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What's the difference between ovens? - 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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What's the difference between ovens?

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  • What's the difference between ovens?

    I'm a newby so I appreciate your patience. I have looked and discovered several types of ovens. In one you put the wood under the oven and wait a long time for it to heat, the you cook. In another, the wood actually goes into the oven. What are the two called? I'd prefer to have the wood inside the oven and cook sooner. And I assume there are even differences between these types of ovens? I do not want to purchase a kit because I am pretty handy and have built lots of things. I've framed, poured, layed brick, etc. Before I get plans I just need to know the differences in ovens. My intention is to cook about anything I want for our family and friends and have an excuse to use my chainsaw to go get wood in the forest.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I've never seen the point behind the ovens where you have a firebox below that heat up a floor. Large commerical bread ovens have firing chambers below, and shoot heat into the cooking chamber with a vent, but that's different.

    Most people in this group have/are installing a traditional Italian wood-fired oven. The oven is a round dome. The fire is in the oven, and it is the main style of Mediterranean oven going back over 2,000 years.

    Having good access to wood is a bonus.

    Welcome, and enjoy!
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces


    • #3
      Originally posted by james
      Large commerical bread ovens have firing chambers below, and shoot heat into the cooking chamber with a vent, but that's different.

      While in Austin (TX) last weekend I saw a pizza oven set-up similar to that for the first time.

      Interesting. The restaurant, The Brick Oven, had a large brick wall visible in the kitchen from the dining area. Centered in the wall was the fire chamber and on each side, slightly above were the cooking chambers. Dark holes in the wall framed by a brightly lit, fire filled center hole. Good pizza.


      • #4
        Alf Armstrong, the Forno Bravo manager in the UK, builds that type of bread oven in Britain. Scottish, or French, bread ovens. You can see one of his ovens here:


        They are more common for commercial bread baking, but pretty unusual for pizza -- I've never seen one in Italy or France.

        Stuart, next time you are there, take photos!
        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5
          Oven Types

          Rancho, James, Stuart,

          The two types of oven are classified in the following way: a white oven has the firebox below; a black oven has the fire inside the bake chamber. I guess the difference comes from the fact that the first never sees any soot, while the second is black with soot at first, then turns white (or white hot) as the soot burns off and the oven comes up to baking heat. Another piece of seemingly useless but interesting info.

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