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JamieC 06-12-2012 08:33 PM

Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
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I started with a fairly simple goal--to rebuild an existing outdoor kitchen island. Took out refrigerator, sink and gas grill, spent 4 days forming and pouring concrete to fill the grill and sink holes, then it started to crack (3rd photo). Bad omen, didn't feel good about putting several hundred pounds on the structure, so I demolished the whole thing to start from scratch. Unfortunately, I had already received and uncrated my Giardino 70, which was the largest oven I could fit on the existing structure. With hindsight, I should have started from scratch and gotten the larger Casa 2G90, which would fit in the new platform.

JamieC 06-12-2012 08:41 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
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With a blank canvas, I laid out the new design in CMUs, stacked them (ridiculous amount of work handling each block 3-4 times from the store to my truck, re-stacking on the truck, unloading truck at home then carrying to the back yard). Poured concrete from a u-cart trailer (big labor/time saver, only hauling mixed concrete to the backyard, rather than 80 lb sacks of ready-mix). With help from the first charter members of the "pizza for life club" I went from bare concrete to pouring the hearth in a 3 day weekend.

JamieC 06-12-2012 08:49 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
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Setting the insulation and floor tiles was pretty straightforward, although doubt crept in when I used fine dry sand under the tiles like the instructions said then later ready on the forum that the preferred mix is wet 50/50 fireclay/fine sand. 4 strong friends helped carry the dome (~230 lbs) from the garage to the hearth slab. Insulating was pretty straightforward, ended up with a fair amount of extra since I was pretty careful with the 3 layers. Covered it in 2 layers of chicken wire and ran into next hurdle. I bought Miracle-Gro brand perlite for for the insulating concrete layer, and didn't notice the fine print on the bag that it also contained fertilizer. Strong smell of ammonia while applying perlcrete, so I ripped out wire and perlcrete to try again. The good news is that I learned enough wrapping in chicken wire to do a better job the 2nd time, using stucco lath instead. While it's harder to work with, it creates a stiffer shape that holds up to perlcrete/stucco application better, as well as making a better surface to adhere the perlcrete to (smaller, sharper-edged "holes" to grab onto).

JamieC 06-12-2012 08:58 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
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I purchased the entryway arch from FB, but the photo was pretty misleading. Turns out it wasn't "3 pieces," but a single piece that didn't include the landing bricks like the photo showed. That was inconvenient but the worst part was that the arch was built so that it would have "rested" at the level of the insulation board, not at the top of the fire bricks. Had to cut it down a couple inches, requiring purchase of diamond circular saw blade and a resulting extra-short first brick in the arch. After putting the perlcrete layer on, I diverged a bit from the instructions and put a brown coat of stucco over the perlcrete the same day, at the recommendation of my stucco guy. Since I wanted to wrap the whole outdoor kitchen in stucco, and didn't want my trowel skills on prominent display for the whole neighborhood, I hired professional help to apply the stucco (scratch/brown coat 1 day, finish coat the following day). The funky wood structure coming out of the oven opening is my impromptu "scaffold" to help support the arch while the special order landing bricks continued to be delayed. I just didn't trust the fairly narrow strip of mortar on the vertical face to hold it completely with no mechanical support. Better safe than sorry.

JamieC 06-12-2012 09:00 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
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Here's the oven with the finish coat of stucco, and the landing completed. Pretty much done now, just waiting for a 4' chimney extension from FB. Starting curing fires on Sunday.

Lburou 06-13-2012 11:51 AM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
Looking good :D

Sparky005s 07-11-2012 06:56 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
Very nice, indeed. Let us know how the cooking goes.

JamieC 07-18-2012 12:56 PM

Re: Giardino 70--Texas Build
 
5 Attachment(s)
Thanks. Cooking is going pretty well so far. I cooked a chicken and a pork roast while curing the oven, and since that was complete I've cooked ciabatta, 1 "dirty steak" and 37 pizzas. Big lessons so far are to keep enough "live" fire to maintain floor heat while cooking, to be more careful pulling out pizzas with my small turning peel (2 of them have flipped over and landed face down :eek:), and that working with round dough balls produces round pizzas much more easily (as opposed to the overproofed 'blob' of dough balls that really want to produce square skins). Here are some photos: marinara (first pie out of the oven), a margherita and a bianco mushroom, my 'house specialty' Spanish pie (mozzarella, cooking chorizo, piquillo peppers and smoked paprika), and a bananas foster dessert pizza that I'm still perfecting (needs more caramelization next time). Just got an Ischia sourdough culture up and running, I've only made one batch of dough with it, more experimenting underway to fine tune the fermentation process. Heading to Naples next week to see if I can learn a few lessons to bring back to my pizzas!


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