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SpringJim 05-29-2008 04:40 AM

Oven Shapes
Okay, we have two basic shapes......James with the round and CJim with the barrel.....pretty basic end points.

I've used both and feel they both perform or bread!

I mentioned a hybrid that would be barrel at the entrance and domed at the back...kinda was shot down on that one! :eek:

Now I'm thinking egg-shaped, just a stretched dome...all the good characteristics with a functional shape?? 60 inched deep, 42 inches wide....kind of like a's looking good on paper!

Who has used other shapes? Anyone know of other FB posts here?

The inquiring mind kneads to know!


sarah h 05-29-2008 05:06 AM

Re: Oven Shapes
What you're describing - the pear shape - is pretty much exactly how the old bread ovens of Quebec were shaped. They worked!

dmun 05-29-2008 05:46 AM

Re: Oven Shapes
Here's an ovoid oven that was built at a MHA workshop:

james 05-29-2008 09:14 AM

Re: Oven Shapes
I always find this a scary topic. While I agree that it's fun to talk about alternatives, and explore ideas, for folks who are actually building an oven, and putting all the time and effort required to finished the project -- they only get one shot.

I would never build an ovaliod or a rectangular oven, and always recommend strongly against them. There are many postings throughout the forum explaining why, and I always feel badly whenever I hear from someone who built the Bread Builders oven and doesn't like it -- and they say, "I wish I had found you before I started."

I feel like a big part of our mission is helping inform new builders so they can make the right decisions.


cvdukes 05-29-2008 06:40 PM

Re: Oven Shapes
I'm pear shaped with the ferro-cement pizza oven. Only complaint I can say is I didn't make it big enough!... One pizza at a time and 3 baguettes is about the limit.

RTflorida 05-29-2008 09:18 PM

Re: Oven Shapes
I think for a group like the MHA this is a good thing to explore. Many of these people eat, sleep, and breathe oven/fireplace/firepit/heater building.
For the average DIYer that joins this forum because they have a passion for pizza and WF cooking, it is probably best to stick with the proven and best all around performer - the round oven. Like most everyone who joins our group, I only have so much spare time and money; to put everything I've got into a project like this and then not be happy with the performance or functionality, would have sucked the remaining life right out of me (foolishly mixing all that concrete by hand damn near killed me).
I will let the supposed experts do the experimenting...if they come up with a better mousetrap hopefully they will create an amazing forum such as this and convert some of us over the next time (I'd actually like to do a version 2.0 and steal some of the great ideas that have come up in the past year).


SpringJim 05-30-2008 04:11 AM

Re: Oven Shapes

Originally Posted by cvdukes (Post 33655)
I'm pear shaped with the ferro-cement pizza oven. Only complaint I can say is I didn't make it big enough!... One pizza at a time and 3 baguettes is about the limit.

Craig, what are the dimensions of your oven?

and I love the photo build of that MHA oven!

a favorite.... MHA News - 2006 Meeting - Backyard Oven with Peter Moore

cvdukes 05-30-2008 06:47 PM

Re: Oven Shapes
the cooking area of the oven is 36 inches front to back. The first 11 inches are a throat archway that is only 13 inches tall and barely 17 wide at the very bottom. I can cook bread in the throat area but its not too usefull for pizza. From there it balloons out to a massive maximum width of 21 inches and max height 18inches. Maximum dimensions occur about at 24 inches from the front. I usually place a pizza in the area between the throat and the maximum bulge. I tried to make the back 1/3 of the oven (i.e., the back 12 inches) my approximation of a parabolic reflector. During pizza cooking, the fire is pushed to the back. Since it was all done by eye and feel, I'm not sure how exact it is but it seems to work. Also, my wire frame got warped a bit when I was packing the mortar mix in.... the oven has a slight dogleg off to the right so that it kind of resembles a left shoe.
There is a antechamber before the throat where my chimney pulls from. The antechamber is 17 inches deep and 24 inches wide.

jet 05-30-2008 06:53 PM

Re: Oven Shapes
1 Attachment(s)

I am still in the planning stages of my oven. I probably won't be building for quite a while, but I like to think about different ideas. My current plan is to build an elliptical oven, similar in shape to one of the ovens you sell (see the attached picture). Are there reasons you would recommend against this?



SpringJim 06-01-2008 04:56 PM

Re: Oven Shapes
James is definately the round preacher and can back it up.

Your design is similar to mine, I'm just narrower in the front because that area just inside the oven is harder to get to. The pear or egg shaped oven has merit in my mind and I'm comfortable with the challenge. It will still have a good dome structure and some more room inside.

Time will tell...keep an eye on the Benjamia Oven (Ben & Mia's oven)


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