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Will this design work?

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  • Will this design work?

    I have a client who wants a Pizza oven with a separate firebox to keep the soot and ash out of the oven (yes I know the purists are going to complain about this but its what we wants!)

    I have a design shown below. Do you think the oven will get hot enough?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Will this design work?

    If you Google masonry white ovens, you'll get a number of links to designs much like your client's drawing (Heat-Kit White Bakeoven link has some interesting info). From the "old data" I've seen, the white ovens were considered great for baking but their designs tended to keep hearth max temps in the 500F range. That temp is considered by many to be a little cool for "real" pizza...although it will work to bake almost anything else.

    Several of "best" French bakeries that use wood or gas fired masonry ovens are still using white oven designs. The book "The Bread Builders" by Wing & Scott has some good info on them as well. Basically it comes down to the fact that white ovens are much more complex and difficult to build correctly than black ovens...also translating into much higher cost for a white oven. For those reasons, it seems that white ovens tend to be much bigger and are oriented to commercial use. To my understanding, most bakeries now use deck or rotary ovens because they are very good, reliable, and readily available.

    That said, if you search this forum for "white ovens" you'll find several folks who have working home pizza ovens that use a white oven configuration/design and they have resolved most (if not all) of the compromise issues (such as high costs, venting, and temp).
    Last edited by SableSprings; 05-22-2013, 12:32 PM.
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    • #3
      Re: Will this design work?

      my initial thought is that you wont capture the amount of heat you want.. All of your heat is going right out the chimney. I can only guess that you might get the oven temp up to 400-500 degreesF. Just guessing,

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      • #4
        Re: Will this design work?

        I'd recommend they use gas. That won't really be a pizza oven.
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        • #5
          Re: Will this design work?

          I have been doing a lot of research on white ovens. Now this is just a guess on my part but I think the oven will get plenty hot. I saw a design very similar I'll see if I can't find it again...but this guy had his firebox directly under the oven floor like the picture you showed. Apparently the floor got so hot that he needed to cook on grates to keep his bread from burning.

          The second thing you need to consider is cleaning. White ovens are filthy things when it comes to buildup in the heating chambers...so you need good access to them to scrape out the buildup.

          I'll look for that oven

          Faith

          Edit found the oven http://www.pyromasse.ca/articles/Stanb_e.html
          Last edited by Faith In Virginia; 05-22-2013, 03:05 PM. Reason: found the link

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          • #6
            Re: Will this design work?

            Thanks for the info guys. Any wood fired oven is still nicer than gas!

            I will look into the "white oven" but if you could post those drawings that would be great.

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            • #7
              Re: Will this design work?

              The bake oven that I am asking about is going to be built into the old stone wall of a large stone ruin near Ottawa that we are stabilizing for a client. He is adding a fireplace, pool, hot tub and outdoor kitchen into the old building walls to create an outdoor patio. Pretty sweet!!

              We just finished a "Rumford" fireplace in a different wall that I will post some pics of if your interested. The goal is to make the fireplace and bake oven look original.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: Will this design work?

                I doubt it would get hot enough for bread, much less pizza. If you want it to be authentic, is will be a black oven.

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                • #9
                  Re: Will this design work?

                  My personal opinion is if you value your reputation you will direct the customer in a different direction, but if you MUST proceed in this fashion you need to make a few serious changes:

                  1. I would make the dome as low as physically possible. Using only radiant heat from the brick to cook the pizza you will need that heat as close to the top of the pie as possible.

                  2. Bring the heat into contact with the oven from the top. This fixes two issues. First, your proposed design breaks one of the main rules for this type of oven, never diverge flows that are ascending. Second, by bringing the heat in the top you will help the balance of heat.

                  I'm thinking something along the lines of a large firebox on the bottom that feeds into an insulated stack at the back. The heat rises up the stack and then diverges down around the oven. The flows converge under the floor of the oven and then leave via another vertical stack.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Will this design work?

                    It won't work. Even if you have a raging fire burning in the FP at all hours, there is too much masonry absorbing the heat..and the oven itself will most likely never get any hotter than 300*-400*. Basically, you are designing a masonry heater, not an oven.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Will this design work?

                      I agree with all above, the oven will never get hot enough unless you have a massive fire.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Will this design work?

                        Originally posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
                        I have been doing a lot of research on white ovens. Now this is just a guess on my part but I think the oven will get plenty hot. I saw a design very similar I'll see if I can't find it again...but this guy had his firebox directly under the oven floor like the picture you showed. Apparently the floor got so hot that he needed to cook on grates to keep his bread from burning.

                        The second thing you need to consider is cleaning. White ovens are filthy things when it comes to buildup in the heating chambers...so you need good access to them to scrape out the buildup.

                        I'll look for that oven

                        Faith

                        Edit found the oven The Oven of Philip Baker - Pyromasse
                        That is a interesting link, Faith. The oven there is built over a furnace though...big difference between the heat characteristics of that one and a FP box.
                        Old World Stone & Garden

                        Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                        When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Will this design work?

                          This is a coal oven at Frank Pepe's in New Haven, CT. You can see the coal chamber on the right, this is were the heat comes from. It works like a furnace...similar to the one in Faiths link but direct fired.



                          But, in Pepe's oven, there is heat from a pile of hot coals in the oven. They cook a lot of pizza, so this is done to keep the floor charged.




                          Keystone, this isn't being done to shoot down your design, just show what it takes to get an oven hot enough if your fire isn't in the oven chamber itself.
                          Last edited by stonecutter; 05-23-2013, 08:08 PM. Reason: re-word
                          Old World Stone & Garden

                          Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                          When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                          John Ruskin

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                          • #14
                            Re: Will this design work?

                            Guess I was looking at this from different angle. I did not see the fire box being a fireplace

                            That would suck trying to cook a pizza with a raging fire at your knees.

                            I could be totally off here and just speculating, but I see that oven design as a cooking surface within a wood stove/ furnace. I'm thinking it would act like a dutch oven with a door.

                            I still think the design could work but that is just a guess. I would express my concerns with the owner and talk him into building that oven at his house to test the workings of that design.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Will this design work?

                              Fair enough. I looked at the drawing again, it isn't clear if that is a FP either...I just made an assumption that it was. Anyway, it will work if the fire chamber is like a furnace and it will be an interesting project for sure.
                              Old World Stone & Garden

                              Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                              When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                              John Ruskin

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