Why we did the Pompeii Oven
When I got hooked on brick ovens about four years ago, the choices were very limited. There were plans for a barrel vault brick oven ($100 for the photocopied set of plans), or you could pay a crazy amount of money for an imported oven. I built the oven from the plans, and before I even finished it, decided to to build a second one inside during a kitchen remodel. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with the barrel vault oven design-- for more on that, read our Why Round page.
Then I started coming to Italy, and saw the real brick ovens. The attitude toward wood-fired ovens is completely different here. There are pizza ovens everywhere -- in homes, courtyards, covered patio, free standing enclosures, take-out pizzerias and fancy restaurants, and they are used all the time.
The ovens are sold by garden centers here pretty much the same way Home Depot sells Weber BBQ's. They line them up, and they disappear. Prefabricated ovens are displayed right next to the refractory bricks, mortar, oven floors and insulation that are used for site-built ovens. Everyone knows how to install a pizza oven and how to cook in them, and the prefabricated ovens are priced fairly. The modular pizza oven kits outsell site-built brick ovens by a large margin, but hobbyists and muratore (brick layers) still build brick ovens.
My goal is to bring this dynamic to America -- pretty much the way you see it here in Italy. Our refractory ovens are priced fairly (a lot less than the alternatives), and with the Pompeii Oven plans, we transfer the knowledge you need to build your own oven. Either way, you get a great oven, and everyone benefits from your photographs, recipes and everything you learn.
Building a large English-Language pizza oven community is fun, and will help grow awareness through word-of-mouth, and through great food. At some point in the future, hopefully, someone will see a Pompeii Oven, and if they don't have the skill or time to build one, will become a Forno Bravo customer. Tell a friend, take lots of photos for us to post on www.fornobravo.com, and send us you recipes.
Finally, we offer complete line of Pizza Oven Tools and accessories, so if you build a Pompeii Oven you can always buy your pizza peels from us.
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