ability to have multiple loads of bread, or roasts, but should not limit the pizza ability. If you have an IR thermometer, I always have the hearth in the 800deg range, and with a lot of coals, and 1 piece of wood rolling fire accross the top. If you still have arm hair/eyebrows you need to turn it up a notch. If the bottom of your pizza's arent cooking right rake the coals back over them until the get back up to temp.
                        Good luck
                        Eddie

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                        • #13
                          Re: insulation retrofit for pizza oven

                          Perhaps rushing your oven's curing cycles hasn't done any damage. I would continue having your wife cure it now according to the currently accepted regimine. I'm wondering what intense heat would do to relatively new mortar joints in a dome. If the bricks were pretty tight, hopefully you'll be in good shape.

                          At least your floor seems to work well. Cure the dome and let us know how it works. I'll bet your in good shape two weeks from now.
                          G.
                          GJBingham
                          -----------------------------------
                          Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                          -

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