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110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

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  • 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

    Done! Well, almost done. I've come a long way since I first posted here on Forno Bravo back in November 2010. I finally got my act together and built my first WFO (There will be more!). Here is a link to a video I made of the build: https://vimeo.com/41400572

    I cooked my first pizza along with four loaves of San Francisco style sourdough bread (Peter Reinhart's recipe) this past Sunday and all I can say is that it was a huge success! My friends thought I was professional pizza maker and a long standing member of the bread bakers guild.

    Thank you Forno Bravo for providing such a wonderful forum. Without it I would have been lost!
    Last edited by Satan; 05-02-2012, 11:47 AM.
    Nata S.

  • #2
    Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

    Oven dimensions: Interior diameter = 110 cm, exterior diameter = 160 cm, interior dome height = 49.5 cm, door opening width = 51 cm, door opening height = 31 cm, hearth height = 107 cm, vent landing = 28 cm, hearth landing = 30 cm, base 200 cm x 205 cm.

    Built with adobe block/bricks and adobe mud as mortar. Hearth was made from fired terra cotta bricks I had specially made for my oven. Volcanic rock (ligera) was used as the insulation base below the hearth. Door was made from granadillo wood with a galvanized sheet on the oven side.

    Build time to the point of first fire and subsequent pizza was four months. NOTE: This included the construction of the adjoining wood burning griddle top ("Justa Stove" which is a modified version of Steve Winiarski's "Rocket Stove") and a charcoal barbeque grill.



    Stainless steel oven tools I designed and had made at a local machine/welding shop:


    I hand carved a bread lame from a scrap piece of the granadillo wood that was used to make the oven door:


    Link to the rest of my online photos of the oven build:

    Last edited by Satan; 05-02-2012, 11:51 AM.
    Nata S.


    • #3
      Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

      Thanks for the kudos on the video, my first!

      The inner arch was constructed using adobe blocks (unfired), standing on end, in the shape of what is called here in Mexico, Cola de Pato (tail of the duck). Basically an isosceles triangle with the pointy end cut off. The outer arch was constructed using the same rectangle terra cotta bricks I had made for the hearth.

      Big? Well, I guess from the outside it may look a bit big, especially since the walls of the dome are 26 cm (roughly 10.25 inches) thick. The inside diameter is 110 cm (43.30 inches) and yes, it's much bigger than the 36" Pompeii oven but not much bigger than the ever so popular 42" Pompeii oven.

      That all said, you'd be surprised to see many of the adobe ovens, mostly cobb ovens, I saw while doing my research here in Mexico. Many, actually most of the ovens I looked at, had interior diameters of 150 cm (59 inches) or greater. Although I must also add that these ovens were not for cooking pizza but were for baking bread for the local communities where the ovens were located. The "pizza" ovens I did come across were about the same size as my oven with the exception of their interior dome heights were always much higher than mine, far exceeding the basic height to interior diameter ratio of 45% in Italian wood fired pizza ovens.
      Last edited by Satan; 05-02-2012, 06:23 PM.
      Nata S.


      • #4
        Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

        Nice oven Satan (fearsome handle- ) and nice materials - I couldn't tell from the slideshow what if any insulation layer was added to the dome. It looked like none - any problems with this approach.

        BTW Colombia Mexico?? What part of Mexico is that
        Link to my WFO build


        • #5
          Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico


          To this point the oven does not have any dome insulation. The oven is still a work in progress. As of this writing my game plan is to enclose the oven/dome and then fill with the same volcanic rock (ligera) I used below the hearth. I'll either do a loose fill or if need be I'll add a small amount of Portland cement and then spread it over the surface of the dome a thin layer at a time.

          After I slowly super heated the oven over a two day period (after the curing phase) to interior temperatures exceeding 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. I then maintained high temps throughout the afternoon of the second day and that same day I cooked six pizzas for friends and later that evening, after the oven cooled to bread temps, I baked four loaves of bread in two loads. That said, the exterior temperature of the dome never exceeded 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I checked the interior temperature the following morning and it was a toasty 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

          Colombia/Mexico??? I now see how you could be confused. I live in both Colombia, South America and Mexico. When I signed up for the Forno Bravo forum I was in Colombia and thus put Colombia as my country of residence, however, the oven in located in Mexico.
          Last edited by Satan; 11-25-2013, 09:30 AM.
          Nata S.


          • #6
            Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico

            What are thw two tools on the right Satan. (It feels funny just writing that) I am guessing one is for moving logs around and the other maybe for scraping ash out of the way?
            Link to my WFO build


            • #7
              Re: 110cm Rustic Pompeii Oven Build in Mexico


              You're close. The one on the far right is a Pan Hook which is used for moving casserole or deep dish pans around inside the oven, although I guess it could also be used to move logs around as well. The other one just to the left of it is a Coal Scoop. The design of the Coal Scoop is perfect for a round oven. It can remove the ash and coals that are right up against the side of the oven as opposed to a normal flat bladed hoe type tool for removing ash etc.

              F.Y.I. - While scouring the internet for information etc. I found a web site with some great looking oven tools but since they were located in Australia, and the cost of getting them shipped to me here in Mexico would be prohibitive, I took the liberty to design some of my tools after theirs (My pizza peel is modeled after one of Mario Batali's peels). I had a local machine/welding shop fabricate them for me and my cost for each one, not including the wooden handles, was $36 USD so I think I got some pretty cool tools for a decent price. Here's a link to the web site featuring the hand forged tools: Wood Fire Oven Tools, Pizza Shovel, Pizza Peel, Trowel, Coal Scoop, Pan Hook, Ash Pan and Brush, Damp Mop, Ember Rake

              BTW: My handle is nothing to be frightened of. If you haven't already figured it out, it's simply a play on my name which is Nathan S. although everyone calls me Nata here in Mexico and Colombia. That said, if you take Nata along with the first letter of my last name and spell it backwards, what do you get? ;-)
              Last edited by Satan; 05-08-2012, 06:10 PM.
              Nata S.