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moesizlacks 08-11-2008 06:46 PM

Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
Hello Everybody,
I'm trying to break into the wonderful world of making pizza. The only way to start would be to build my own oven. I'm really looking to build a small oven that is energy efficient and can maintain upwards of 900 to 1000 degrees.

My goal is to not have more than two or three 12" pies going at once, if that helps for sizing. What is the best oven model for this task? Thank you for any info. Sincerely, joe from philly

dmun 08-11-2008 07:17 PM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
I have a thirty six inch oven, which is well sized for a couple of 12 inch pies. To go to three, a thirty nine incher would be a better bet, but wrangling three pies at a time that cook in a little more than a minute is a real juggling act.

Welcome to the world of brick oven pizza.

Breven 08-12-2008 07:56 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
Before I began my build, I watched a bunch of youtube videos showing people cooking their pizzas in a WFO. After seeing how you have to turn the pizza and how fast it cooks- I realized that one pizza at a time is plenty. Two and you have your hands full- 3 would be tough. It only takes a couple of minutes and the pizza is cooked. You could cook 3 pizzas in 6-9 minutes, even if you did them one at a time. Still, I think you should make it as big as you can depending on your space and $.

thebadger 08-12-2008 08:23 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
I agree 100%. I thought my 36 would be too small but it's just the right size.

I'm just now starting to cook 2, 10-12" pizzas at the same time. It's really hard to keep up. You almost have to have one person make the pizzas and another concentrate on getting them in/cooked/out.

Plus, the 36 will heat up faster than a larger size oven.


moesizlacks 08-13-2008 09:30 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
Thanks dudes,

My friend Tom from Earth Bread Brewery said he would help with the build out. He just completed his first oven. Definitely gonna stick with one at a time, and the smaller oven. My goal is to have about ten to twelve seats, so one at a time is adequate.

I'm also going to go with a Neapolitan oven. Does anyone have any drawings? Thanks again, Joe from Philly

Breven 08-13-2008 09:50 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
What is the difference between a Neapolitan style oven and the Pompeii style oven? Is that two different names for the same dome shaped brick oven?

If it's the same thing, just download the PDF instructions from this site. With those instructions and a little help from looking at pictures from other builds on the site- you'll have everything you need to build one.

moesizlacks 08-13-2008 10:52 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
Yeah, it's pretty different. It's almost like a dome but the ceiling is lower. Can hold a temp of 900 with more efficiency? I'm a novice, though.

Breven 08-13-2008 11:00 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
I think the Pompeii plans show both high vault and low vault design. So what's the difference in design of a low vault Pompeii style vs. a Neapolitan? It sound like the same thing.

I went with a low vault design with my oven...for the same reason, I thought it might heat up quicker.

dmun 08-13-2008 11:32 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
High dome:
True hemisphere shape makes simple forms/brick jigs.
Closer to strongest catenary shape.
Lots of interior room for firestarting.

Low dome:
Traditional Naples shape, may cook top/bottom of pizza more uniformly (no need to "sky" pizzas).
Side thrust (particularly with traditional full soldier course) may require reinforcement/butressing
More difficult construction: Upper courses less likely to be self supporting.

I built a hemispheric shape oven, but there are arguments for both.

james 08-13-2008 11:54 AM

Re: Interested in building a Neapolitan oven
I think you can characterize the differences between the higher Tuscan and lower Napoletana oven styles as very subtle. Very, very subtle -- particularly in a home cooking setting. In fact, even high end restaurants can barely see the difference.

The low dome is probably a little better at bouncing heat from the fire and producing very high heat. The higher dome is probably better at holding heat and is more efficient with wood. The higher dome also gets you a larger opening, as the oven dome volume and opening size tend to be proportional.

But other than that, they are similar in about 98% of how they fire, hold heat and cook -- which is to say great!


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