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How Small Can I Go? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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How Small Can I Go?

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  • How Small Can I Go?

    Hey guys-
    I am looking to build a Pompeii oven- but need the entire structure to be smaller than 6'6". Also, I believe that the required footprint is too large for my space requirements. Is there a way that I can make this thing smaller without sacrificing overall quality? ie- much shorter chimney, sits a tad lower to the ground than normal, etc.

    What's the smallest footprint I could go with? My intentions are for casual use, mainly 2-10 people for pizzas. Ideas???

  • #2
    Foot print and height

    The chimney is integral to helping the oven draft and circulate air properly. I don't know if any of the members have run Flow Code to optimize the flue. It may be possible to drop the height of the chimney slightly - check out the photo pages both in this forum and at the base web site. Shout out to Musa - did you fire and use your oven before the chimney was installed? If Robert does not jump in you should do a search in this forum for posts by Musa as I think he cooked with his oven before the chinmey stack was finished

    You may consider using the 36 inch diameter Pompeii design.
    the link will give you a guide to the overall dimensions

    The foundation is placed on rectangle approximately 6 feet by 6 feet 8 inch. This could be decreased a bit if you would consider making your stand circular rather than round. One of the member has done this. If you make your stand with brick rather than the blocks you could drop the height of the oven by a few inches. You then have to contend with the possibility of stooping to load your oven - not good ergonomics.



    • #3
      Originally posted by jengineer
      Shout out to Musa - did you fire and use your oven before the chimney was installed?
      i can't remember (i hate getting old) but i think i did. due to poor construction, my oven probably has the worst draw of any on the forum but its not a problem unless we get more than a light breeze from the south. also, my chimney is removable and i've been happy with that. perhaps a removable chimney would solve your problem. in any event, the taller the chimney the better the draw. if you go with a short chimney make sure you orient your oven so that the prevailing wind blows smoke away from your guests. smoke isn't an issue at pizza temperatures, but it can be while you are waiting to get there and while you are cooling down.

      an additional thought; when designing a finish it might be a good idea to consider tiling the area above the throat of the oven with a material that is easy to clean (soot off of).
      Last edited by Robert Musa; 03-30-2006, 12:20 PM.
      my site for our pompeii and tandoor ovens


      • #4
        Oven floor size

        31" should be about as small as you want to go. Room for the fire and one mid-size pizza. You can roast a chicken, but not a turkey.

        Our Casa80 (31.4") is a popular size for space constrained installations.

        If you have the room, a 36" oven gets you up to two mid-size or three small pizzas, and you can roast a small-mid size turkey. The Casa90 (35.3") is more popular than the Casa80 for that reason.

        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5
          What's the footprint for these things? ie- dimensions of the foundation?

          Also- Im seeing a ton of pics of people who just have a dome and short chimney- as if they took a Casa Kit, built it and left it at that. There's no side walls, etc. The chimney is really short, and the foundation seems to be fairly small as well. What's the difference with these and the ones with the cladding walls and tall chimney?
          Last edited by AZ_Specter; 03-30-2006, 03:59 PM.


          • #6
            Here's an example of a smaller/shorter one. I notice they don't have an exterior cladding either- and use a removable chimney- yet- even when the chimney IS installed, it doesn't appear to be that tall.

            I also seen pics on this site of ovens with not exterior cladding at all- just use the dome itself and a small/short chimney. I guess I'm confused as to when it's ok to do that, and when you have to build up a huge structure?
            Any help is appreciated!


            • #7

              You can build an enclose that follows the lines of the shape of the dome. You still cover the dome with insulation, then construct the enclosure walls with rebar and stucco lath, the cover it with stucco. The enclosure serves two purposes: it keeps water off the oven, and helps keep the insualation in place.

              For the vent, you should add a stack at least 24" above the top of the door opening. It will draw hot air, and help the oven cook and fire better. It doesn't have to be huge. In general, brick ovens draw well (they even do OK without any chimney stack).

              Here is a graphic for how the Igloo layers work.

              For dimensions, you should just use the Casa installation guide. It has stand dimension, enclosure descriptions, and drawing that can help Pompeii builders.


              We are constantly improving the installation guides for the Forno Bravo ovens.

              Attached Files
              Pizza Ovens
              Outdoor Fireplaces