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ozziewaa 02-21-2012 01:58 AM

Pompeii Oven in Country SA
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After a few year of reading, thinking, dreaming we finally took the plunge and decided to build our back yard oven.

We started in January and this weekend just passed we had our first pizza. Since late December 2011 the Forno Bravo plans and forum have been a constant companion. Somehow two people who have never laid a brick before have managed to create a very effective outdoor oven, we're still not sure how this has happened!

The highlights of our experience were
- Using the indispensable tool to build the arch
- Support from the Forno Bravo forum
- Tapping in the key stone
- Standing on the competed dome
- Working out how to build the chimney
- Eating the first pizza

The frustrations were
- Sourcing all the materials
- The time commitment required to build the oven
- Not knowing if we were doing the correct thing
- Trying to envisage the design of the chimney

Apart from the final coat of render, some paint and a bit of joinery we have completed all the essential parts of our oven and we couldn't be more thrilled.

The essential elements of our oven were
- 100mm vermiculite insulation base
- fire bricks on base
- half Little Hampton pavers on dome
- 3 inch fire blanket insulation augmented by 50mm of vermiculite on top of dome

The door is currently two loose fitting pieces of mdf sandwiching domestic insulation.

After curing the oven we just about reached 300 degrees after a few hours of firing up and cooked pizzas to fill the kids up then used our tagine to cook a mean Morroccan chicken dish, roast some vegetables and bake our first focaccia.

From that experience we have found that the oven loses half its temperature every 24 hours, even with a dodgy door.

To all you would-be oven builders we would encourage you to go for it! With the invaluable help of the Forno Bravo plans we had a great time building the oven.

Alan and Wendy

GianniFocaccia 02-21-2012 09:13 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Country SA
Great job, Alan! I'll bet all the hours tediously building your masterpiece have melted away into hours of fun, cooking and eating with friends and family. You have an oven you can be proud of for years to come.

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