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marndin 11-01-2008 09:22 AM

What is the smallest design that will work?
Hi there

I'm just starting to plan to build a pizza/bread oven and wondered if anyone has any plans or information about the smallest design, and what the drawbacks/limitations would be.

I have limited space in my back garden, but really fancy the idea of building one.

Many thanks for any advice at this stage of my planning.


dusty 11-01-2008 01:11 PM

Re: What is the smallest design that will work?
Welcome Martin.

I seem to remember the Forno Bravo oven plans talking about a 36" diameter oven. I would imagine you could build one even smaller if you need to.

Obviously, small ovens have less room inside. The fire takes up about 1/4 of the floor space in my oven. Their openings must be proportionally smaller too. Larger foods, like a turkey, might not fit in the door.

The smaller the oven, the less time and fuel it takes to heat it up.

I hate to see you go to all the trouble of building a brick oven only to be unhappy with it's size. Mine is 41" in diameter. I suppose I could make do with a 36" model, but I am glad I don't have to. I am pretty sure I wouldn't want it to be much smaller than 36".

Hope this helps.


Frances 11-01-2008 02:21 PM

Re: What is the smallest design that will work?
The Primavera's only 24" and James seems to be doing quite a bit of cooking in it... although I would imagine building one that size would be rather fiddly. The walls would probably be too thick in relation to its size, too.

So I think Dusty is right, 36" is the way to go, and you'll still be doing some serious cooking (and building) with that size.

What size and shape is your garden anyway? Because you can also build an oven into a bank or a wall or into a corner...

david s 11-01-2008 06:07 PM

Re: What is the smallest design that will work?
My oven is only 540mm (21") and is actually biger than my first oven, which was only 490 mm. With careful management and removal of coals I can cook just about anything. Did a turkey on Christmas Day in my small oven last year-no worries. For pizza it's one at a time, but I think that's how most of us do it anyhow. It's the preparation of the base and the toppings that slow you up. There are just so many advantages with a smaller oven. Less fuel, less materials in construction, lighter weight, faster construction, takes up less space and best of all, you use it that much more often because it's less hassle firing it up.

marndin 11-02-2008 02:23 AM

Re: What is the smallest design that will work?
Excellent... Thanks for your replies.

Do you know of any plans i.e dimensions etc that would help me, or maybe pictures of the smaller ovens so that I can start planning & preparing.

This is really exciting!


david s 11-04-2008 02:21 AM

Re: What is the smallest design that will work?
Try building your hemisphere over a mound of sand, making sure that the height of your oven mouth is about 63% of the height of the internal dome roof. You don't need nearly as much materials for a small oven so your labour is reduced and there's not much loss if things don't work out. Don't go smaller than a 5" diam flue.

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