Well, it is a very exciting time for our family as we are about to close on our first home! One of my dreams has been to have a wonderful outdoor patio complete with stone bbq and a wood fired oven. We live in Massachusetts, so of course weather plays a factor here, but I'm hoping I can glean some information from fellow enthusiasts here so that we do everything right when the time comes to build our outdoor kitchen.
My name is Fred, by the way. I'm 28 and I'm a web developer. My wife and I are both big foodies and I think a great gift is to start planning a wonderful space for relaxing and enjoying company when the weather is good as well as being able to enjoy those crisp fall nights.
So, here is our project goal:
1 outdoor fireplace with the ability to let us bbq (so some sort of removable bbq grate feature in case we just want to enjoy the fire pit itself)
1 wood fired oven
We'd love to have anyone and everyone weigh in on our plans. I know a wood fired oven is definitely going to handle a good amount of our cooking needs (pizza, as well as my love for baking breads) but we also love our grilling and barbeque as well, so we'll want to install both. Is there a reason not to do that? has anyone else done something similar? Also, being in the northeast, we'll need to consider the frostline and making sure that everything stands the test of time in terms of avoiding frost heaving issues and such.
I'm eager to learn from the folks here. Thanks for reading!
Welcome, Fred. The grill over the fireplace in a new idea here, you may want a raised hearth so you aren't bent over for your grilling. If you aren't grilling for the multitudes, the little legged grill called the Tuscan grill is what a lot of folks use here: The coals underneath and the heat from the dome cook both sides of the meat at once.
There are two approaches to the frost heave problem. If your oven's chimney won't be much taller than you are, a slab on a thick bed of well drained crushed stone is a good plan. For tall chimneys or massive double hearth structures, masonry fireplace code is called for: A foot of reinforced concrete poured on bare earth below frost line (often three feet down) and extending six inches beyond the outside of the structure built on top of it. There is a new plan for frost insulated foundations, but I'm not sure anyone here has tried it yet.
It's not recommended to put your fireplace directly below your oven. Offsetting it to the side, or having a separate fireplace structure allows you to separate your cooking and seating areas.
Good luck on planning your project.
There are some ovens that have a grilling area attached to the oven where you can scoop out the hot coals and use them, of just light a fire for grilling there. Not sure if it would meet the fireplace requirement.
Pizza Oven Photo | Tuscany
Pizza Oven and Grill
Just two examples...
You are gonna love the cooking opportunities this provides. Make sure you download the free plans and the wood fired cooking ebook from the forno bravo store.
Thanks for the warm welcome. Right off the bat I'm getting some great information, so thank you for that! We plan on keeping the bbq/fireplace piece separate from the oven as the oven cannot serve the purpose of providing ambient heat outside on a patio (that I know of) so we're going to be planning a unique solution for our desires. If all goes well with my freelance work this should be commencing sometime next year so I've got plenty of time to figure this thing out. The interesting points I'm left to consider are first the ergonomic challenge - to raise the hearth or not? Certainly a hearth that i stand up to use will then be too high for enjoying while sitting down to it's fullest extent. What I do like on the example images provided by Drake is the grilling area added on. Not a bad idea. Perhaps we could have a central fireplace and on one side, an area for grilling and on the other, the oven. Then again, how to tie everything together? I definitely like and prefer the pompeii-style ovens because I believe the circular shape to really win the efficiency award for cooking.
I'm sure some clever facing as has been done in those pictures will enable us to get everything we want into a single device so that is good.
I think we may be looking at three separate components. Anyone care to argue that consolidating the fireplace and bbq into one is worth while over building a separate bbq?
I much prefer standing up straight when cooking over a grill, and I much prefer sitting down at the patio table playing cards, music, relaxing etc. so the actual fireplace has to be pretty conventional in my mind.
Here is what we want to use this thing for
- Wood-Fired Oven - for pizza, breads, naan bread (500 degrees or so is needed to do it right) and general purpose baking & cooking, smoking?
- BBQ - all the usual stuff - grilling, briskets, ribs, roasts, etc.
- Fireplace - relaxing, ambience, chestnuts, hot cocoa, etc.
Here are some other features I want to incorporate. Can anyone think of any other bells and whistles?
- Hood for the built-in bbq
- Thermometers for the oven and the bbq
- 2 or 3 grill racks - how many? At least bottom and secondary?
- A hot plate, Installed and removable for easy cleaning
- Wood storage area
Just some random thoughts as to the what's and why's.
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