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james 03-03-2006 01:51 PM

Fireplace Below/Pizza Oven Above
We get a lot of requests for a layout that includes a fireplace below and a pizza oven above. That is what Christo was looking for in his posting on the Introductions Forum.

What I am grappling with is how to vent the fireplace below without making the pizza oven above to small it isn't worth doing. So far, we have see examples of a nice big fireplace below, with a tiny oven above, or the nice oven in Japan, where the pizza oven looks great, but the grill and fireplace below doesn't appear to be vented -- other than out the front. That should work for charcoal, but not a fireplace or even wood coals. I think it would be too smoky and sooty.

I met a family here in NorCal that has an up/down set up -- all handmade. They say it isn't perfect, but that it works.

My hope is that this group can come up with a method for venting the chimeny for the fireplace back at an angle, then up behind the pizza oven, and that we can come up with a footprint that is reasonable (not huge) and that the pizza oven on top ends up a nice, useful size.

I think that could be a nice project -- if it is possible to engineer it.

Comments and input on this are greatly appreciated. I have a simple CAD/drawing program, and can do mechanical drawings, if that would help.


jbzcooper 03-04-2006 07:35 PM

Multi-use pizza oven
Thats funny, I've been toying with this idea for a couple of weeks. Although, I would like to figure out a way to put the fire that heats the pizza oven directly below the pizza oven floor to maximize cooking area. I don't know how well this would work but I've come up with some preliminary drawings. It would act as a smoker, grill, and pizza oven.

If anyone has any experience with firing a pizza oven from below please let me know. If you'd like me to post my design let me know.

christo 03-05-2006 06:03 AM

Fireplace Below/Pizza Oven Above
2 Attachment(s)
I pulled two photos up and hopefully attached them. The blueprint file shows a cutaway of the fireplace/pizza oven. I'm not sure how hot the pizza oven gets, but it is fired from the fireplace/grill below.

james 03-05-2006 04:23 PM

Thanks Christo,

Very helpful. As you might guess, I am a purist on the oven. I don't think you can really enjoy wood-fired cooking without a real fire-in-the-hole oven. There are so many heat balancing issues that you can control with the Italian design that I don't think you could get with the fire below oven. I'm also not sure how hot it would get.

But the plans are a good starting point. I think the goal is to put a good brick oven on top, with a functional fireplace below -- with emphasis on the pizza oven above.

I think the trick is to vent the fireplace behind the oven, while still having a good draw.


dmun 03-06-2006 11:46 AM

This could be promising
I think what you're missing, James, is that you could build your fire in the oven, bake your pizza, then shove the fire down the flue into the fireplace to enjoy a fire after dinner, and bake desert in the oven.

Never underestimate the Japanese. ;)

I would do it with two flues so your fireplace wouldn't be so deep (I love the shallow rumford design) and just have a rear ash dump to go down to the fireplace.

I don't think draw would be a problem if the flue were tall enough: conventional fireplaces have a pretty big smoke chamber above the firebox.


james 03-06-2006 12:10 PM

Where would you put the flue for the fireplace, if you went with the two-flue design and a shallow Rumford fireplace?


dmun 03-07-2006 06:13 AM

flue placement
Good question, I have to do some cad work to think this out. My first thought is that if you used a corner oven entrance as paulages did, there would be an almost straight shot up from the fireplace up the flue. If you wanted to go for a symetrical design, it would be more convoluted.


Kinsman 03-07-2006 11:28 AM

That design looks very similar to THIS ONE, a brick BBQ pit: fire over there, cooking section over here.

I must admit the idea of a dual-purpose cooker is intriguing; but like most dual-purpose things, you would sacrifice too much of each in trying to address both. Or something.

Anyway, I think I'm going to build a pizza oven for pizza and a BBQ pit for BBQ.

christo 03-08-2006 06:24 PM

dual function fireplace oven
I think I'll keep my options open. I like the idea of a shallow fireplace and sharing a chimney but it's going to be tough to do this and have the fireplace draw well. Last thing I want to do is smoke out all my guests!!!!

maybe I'll draw the smoke from the fire place on either side of the oven door and route the smoke through the chimney that way. Hmmmm or put the fireplace chimney right next to the oven chimney so it looks like one.......

IF it doesn't work, I'll still have a working oven. At the end of the day, I want pizza!!!!!

I hope to pay with my CAD this weekend and publish some views, soon.

Thanks for the ideas!


james 03-08-2006 11:03 PM

This seems to be an ago-old dilemna. Jack of all trades; master of none. If you make too many trade-offs, you don't have a great cooking oven in the end -- and you can't make great pizza. First things first (the pizza oven).

Can't wait to see the CAD drawings. It seems like it can be done.

As an aside, I had an email exchange with the builder of the oven in Japan, who graciously agreed to let us post his oven pictures on


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