Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community (
-   Introductions (
-   -   Hi from Alaska (

Paul_H 03-19-2014 05:54 PM

Hi from Alaska
I've been wanting to build a wood fired pizza for years, heck probably closer to a decade. We've been baking bread for years and it seems lately have finally gotten pretty decent at baking pizzas in a conventional oven, but I know it doesn't compare to what a good wood fired oven can do.

Trouble is our current house has a very restrictive homeowners association and a small yard so I just couldn't see putting in the effort and expense when I figured we be moving out of the house some day. I know, I could just get a portable oven but I've been holding out for what I really want.

Well, some day hasn't quite arrived, but we have purchased a lot and are planning to build a house this summer. The good thing about the lot is no Homeowner's association and almost now covenants, yeah! That and it's a 1/2 acre lot which should be just enough room for the house, a small garden and greenhouse and of course most importantly a nice outdoor kitchen with a wood fired stove!

So since we're still in the planning stages I rekindled my wfo interest and came across this forum (just what I need, another forum to follow) Seeing what the members here have built has really inspired me!

At this point I'm trying to decide between an elevated deck coming off the dining room or a ground level patio. The upside of an elevated deck is it should be high enough where the neighbors roof lines in the photo would be about level with the water line and hence you'd have a panaramic view of the mountains in the distance.


The downside would be I'd need a large and expensive elevated deck to support the weight of the WFO and what I'd really like is a smaller deck with stairs leading down to something like this with a fire pit and table for more intimate entertaining, but bordered by the lawn so we have room for entertaining larger groups.

My boys have been helping me clear the lot and we'll end up with about 2 cords of birch and 3 cords of alder when we're done. Should fire up a pizza or two!

As far as an oven, I'm leaning towards a 42" dome. I'd like something big enough to fire 3 pizzas at once when entertaining a big group (I know lots of planning involved in that with dough made in advance and them assembling the pizzas and me processing them through the oven) and being able to bake fairly large batches of bread on occasion. I'm not sure on if I'll build it out of bricks or go with a forno bravo cast kit. I'm thinking the time savings of the kit might offset that higher price especially if it's the difference between getting the oven finished in one summer or the project dragging on for two summers.

Hope I'm not to verbose :eek:

NCMan 03-20-2014 03:12 PM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Hi Paul. Welcome to the forum. I've been to Anchorage and the general area. Loved it!!

Greenman 03-20-2014 05:56 PM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Hi Paul

Welcome. Plenty of good information and ideas here for those planning to build. You certainly have some great scenery although I could live without the ice and snow. None of that here in the sub tropics and work goes on across the year.

One thing to contemplate is the size of your oven. The bigger it is the longer to heat and the more wood you will burn. Mine is 36" and I can easily cook 2 pizzas at once or accommodate 3 baking trays. At about 2 minutes per pizza that gives a potential for 60 pizzas in an hour - be a lot of work to try to punch out 90 per hour!

Anyway, I am sure that you will figure that and there are some very inspirational builds to feed your plans from on this forum.

I look forward to following your progress.

Paul_H 03-21-2014 10:13 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Thanks for the warm welcome.

The snow really isn't that bad, and I don't mind fiddling about on ice on occasion.

It's the icy roads I could do without. To me the ideal winter is temps that stay between -5 and -10C. The problem is most winters we get a warm spell or two so the snow starts melting, maybe some rain and then it freezes up and the roads are like a skating rink and that I can do without. This winter was unusually warm, it hit +15C, unheard of. We went from having 1/2 meter of snow on our lot when we bought it to snow free which was perfect timing for us to clear most of the lot and run the brush through a wood chipper.

The real drag in the winter is the darkness, from Thanksgiving to a bit after New Years I'm rather cranky with the lack of sun.

On the flip side, our summers are wonderful, come mid May it's like someone flipped a switch. Everything is green and we have a 2 month stint when it literally never gets dark even though the sun dips below the horizon for a few hours.

I'll definately cronicle my build, though I'm a bit over a year out from starting. A bit of cart before the horse as we haven't settled on a floor plan, builder or where exactly the house will end up on the lot, but you gotta plan the important stuff!

stonecutter 03-21-2014 11:42 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
That second pic made me seriously miss ice climbing. I gave it up just before my son was born, around 7 years ago. My cousin has been living in Sitka, AK since we graduated HS, and when the wife and I visited him, I brought a whole bag of climbing gear( no ice in Aug down there), but spent all our time fishing and kayaking.

Paul_H 03-21-2014 12:13 PM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Funny thing is I didn't take up ice climbing until I was married and had three kids. My wife and I met rock climbing. We had plans of climbing El-Cap, but we found ourselves expecting our first child right after getting married, moved to AK shortly after our second was born and 20 years later we still haven't climbed it.

I have a friend/former co-worker I've known for years up here that I started rock climbing with during our lunch hours that got me into ice climbing. My wife wasn't terribly enthusiastic to put it mildly. I stay off the crazy stuff and have managed to get my wife on ice, as well as both of my teenage sons. But I still prefer rock climbing over ice, with a long winter that often isn't friendly to skiing, you gotta do something. One of the nice things about the location we're planning to build our house is it's 10-15 min drive to ice climbing so bagging a short climb or two after work while the oven is being fired and the dough is rising sounds pretty doable. Didn't manage to do any ice climbing this year, and a pizza and beer diet isn't going to help me get back into climbing shape

I also have a few rock objectives up here as well.

Unfortunately they are terribly weather dependent. My biggest project to date was building something to access that area

And it's done yeomen's duty in supplying shrimp for the barbie and other bounty from the sea.

Greenman 03-22-2014 04:58 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Would have 'liked' your post but the pics drove things off the screen. Very nice pics but! Could say cool.

NCMan 03-23-2014 07:24 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
I was up that way in 1999. It was tough to leave. Of course, it was in July, when the daylight was plentiful. The temps got up into the 70's a couple times and folks were cussing at the "unbearable heat". It never did really ever get dark. It was weird walking out of a place at 10PM and it was daylight out. One of the things I remember was, when I was there, someone had caught an 89 pound king salmon, which was a state record at the time. That thing was huge. Also loved eating all the smoked salmon. Lots of good times. Beautiful place. One of my favorite places was Seward. Eating the fresh beer battered halibut caught off the Homer Spit was great, too.

Paul_H 03-24-2014 10:15 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Sorry about the oversize pictures :( I tried to edit the post to get rid of them, but not only did the pictures scroll off the side of the tread, the button that allows you to edit the thread seems to have scrolled off into the ether as well.

PS, I went to the site I had the photos hosted and deleted them, now the thread fits!

I guess I'm used to other forums where they auto fit images that are too large.

Paul_H 09-23-2014 10:18 AM

Re: Hi from Alaska
Looks like it'll be next summer at the soonest before I can start an outdoor kitchen project (and late January at the soonest before we can move in), but our builders are making progress.

Couple of pics of where I plan to put in a patio for an outdoor kitchen, taken from the kitchen window. Sorry about shooting into the sun.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC