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36" vs. 42" - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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36" vs. 42"

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  • 36" vs. 42"

    I'm in the planning stage and was wondering what the preferred size of oven is.
    We have room for the 42" so that is the way I'm leaning but wanted to hear if there are advantages/disadvantages to either size. Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: 36" vs. 42"

    Hey Pizza Guy,

    I also am planning a 42" oven but have not built anything yet. In my searching and reading on this forum I have found that the oven size is completely and totally up to you and also that they aren't just limited to the 36" or the 42". I have read about ovens being under 30" and up to 48". In fact, I have also heard Gianni Foccacia mention something about a 39" oven being the best but I was unable to find the thread (if you find it please let me know). So I wish I had some kind of facts or statistics to back up what I am saying but in the end I think it is just up to you. Good luck!

    Nate
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...two-21068.html

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    • #3
      Re: 36" vs. 42"

      There is no best or perfect oven size. If this were true, why do some folks have more than one oven? It all depends on what you're going to use it for and how often.

      I downsized my original 42" design to 39" only because I have two kids who will be in college next fall and felt I would use a slightly smaller oven more often. That plus a cord of oak in southern california is $400 delivered. Like others here know, a 36" oven leaves very little to be desired, but I'm a guy who had big oven-envy and went larger.
      John

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      • #4
        Re: 36" vs. 42"

        And all this time, John, I thought it was some "scientific" reason you decided on a 39" oven instead of the 42". Since my oldest is only 5 I think having the extra space is probably a good thing. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

        Nate
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...two-21068.html

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        • #5
          Re: 36" vs. 42"

          I built a 42" and absolutely love it. I don't think the heat-up time or fuel consumption of a 36" vs. 42" will be much different.

          Our 42" doesn't seem too big when we are cooking for just the family (3-4 adults) and it can handle a big party with ease.

          If you are cooking by yourself for a big group, a 36" will be fine; you won't be able to juggle more than 2 pies at a time. If you have helpers building pizza's for you, you'll appreciate the extra real estate of a 42"; you'll be able to rotate 3-4 small to medium sized pies in the oven.

          If you have the space for a 42", go for it.
          Ken H. - Kentucky
          42" Pompeii

          Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

          Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
          Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

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          • #6
            Re: 36" vs. 42"

            Originally posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
            big oven-envy.
            John
            No truer statement has ever been made....

            Chip
            Chip

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            • #7
              Re: 36" vs. 42"

              I had a 34" modular (different mfg) a few years ago and moved to a new house and just built a 42" oven. If you have the room and $ - build the 42".

              I can recall wishing I had a bit more room that the 34" oven provided - and really enjoy being able to cook multiple pizzas in the 42" oven.

              At the end of the day - I don't know that it takes that much more wood to fire up the 42" . . .

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              • #8
                Re: 36" vs. 42"

                CPG, as they say "bigger is better". I have a 36" and works fine for me. I cooked 25 pizza's last Sunday with no problem. 3 at a time, 11" to 12" pies..(250g balls).

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                • #9
                  Re: 36" vs. 42"

                  Fuel consumption is directly proportional to oven volume, but heat up time will be the same whatever the size. That is more dependent on wall thickness. Smaller ovens tend to be used more often. You probably wouldn't bother to heat a big oven if you were only going to cook three pizzas, it will probably take a wheelbarrow full to heat it. As prepping time takes longer than cooking time, often cooking multiple pizzas at once is often irrelevant. If you want to throw in a whole pig or goat then you do need a big oven. Smaller ovens are a little more tricky to manage due to lack of space. My oven is only 21" but is no drama for parties up to 30, for parties of 50 or more it's a struggle, but still doable.
                  Last edited by david s; 11-11-2011, 02:16 PM.
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 36" vs. 42"

                    I built a 42, and in retrospect, I am glad I did. Remember, there is more than pizza to cook in there. I have done a whole hog (it barely fit thru the arch, but otherwise the 42 was great), and have done more than 50 whole ckickens, with sliced potatoes and sweet onions, in the 11 months since I finished, on a commercial size cookie sheet. That same size pan might not fit in a smaller oven.

                    One thing I can say is double the insulation under the oven, and quadruple the insulation over the dome. Box the whole thing in. It will hold the heat. Save a piece of the insulation board for your insulated door.


                    Best of luck

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                    • #11
                      Re: 36" vs. 42"

                      Originally posted by ThermoJax View Post
                      I built a 42, and in retrospect, I am glad I did. Remember, there is more than pizza to cook in there. I have done a whole hog (it barely fit thru the arch, but otherwise the 42 was great)
                      I started out building a 42", but kept adding here and there to the deminsions. Ended up laying out for a 44". I am in the process of cutting the brick for a 20"-W X 18"-H arch. What size hog did you cook? Also, what size arch do you have for the 42? A whole "hawg", 100 to 125 lb range is what I am aiming for in my oven.
                      I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

                      joe watson

                      My Build
                      My Picasa Web Album

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                      • #12
                        Re: 36" vs. 42"

                        Remember, for optimum inner arch size, you will always have trouble with a whole hog. Those darn legs have a hard time going thru the inner arch, and that is not worth giving up a smaller, more efficient arch for one easier for the occasional pig. Remember, I do recommend full chickens, with sliced potatoes and onions, dry rub included. This is too easily reproducible, whereas for me, the perfect pizza is a tough taskmaster. My hog was 32 lbs. I alum foiled the face and legs, but do to time pressure for the party, accidently ran the temp up to 800. With little time to go, I put him in, and the movement, checking him, tore the foil. The up and up, is that he looked burnt, but ALL the meat was great. ( by the way, he was brined for 12-14 hours in a cooler before, so that left me with more wiggle room than normal)

                        Would anyone say that a 32lb pig is a suckling pig, or a pig proper? I would like to think I did more than a suckling pig !

                        GO big, or go home. (said with humor)
                        Last edited by ThermoJax; 11-14-2011, 07:36 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 36" vs. 42"

                          Thanks ThermoJax

                          I did some more studying and cut my arch form down to 12.5" high . I guess it will be whole "pig" for me too.
                          I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

                          joe watson

                          My Build
                          My Picasa Web Album

                          Comment

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