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Oval oven design? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.

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.

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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Oval oven design?

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  • Oval oven design?


    I have a landscape client who wants an oval WFO as part of the project. The oval would be wider than deep, e.g. 48" wide x 36" deep. The rationale is that food could be stored or cooked more slowly in the side areas.

    Does this make sense? Has anyone tried? Will an oval dome loose too much structural integrity that a circular dome has?

    The client also wants the chimney at the back, to one side. I realise, doing some research on this forum, this does not make sense, and a "squirrel tale" chimney might be the best solution for venting to the back. Comments welcome!

    BTW; I built my own 36" Pompeii 2 years ago, igloo finish. It has become a huge hit for the family and nieghbourhood.

  • #2
    Re: Oval oven design?

    I'm don't think the structural integrity will be a problem with an oval, but I doubt that the convection will work as well if the oven's not round. I would think that the heat might get "stuck" in the sides somehow... but then, I'm not an expert in thermodynamics or anything. If you want to cook more slowly, move it further from the heat and make a smaller fire. Or wait longer for it to cool off. I suspect the landing could be designed larger and deeper (the part inside the landing arch, not the opening into the oven itself, that ratio should not be changed) to accomodate cooking vessels- I could see one that tapers in, with room on the sides of the landing. Don't make it so deep that you can't reach in to manage the fire, though.

    Definitely do NOT change the location of the chimney. It won't work properly at all if you do. Why do they want it in the corner? Aesthetics? Or are they worried about smoke? I don't get much smoke at all, especially once the fire's going well.



    • #3
      Re: Oval oven design?

      Don't do it! An oval running length-wise would draw well, but a wide oval will not work. It has been tried before, and shown to not draw properly - really bad idea, will not get up to temperature properly.
      My Clay Oven build:


      • #4
        Re: Oval oven design?

        You can direct the flue to the back, once you vent from the front, over the entry. Building code allows two 30 degree bends in the flue, and given enough height, you can redirect the flue anywhere you want. Do not plan on venting from the rear of the dome. This folly has been tried and retried, and it's always a fiasco. Don't even think about horizontal or near horizontal runs of flue, like the so-called squirrel tail, unless you like choking smoke pouring out the door on startup.

        I'm an agnostic on dome shapes. The ovals that have been tried have been front-to-back, and seem to work well. You shouldn't assume that this shape will provide different oven temperatures: for all practical purposes, with a fire in the oven, it's hot everywhere except right at the mouth of the oven.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Re: Oval oven design?

          Another forum member made an oven which was a wide oval; the convection didn't work properly and he had to seal up that opening and create a new opening at the end (it was a clay oven) - here's his post about it:
          My Clay Oven build:


          • #6
            Re: Oval oven design?


            Thanks for the great feedback. Very helpful.

            We have decided to proceed with a 42" circular dome, vented at the front. Now the final spec. can be developed, with the hope of pizza by mid August,... I'll keep you posted!