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Stonemason 08-16-2009 10:04 AM

Bottom Fire Chamber
I am new to the forum and wood-fired ovens. I plan to build an oven and was impressed with the ovens I saw in Egypt. They have a separate chamber under the oven for the fire. The heat then vents up the back of the oven and out the top chimney. This design appeals to me more than having the fire in the baking chamber. No one else seems to use this design. What am I missing?

jurassicjockey 08-20-2009 03:27 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber

I've been looking into the exact same design. A coworker built one several years ago, but has since moved, so I don't have access to check it out. I'm just researching my first build, but I think that I'm going to give it a try. Nothing ventured.... I will look forward to seeing any responses to your thread though

Alfredo 08-21-2009 10:26 AM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Is this a help?

masrawy 10-27-2009 01:21 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Hello all,

the Egyptian woodfired oven has been used for thousands of years throughout Egyptian village. It's quite efficient as the cooking happens from the top and the bottom. And since the burning wood is separated from the food by using the two chambers system. It's much cleaner ..

There is a more sophisticated one in the villages, where the sleeping area would be above the oven and that provide warm bed for the family at night too. ;)

The opening between the two chambers is to let the heat in, its called " Mashrga" if it is in the back of the oven than it's wrong or not preferable. It's better if placed in the left side of the oven to permit throwing pieces of wood to the bottom chamber as needed while baking bread. This way, you don't have to leave the oven front to feed the fire from the bottom or side.

I have one built in front of me some years ago to learn how to build one in my backyard. I have some pictures I could scan them and post them here if you wish.

Regards~ Salam~Masrawy

Stonemason 10-28-2009 04:19 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
It would be helpful if you could post some of the pictures you have.

masrawy 10-28-2009 06:19 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Okay Stonemason, I will post them tomorrow ..

RTflorida 10-28-2009 10:23 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Bottom line, a bottom fire white oven works very well for baking, if you intend on doing a lot of pizzas - stick with the Pompeii style black oven nearly all forum members are building. As most everyone here can attest, the Pompeii also bakes, roasts, smokes, and grills phenomenally well too.


masrawy 10-29-2009 01:23 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
I took this image about 30 years ago of Forn Baladi that was used in everyday life.

Here is a link to the step-by-step images of the one I had built just a few years ago, nothing fancy I just wanted to see for myself. Usually it's built right on the ground, but since this was the roof of a building. It was built on top of four columns, as far as I'm concerned it's more than bread oven. They would use clay pots for all sorts of food to be cooked in this kind of oven too. They call it Bram ... then whatever in it is added to that.

I guess next time I need to start collecting recipe.

This is just one image as embedding would have taking much time, but you can see the rest in my album @

please let me know if there is a problem with the link or if you have questions.

Stonemason 10-29-2009 05:44 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Thanks for posting the pictures. I enjoyed seeing the simple design. What material is used for the oven floor?

masrawy 10-29-2009 07:46 PM

Re: Bottom Fire Chamber
Hi Stonemason,

You are welcome it was interesting to watch it being built it was fired the next day, that's when I learned the issue with we are to place the opening between the two chambers. The ladies who provided the baking were upset with the builder and questioned where he is from, since he put the opening in the back as this picture shows.

As for the material this was 4 mm steel sheet for both the bottom and the top chamber. But more traditional Egyptian ovens they use commercially produced clay fired oven floor about an inch and a half thick. The steel sheets were about 3' x 3' the mortar they used is a mixture of 13 shovels of sand to one cement. Then finish it with cement layer, again because it was built on the rooftop, it took about 300 redbrick. A more traditional oven they would use mud and straw mix as the first picture shows in my previous post.

I am wondering myself whether I could find other alternative in the US other than using a steel sheet for the oven floor. Maybe more knowledgeable member of this forum might be able to give advise or alternative.

I'm planning to build mine sometimes next summer ...

Do you have time frame for yours??

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