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Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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:
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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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Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

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  • Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

    Hi All,
    I will be ready to build my dome soon, i am thinking Pompei, But may do barrel vault simply due to easier construction. I understand I wont be able to cook as many pizza's with a barrell ? does anyone care to comment, also when the dome is completed and i am still continuing to insulate and vermiculite the dome would it be a good idea to put a small forced air heater set on low to help in starting to cure the oven ?

    Thanks For Your Help,

  • #2
    Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

    A gas burner is actually better. I put mine on for 24 hrs and the temp rises slowly to around 250 C in that time. I go through about 2/3 of a 9 Kg barbeque bottle of gas.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

      i am thinking Pompei, But may do barrel vault simply due to easier construction.
      The barrel vault oven is not easier to construct. It's a different project, and both are a lot of work. A simple half brick pompeii with a angle iron door lintel is no more difficult to build, and produces better results than the high mass barrel vault. All that extra mass, by the way is masonry that you are going to have to buy, and mix, and lift, and finish.

      I understand I wont be able to cook as many pizza's with a barrel?
      Only in the sense that you are going to have a great deal of difficulty getting a high-mass oven up to pizza temperatures, so you are going to have to make bread-like pizzas that cook for six or seven minutes, like your corner pizzeria. A proper pizza oven will cook pizzas faster than you can put them together unless you are very, very good.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei


        In very general terms, I agree with what you've outlined. However, during workshops here, I commonly get the floor of my barrel vault up to 750 to bake 90 second pizzas. I could get it higher than that for shorter bake times, but the oven has to cool enough to bake bread during the rest of the session. Can be done, and mine is very high mass indeed.

        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


        • #5
          Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

          I don't mean to denigrate barrel vault ovens, Jim: they are really good for bread, and can bake pizza in a pinch. I just like to challenge the round-ovens-are-hard-to-build meme when it shows up.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

            I know my capabilities and still feel the round oven will be harder for me to build.... Maybe for you it wasnt, And I have decided to use the round as after all the reading i have done It seems that most people agree that the round is better for pizza.. so you have won another meme battle. Congrats

            David S
            I have a gas burner from a turkey fryer i can rig to burn inside the oven, I like that idea and will give it a try.

            Thanks for all the help, comments and suggestions, They are well received,


            • #7
              Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

              Mark, for some reason or other I found building the round dome a lot easier than the streight sides for the entry way... it really isn't all that hard. I'm sure you'll do great
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



              • #8
                Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

                I had never done any masonry work whatsoever when I built my oven. I had done tile and played with some concrete, but nothing with bricks and mortar or stucco or concrete block. It was labor intensive, but not hard. Really. It's also very forgiving- if you don't like the way something went in, take it out and do it over. (don't wait too long, though!)

                I found the arch sides harder too, Frances. I think because they needed to be level with each other and the string guide wasn't set up for them... but a regular 2 or 4 foot level will tell you if you're flat, so, go for it, Mark.

                I think that it would be more difficult for me to do a barrel than a round, but that's because I don't think I'm tidy enough to do one well. Don't look at some of the really nice ones (no mortar or very little, angled sides on bricks, etc, ) and think that you have to do it that way. They're lovely and the people who built them have had a good time doing them, but my oven with no trimming of sides or bottom works just fine, thank you.

                Just be sure to properly insulate darn thing!



                • #9
                  Re: Electric Heater ? Barrel/Pompei

                  I have built both. From a "level of difficulty" point of view they are about equal.

                  Make your choice on your intended use:

                  Lots of bread cooking and the occasional pizza = Barrel
                  Lots of pizza cooking and 2 or 3 loaves = Dome