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Thermal mass question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.

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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Thermal mass question

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  • Thermal mass question

    I am in the planning stages of attempting to build a Pompeii on a metal stand. I am basically looking to have it resemble a Stefano Ferrara mobile oven. I am trying to go as small as I can and still make 2 pizza's at a time. How is 34 inches? Now for my question, I understand that less thermal mass heats up quicker and is better for pizza making. I am pretty much interested in making pizza's. I would say 99% of the time. So when building, would it be prudent to cut the bricks from being 4.5 inches to like 2.5 inches for the dome, or is this a bad Idea. I am trying to cut down on the diameter of the stand that I will need.


    Scott D.

  • #2
    Re: Thermal mass question

    I dont know if prudent is the correct way to phrase it, but cutting the bricks in half will work just fine to reduce fuel use, speed up heating time, reduce weight, and size, especially if all your doing is pizza. A 30" oven can easily handle two 12"-14" pizzas, if your entry is designed well.


    • #3
      Re: Thermal mass question

      I have a two and a half inch thick oven, see the link in my signature. I don't recommend it. You trade off a lot of stability and structural integrity for an imagined improvement in heat-up time.

      Also, low dome ovens are structurally challenged without buttressing in the first place. Making it thinner may be skirting disaster. Prudent? No.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: Thermal mass question

        You trade off a lot of stability and structural integrity for an imagined improvement in heat-up time
        From my reading through threads here I get the impression there is no real heat-up time improvement from a thinner dome. One can still cook pizzas in a hot oven that isn't fully saturated. What you get from a two-and-a-half inch thick oven is a reduction in residual heat capacity.


        • #5
          Re: Thermal mass question

          Thanks for the feedback. I think I will plan on 4.5 inches for the dome.