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Most Efficient Design/s - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Most Efficient Design/s

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  • Most Efficient Design/s

    Hi. I'm in Grade 10, doing the IB, and am doing my Personal Project. I'm building a pizza oven for my home (in Uganda, Africa) and would like to know some good designs/methods of pizza ovens that cook the most efficiently. I just want to know what some of the most efficiently cooking oven designs are.

    For those of you who know the IB and Personal Projects, my 'Inquiry Question' is: "What is the best method/design to build an efficient pizza oven?". Any help on this subject would be a great thanks

  • #2
    Re: Most Efficient Design/s

    Download the free plans for the Pompeii oven on this site.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


    • #3
      Re: Most Efficient Design/s

      I just want to know what some of the most efficiently cooking oven designs are.
      There are two primary ways to heat a pizza oven, which are fossil fuels (coal or wood) and gas. Because of its inherent danger, gas is not a popular choice of home oven builders. Readily available gas is the most efficient way to heat a refractory oven, but requires an automatic shutoff valve to reduce the chances of turning an oven into a bomb. For this reason, gas is primarily used by commercial pizzarias.

      There are two popular shapes of brick ovens - round (Pompeii), and barrel vault. The pompeii is the more efficient of the two at heating up and distributing the heat, although the difference is minimal. The barrel vault is by far the more efficient shape of the two when it comes to construction and time requirements. This is because it takes significantly less cutting of bricks to attain its characteristic shape.

      Also, an oven of either shape must adhere to the proper ratio of door height to interior oven height to operate as efficiently as possible. As David S advised, read through the free Pompeii oven plans for the recommended ratios.

      Lastly, the most efficient oven (of either style) is the one that is properly insulated. Via conduction, an un-insulated refractory oven will leak heat to the support slab underneath and to the outside elements, both during operation and afterwards.

      Hope this helps,



      • #4
        Re: Most Efficient Design/s

        Thanks a lot. I've downloaded the PDF and will continue looking at it.

        Now, I'm building my oven in a corner against a concrete wall and concrete tiles/slabs (60 x 60 x 3cm) on the ground.

        Firstly; will it be ok to build the oven against the concrete walls? They're supported by the ground behind them.

        Secondly; Should I remove the tiles and build the oven on the ground, or can I build a base on the concrete tiles?

        Thanks again for all the help!



        • #5
          Re: Most Efficient Design/s

          Uh, I'm kinda lost without pics. What I do know is that I built my oven base less than a foot next to a block wall and while it was easy to construct the oven itself, building the enclosure had its challenges.

          You want to build your oven at a height that is workable. Convention places the oven floor itself at the same level as your elbow, standing next to the oven with your arm hanging down. Also, the support slab and oven itself are so heavy that you must support build a suitable stand per the plans.