Old 06-23-2010, 03:05 PM
Master Builder
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 803
Default Re: Build a geodesic oven out of stainless steel

Maybe time I added my two cents. I have had my "Steel Dome Oven" WFO running for over two years and save for increasing a bit the transition flue area/volume I would not change anything. It is crack proof and probably bullet proof should anyone be crazy enough to fire a round into the WFO. However unlikely that might be, a carelessly handled metal peel (by a young and up and coming pizzaiolo grandson) gives me no concern with regard to damage to the interior of my WFO.

Ken regarding your thoughts: "but the bigger problem would be due to the reflective nature of the steel. The amount of heat directed at your food food would spike tremendously, and proportionately to the amount of live fire in the oven at any given moment. You'll go from screaming hot and burning your food to inadequate heat to cook through thoroughly in a very short time."

That might be some theoretical possibilty but in the real world I have not found that to be the case. Any variation due to reflective nature of the steel has not been an issue. The interior of my WFO is a dull dark black red color. If you have ever burned a S.S. pan on a stove you will be aware the bright shiny pan rapidly becomes dark grey black. "INOX" maybe what they like to call S.S. but it does oxidize when exposed to high heats and the resulting surface is anything but shiny and highly reflective. Perhaps like a traditional fireback in a fireplace the metal does reflect more heat more efficiently than a refractory brick. However, it would appear that the dark surface and better heat transmission of the steel makes for better quicker and distribution of the heat from the fire. Perhaps the people wanting more reflected heat like is offered from a low dome WFO should consider a steel dome? I still "sky"* my pizzas to crisp and brown the cheeze on the surface. And the heat out the front is no worse than my neighbors cob built WFOs.

My steel domed WFO heats up faster than the brick WFOs report here and is truly damage and crack resistant. In my WFO the time from match to first pizza is about 45 minutes. I've baked rolls one day and baked a pork shoulder for pulled pork (to be eaten on the rolls) using the retained heat. And still had sufficient heat to dry out (tinder dry) a full load of wood following the pork. Be aware wood where I live is basically free (cost of chainsaw fuel and gas for the splitter) and so it is of little concern to me how many days I can bake afterward using one firing. Those bragging rights I readily concede to whoever wants them. I have yet to build an insulated door for my WFO. So the question: How long it would hold useable heat? is an unknown to me.

I would suggest to Sabre that he look into swapping some of his S.S. for the end off a propane tank of a half tank if spherical tanks are available in your area. And charge ahead with the WFO saving the time needed to weld up the geodesic dome to be spent eating pizza when he's finished.

And I'm not the only Steel Dome Oven here so my results are not unique and from one WFO. I have eaten great pizza from the "Dented Bouy" which is two steel domes one inside and then refractory like mine and then insulation and an outer steel dome (the dented bouy). There's some discussion of his build on my "Steel Dome Oven" thread, and here's a picture of his operation.


* to sky a pizza is to lift it so the top surface is closer to the top of the dome. It toasts the surface of the pizza.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 7
Default Re: Build a geodesic oven out of stainless steel

So back on track with the S/S but not a geodesic dome but a vault with radius type ends after looking how much welding would have to be done Thanks Wiley you have made me very happy. .Where I work we use25mm 90% aluminum ceramic tiles for wear resistance on coal chutes .I have been told they may crack if heated might give them a trial run
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 122
Default Re: Build a geodesic oven out of stainless steel

Well there you have it Sabre, Wiley speaks from experience, of which there is no match. It sounds like he has had very good results.

"Going Jimmy" and "Kiss'n the sky" are terms we've used...

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