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Is a 42 big enough? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Is a 42 big enough?

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  • Is a 42 big enough?

    after reading a couple of peoples comments after their build, some left me with the impression that space inside was kind of tight. I assume that means some mostly burnt logs still going on one side of the oven, and you cooking on the other. I have just built my block stand, but have yet to finalize my 4 inch top size, and I could do a 46 instead. Does anyone feel that 42 might not be big enough?

  • #2
    Re: Is a 42 big enough?

    Depends on what you are going to do with it. The size of the oven is a function of the number of people you have to feed and how often. It doesn't make sense to build and fire a 42-46" oven if you're only cooking for four once a month. Read through some of the other threads and see how many of the builders decided on a right size for their needs.

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    • #3
      Re: Is a 42 big enough?

      That is 12 SqFt of floor, Mine is 6 SqFt and I haven't needed more for 12 pie sessions.

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      • #4
        Re: Is a 42 big enough?

        My oven is 43" and I can say that a 38" would have been fine so far, and so far I had no problem feeding 20 for Pizza.

        Chris

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        • #5
          Re: Is a 42 big enough?

          Really, a 42 is the biggest you're going to need for a home (non commercial) oven. There is much talk of how many pizzas you can fit in an oven, but unless you have a crew, you are going to have trouble making more than one pizza at a time.

          I have a 36, and it's plenty for pizza, and can cook a thanksgiving dinner with room to spare.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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          • #6
            Re: Is a 42 big enough?

            I find my 40 inch big enough. I've never encounter a situation where i wished it to be bigger. If I was doing it over again, I would possibly go a bit smaller say 36 or 38. A bigger oven means more time and fuel to heat it up and therefore you are less likely to use it as frequently as a smaller oven.

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            • #7
              Re: Is a 42 big enough?

              42 is gracious plenty!! I can get eight loaves of bread or three cookie sheets in at one time with a small bank of coals against the back.

              Pizzas cook so fast that you will really have to be on the ball to handle more than two at a time... At least one at a time lets you enjoy your beer and carry on a conversation while tending the oven. More than one and it will be a JOB!
              CB

              ____________________
              My 42" WFO/outdoor kitchen build thread:

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...-us-13256.html

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              • #8
                Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                See if you can find a local WFO owner to visit. I think you'll have a better feel for what you can do in a particular sized oven if you can see it. You're welcome to bring you biggest roasting pan to my house and see what is left oven inside the oven. Or you could place the cooking pans of what you think is a very generous feast on your kitchen floor and mesure how much space you need and have a bit to spare. I can't do a full pig laid out inside the oven unless I can find a short pig and a very long pan.

                Chris

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                • #9
                  Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                  I am a fan of Carrabba's, and often sit at the bar, overlooking the oven. They keep a fire going all day, no oven door, and still cook the pizzas quick. It makes me think that with a door, a 46 would have that day to day quick heat up
                  (after all, does a 46 take all that much longer to heat up than a 42) ,(thermal mass be dammed), while having that added capability to handle the big 4th of July party with 100 people. I have 29 Live Oak trees that apparently have the highest BTU per cord of any wood (said embarrassingly, having thrown away years of tree fallage and scraps). Now, I have made what is best practices for North Florida (read this as humid and wet), which is off the ground and a roof over it. Since my 4 inch platform for my brick oven goes in next week, I may well want to cantilever it out a little more, and build the 46 just for the capability of accommodating the bigger party, while justifying it by saying my 20 Live Oak trees will provide what is needed. Or, does the 46 not really provide that much more square footage than the 42.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                    It makes me think that with a door, a 46 would have that day to day quick heat up
                    Remember: Huge commercial ovens are fired every day. They almost never get cold. It's a lot easier to keep an big oven hot than to get it hot.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                      Hi ThermoJax,

                      I built a 47" (internal diameter) oven myself. While I can't compare this against a smaller over in regards to speed of heating up, I must say that I'm very happy with my size. Depending on the amount of fire to start up is around 2 hours, with bigger fires this time goes down.

                      Size wise it gives you plenty of space to work with at least for pizza. But most of the times you have only one or two pizzas in the same time so a 42 may also work out fine. I find the size quite usable when we are having people over and cook other items such as roast chicken potatoes etc. Sometimes you have a fire going on the side and a 2 or 3 big metal trays on the side. I can fit these trays quite easy but maybe that will be difficult in a smaller size.

                      Think about how you like to use it and if you like to entertain a lot by all means go for it

                      Cheers,

                      Kosta

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                      • #12
                        Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                        I have nearly killed myself trying to use up all the heat in my 38" oven. Unless you live on a commune or something, 42 will be plenty big enough!
                        My Oven Thread:
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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                        • #13
                          Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                          I'm still debating on what size. The 36" seems just a little too small, and the 42" looks huge. Are their any issues with pushing a 36" Kit from FB (I like the big floor tiles) into a 38"? I was planing on putting the dome on the outside of the floor not on top of it. Is there a reason why the plans are for a 36" or a 42"?
                          (James?)
                          Mike D
                          Last edited by Mike D; 10-18-2010, 08:58 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                            Mike,

                            I think the sizes originally relate to how the concrete block support structure could be built without cutting blocks. I have a 43", it started as a 42" but by the time I had the soldiers set it was a 43". I'm happy with the size and I think I could have gone with 36" and have also been happy.

                            Last Thanksgiving I had a large turkey in a large roasting pan along with 2 other 10" by 14" pans in the oven and still had enough space between to allow even roasting. Whatever you end up with, I think you'll be happy.. I'd love to have an additional small 30" oven to bake smaller batches of bread or run hotter or colder for those occasions. I also like the idea of the Tuscan style “open” grill in the outdoor kitchen.

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f38/...ill-13313.html

                            Try to allow yourself enough space to prep the food and present the food with a minimum of conflict. One thing that I have found that I don’t hear much about is the need for a support for the handle of the wooden peel. When I build the pizza and slide the pizza onto the peel I need some more formal way to support the peel during this operation. I didn't find an example of this but I know that I've seen it in the forum.

                            Chris

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                            • #15
                              Re: Is a 42 big enough?

                              Chris,

                              Are you not making the pizza on a wooden pizza peel and then putting it in the oven? That is a standard way of making pizza, and yes a side prep area is helpful.

                              The block size does make sense in the 42" and 36", I don't want to end up cutting bricks. But depending on how one finishes their oven, are there any other issues with pushing a 36" to a 38" structurally or anything else?

                              Why don't the plans give measurements in blocks as in 4 1/2 blocks deep by 4 blocks wide? I am a little confused as to why the plans online are different. There is one block size in the beginning 59" by 70", and then a different one in the end in the materials list 63" by 70". Which one is the correct size or recommended size?

                              Mike

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