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sjuniper 01-15-2011 09:36 AM

Oven sizing question
Help sought re size disagreement with partner.
Here in this Andean ecolodge we plan to build a pizza oven. With 60-90 seconds to cook a pizza at 800 degrees F. I reason that a smaller oven (42"?) could serve many people hot pizzas or just a few with equal facility, plus easier to heat and using less wood. My partner thinks that would be too small and that it should be larger to cook more pizzas at once. What do you think?

Neil2 01-15-2011 10:03 AM

Re: Oven sizing question
I have done 30 pizzas for a party in one go in less than an hour with my 40 inch oven.

GianniFocaccia 01-15-2011 12:42 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
Some here have reported that 800F is too hot and the pizzas come out scorched; typically, if you run your oven say, 650-725-ish, it'll most likely take your pizzas a little longer to cook.

If fuel is plentiful, go with a larger oven!

david s 01-15-2011 01:25 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
The time taken to cook the pizza is not really the issue because it takes way longer to prepare the pizza. Most cooks will only cook one pizza at a time because of this. Just done a party of 70 and two of us cooked all afternoon, one prepping, one cooking, all in a 21" oven maintaining a flame on the side. We also cooked a large Rainbow Trout.

dmun 01-15-2011 03:34 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
If you are running a commercial operation, and the oven is fired every day, you loose one of the main objections to a larger oven, which is the time and fuel it takes to heat up. The oven never really cools down.

Remember, in a wood fired oven, pizzas are cooking so quickly it's difficult to stretch and dress a pizza in the time it takes for one to cook, so anything much larger than a 42 is overkill, unless you plan to have more than one person working the pizza station.

Filthymutt 02-07-2011 04:56 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
Ok folks, there is a lot of talk about how many pizzas etc. but we might not all be on the same page as it were. When we say pizza are we all talking about the same size? I mean one person is thinking 9 inchers another 12 another 15...
What I am hoping to find out about is before I get into my serious designing phase, I need to know about the oven's interior dimensions and what they actually mean.
Is a 42" oven talking interior or exterior diameter.?
How many pizzas do you realistically fit into this size oven at what diameter pizza each?
How much room is needed for the fire?
Typical door is how wide? I guess that is also a limiting factor.

Then for non-pizza issues how about roasting a turkey?
Are these ovens too hot for the bird?
Will a 22 pound bird fit through the door?

If these questions have been asked already I apologize. I thought they must have but did a search and didn't see what I was looking for?

Thanx all

SCChris 02-07-2011 05:23 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
My opinion, and like many other things everone has one, is that over 38 inches and it becomes about what you want to do with the oven after the pizza. 38 inches, 1 meter, is plenty big enough to make and serve a very good sized pizza party. Bringing the dough balls to pre baked pizzas takes longer than to cook them and about all I'd want is 2 in the oven at once. Other than pizza I want to be able to get a large turkey or a very large roast with all of the trimmings in the oven or both. I have a 43" inch oven and a 38" would do all that I might need..

Other than pizza what size WFO might you imagine you could need.


Filthymutt 02-07-2011 05:41 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
Well, from what I have seen so far I was thinking 42 inches would be good. After all the work I expect to put into this project I want it to be able to handle a lot.
Typically, I think I would need big enough for 3 pizzas. Because when I make them now at home in a conventional oven, convection at 500 degrees with two pizza stones I often get two in and have to wait because I can not get a 3rd into it. In our family half the fun is in the prep, So I will assemble one side by side with my son & often the wife too. So we will have 3 prepped all around the same time. And if we have guests over we'd likely be doing it faster. For my son's birthday party a couple weeks back we had 24 kids over all prepping their own pizzas. So it would have been real nice to be able to handle more than a couple at a time.
Then on other occasions when I get my American Turkey into the oven ( I live in China) I want to be able to fit all the side dishes in there as well.
There is also the dome height to be considered. Since living here I have really gotten fond of roast duck (sorry Daffy, Donald). And that means hanging the birds vertically. So I need a good idea about the oven's interior dome height as well.
So for me I think its best to be prepared, size wise.

SCChris 02-07-2011 05:53 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
If you go vertical on the ducks. How much vertical space are you going to need? The door is going to be a trick. My oven is about 22 high in the middle, so the door is 14.75", unless my duck is short I'll have to bring it in on its side and then hang it from some sort of frame to drip into a pan.


Filthymutt 02-07-2011 07:05 PM

Re: Oven sizing question
Vertical is the only way when it comes to duck. Too much fat, it needs to drip off. A typical duck is maybe 12 - 14 inches long, So a 22 inch dome should be ok. I suppose if my calculations are ok :confused: you will lose 1.5 inches in height for every inch you go off center.
Given a skewer for the duck with a couple inches on either end to give ducky a skewered length of 16 - 18 inches, and you put a short bar across the top to hang from maybe an inch below the top of the dome, it should be ok for one to three ducks I am guessing.
Realistically all I suppose I need is room for one duck per five people. So two if you have guests over. Should be fine thanks

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