Nobody has answered my previous Post on the "newbie" section. I want to get the smallest Forno Bravo oven I can get, but I like to make one 14 inch pizza every Friday night. What is the smallest oven I have sufficient room in to do a 14 incher? Some of the post indicate 10 inches is the largest they can make in a Primaverra 60. I guess I could make two 8 or 9 inchers. What advice do you have?
You will be limited by the size of the opening regardless of how big the inside of the oven is. Forno Bravo should have dimensions of their various ovens; if not they have an 800 number and surely would help you. Why not just make a simple cob oven as I am doing for now until you decide and learn what you want permanently. My opening to my 27" diameter oven is 13.5 inches but it could have been made bigger but it really would not be proportional to the inside oven diameter. The bigger the opening the more heat can potentially escape and less thermal mass you have but I imagine you could build something with a 16" opening (allows 1" clearance on sides of peel) and have as a minimum an oven with a diameter of (guessing) 24". This is probably a large opeing in proportion to the oven diameter but it would still cook. Plus, with a smaller oven it would take less wood to heat the total thermal mass. Again, experiment with a cob oven; the main cost is labor!!! See my thread:
Let me know what you decide to do. I don't think I would build much smaller than 24" diameter and it will have little room for both coals and a 14" pizza at that diameter but it is doable.
I found the site where Forno Bravo keeps its Specs on ovens:
Additional Resources | Research Wood-Fired Ovens
I think the reason you aren't getting much response is that your ambitions are so specific and don't fit well with most of our practices and preferences.
Firing an oven for an hour to spend 90 seconds baking one pie feels "odd". And why 14 inches? None of us (so far as I know) routinely make pies that big. The fragile doughs many of us aspire to can be challenging enough at ten inches and more robust, thicker doughs are not particularly WFO friendly. Again, it feels "odd".
What's wrong with making two ten inch pies? (appx. same surface area as a 14)? That seems to be the size most of us make.
And there is the issue Mark identified, You could theoretically make a 14 inch pizza in an oven that was about 22 inches in diameter but the door would be out of proportion and potentially cause temperature problems and you would have a very limited space for both the fire and the pie.
While I can't speak for everyone, I found it hard to relate to your ambitions and I don't really know how to answer your question because I wouldn't want to make ten inch pizzas in a 22 inch oven.
I would encourage you to find someone in your vicinity who has a WFO and try to get some experience before pursuing an oven smaller than 34 inches.
I agree with TexasSourdough. The novelty of the WFO is that once heated you can bake several pizzas (and other items) from one firing (once entire oven is up to temp.) Similarly, I don't see the need for a single 14" pizza. One advantage of several smaller pizzas is that you can try different toppings for different preferences and enjoy a learning curve if the first one doesn't come out to your liking (much cheaper and quicker to throw out a burnt personal 6 or 8" versus a 14"). Given that pizzas only take a couple of minutes in a properly temped oven; I dont see the need for just one 14" for dinner since several smaller ones will not take much time to cook.
But if you have your reasons for a large pie, then you probably will need a larger oven. If your pizza is too close to any hot coals (certainly they can be removed while cooking) that edge of pie will burn before the rest is done.
My simple cob oven is only 27" internal diameter and I plan to cook 8" to 10" pizzas (it should handle a 12" (door opening is 13.5")). The first few pizzas are like appetizers; the group is enjoying the process of cooking together and building pizzas and talking; not to just hurry up and get the single large pizza done so supper can be over. The process of baking is part of the experience that makes it so unique!
I'm also serious about the cob oven; give it a try; you will enjoy it and you will answer so many of your own questions along the way while enjoying an operable inexpensive oven at the end of the day!
Thank you and Sourdough for responding so rapidly and so well. I started making my own Pizza's 6-7 years ago with a metal pizza pan and then got a pizza stone which made my pizzas at least a 100% better. After visiting A-16 ins San Fran and Apizza Scholls in Portland, I decided I needed to go to the next step because their pizza was lightyears better than my Pizza Stone products. 14" is probably the result of my Pizza pan size and the fact that it is perfect for my wife and I one night a week. We have only one good Pizza place in our rural area it is not wfo and so is really no better than my home pizza.
I am not handy building things and the prefab Primavera 60 is perfect from a price and portability standpoint---we maybe going to Hawaii in a couple of years (or we may not). Price is right also. The Primavera 60 has a 16" opening, but I am going to start making two 10" pizzas friday p.m. I took a class on WFO, but they had an oven that was at least 48" or more and the size of the pizzas was 14-15 inches. I do plan to make bread in the oven and might try cooking meat also.
Your suggestions were exactly what I needed. Again thank you both.
The 24 inch oven is really tight because you want enough fire to have flames lapping up the wall and toward the ceiling. As Mark suggests you don't really want the pie right up against the coals or it will char. I would disagree with him about removing the fire - sure it CAN be done - because taking the fire out means no flames and much lower heat radiating down on the top to give the dappled caramelization everybody loves.
The 70 is a much more versatile oven for it gives you quite a bit more working room - fire would be essentially the same - but you would have four more inches to allow you to work with the pie. That is not trivial IMO.
When Peter Reinhart was here I asked him how he likes the Primavera. He loves it. Says it does all well, but he did thing the larger oven was preferable over the 60. One big advantage the smaller ovens have is that you only need about 6 to 8 pounds of dough to load them adequately to get good crust. In my 34 inch oven I need about 15 pounds and that is more than I typically like to make.
The WFO is addictive. Feel free to ask questions as you mover forward!
I can jump in with a few thoughts. The Primavera60 is unique in the market because it is a real wood oven that lets you do just about everything you can do in a larger oven -- in an oven that you can set up by hand. That's what I think is so great about the P60. If it were any larger, you would need to build a custom stand and use mechanical equipment to set it up; and if it were any smaller, you would be giving away useful (or even necessary) cooking space.
It's the Goldilocks oven. Not too big and not too small -- it's is the largest possible real wood oven you can set up by hand. It's perfect.
Larger ovens can definitely do more; and if you have the space and/or budget to install a bigger oven, you should go for it. If you aren't handy, you can pay someone to install a Casa2G oven for you, or you can set a Primavera70 on a BBQ island.
But if that doesn't work for you, the Primavera60 is just right. We made 11" pizzas in the FB YouTube video, but you can make a slightly larger pizza as well. In fact, we were doing a cooking class at Forno Bravo in Marina last week and we were using the 14.5" premium pizza peel to place our pizzas.
One thing that is pretty cool is that the Primavera60 has made is possible for a large number of people to enjoy wood fired cooking, who would not have been able to do before. I really like that.
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