Old 03-10-2012, 06:27 PM
cobblerdave's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: brisbane australia
Posts: 2,610
Default Re: How small?

I just measure my kitchen oven ,just your bog standard gas designed to fit I suppose into a kichen cupboard module space....measured 470mm x 470 (19 in) floor area.
Say count in another 250 mm( 10 in) for a fire and the curve of the wall makes it 720mm (29 in ) to get a WFO to match your kitchen oven roughly

Regards Dave
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:54 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: How small?

Thermal mass is going to be a better messure of firewood used to get to temps.

A 42 inch uses the volume of 154 bricks this excludes the entry opening of the oven and includes the floor.
A 38 inch uses the volume of 127 bricks and has 82% of the thermal mass of a 42"
A 28 inch uses the volume of 71 bricks and has 46% of the thermal mass of a 42"

I haven't done the math on the surface areas to calculate relative areas of the exteriors to compair the potentual heat loss differences.

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Old 03-11-2012, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 36
Default Re: How small?

I would think heat loss would depend on insulation quality and how much food is being cooked.

There would be several variables so that getting a precise answer seems unlikely.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:59 AM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 1,632
Default Re: How small?

the curve of the wall makes it 720mm (29 in ) to get a WFO to match your kitchen oven roughly

I always wondered about this in order to properly plan plan meals for a large group, but secretly also to be able to defend my WFO against any visiting housewife attacks. Of course, one would have to install racks into the WFO to maximize relative capacity, but allowing for the WFO's thermal properties is another entire discussion.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:53 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,206
Default Re: How small?

Speaking to the aspect of comparative functionality of your home oven and a small WFO. I have a 30 inch range, a single oven with an integrated 4 burner cooktop. The useable interior area of the oven is 20inches wide by 16 inches deep and 12 high this allows for an inch of air flow around all sides of whatever. Most interior ovens will heat to 550F and this is plenty high enough to bake hearth breads and roast any meat, so a major WFO advantage is higher temps for cooking something like Naples style pizza and that you have a second oven.

Allowing for a inch of space on all sides, the usable floor area of my kitchen oven is 320 square inches and this is about the same as a 20 inch diameter circle or what a 22inch WFO would give you. When you’re burning a fire maybe the floor is available in a WFO for cooking pizza but when you’re done nearly 100% of your oven is available to cook.

Percentage of usable floor space, without a running fire and less an inch on all sides, for a given WFO diameter when compared to a 30 inch kitchen oven.

20 80%
24 119%
28 166%
32 192%
38 318%
42 393%

Remember that there are other advantages and disadvantages that a WFO has, that a kitchen oven doesn’t, weather and entertainment are just two examples.

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Old 03-11-2012, 02:09 PM
david s's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 5,155
Default Re: How small?

In practice, my 21" oven will take one large baking dish for a roast.This is
OK for a family. If we are doing a roast for more guests then I cook the meat in the WFO and the vegetables in the kitchen oven. For bread I usually only cook two loaves at a time, but have done 24 rolls in one go. For pizza I usually cook one at a time, maintaining a fire on the side. Like most people find, it is the prep that takes longer so one at a time works well. If doing a large party (40+) there is an advantage to doing multiple pizzas. I did a party of 80 once and removed all the coals and cooked three 9" pizzas at once, we did 70 pizzas that night, but had to recharge the oven a couple of times. I prefer to encourage guests to share whatever comes out of the oven rather than have people wait ages for "their" pizza. This works much better and you can always do half a pizza of a different variety.A small oven is great, but you need to be a bit more clever in its management which comes with practice.

Last edited by david s; 03-11-2012 at 02:14 PM.
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