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What's the difference between ovens? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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