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K79 02-07-2013 07:24 AM

36" or 42"
Hello Everyone,

I'm torn between the 36" and the 42" design. Anyone that has build either please let me know if you built a 36" and love it or wish you went with the 42". Those who built a 42" do you think you could get away with a 36" or do you like the extra room?

Thanks Everyone in Advance !

SCChris 02-07-2013 07:54 AM

Re: 36" or 42"
I have a 42 and most of the time a 36 would be fine. I can say that when the oven is really full is when I have a roast and side dishes going. I don't think I would have been hampered with a 36 but when I made my choice I decided that since I had the room and a suckling pig was one of those things I wanted to roast, I went with a 42. A point not often discussed is the height of the oven entry. If my memory serves me, 60% of the interior height of the oven is what is felt to be the ideal entry height. So for a 42 the entry should be about 12.6 inches and for a 36 about 10.8. These 2 inches may be more important than floor space. Insulation is in my opinion critical and given you're in Maine I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice by cutting corners here. Also I think you want to think about some oven house and covered work area but these really depend on how you want to use the oven and how often.


ATK406 02-07-2013 09:28 AM

Re: 36" or 42"
I also built a 42" WFO and concur with Chris exactly.

deejayoh 02-07-2013 09:29 AM

Re: 36" or 42"
I had the same conundrum and went with a 39". I'm happy with the decision. Plus it's also a meter across, so it felt very international:rolleyes:

To Chris' point - I am not sure door height needs to be a consideration - since it's a ratio of door to oven height. You can make your oven as short or tall as you like. With a 39" diameter, I went with an 18" oven height because I wanted better pizza performance. But I agree with him that it's really up to you to design it how you like.

Dino_Pizza 02-07-2013 04:07 PM

Re: 36" or 42"
K79: you asked in another post, about purchasing an FB oven kit. So are you asking now about the 42" compared to the 36" that FB sells as a kit? I only ask because if I had to custom build all over again, I would have done what dejayoh did above: 39" would have been PERFECT. It's only 3", but that last couple inches to the very back of the oven would be nice if it was, well a couple inches closer. Also, I'm 6' and have longish arms but if you or a spouse is shorter, it's all that much farther.

BUT, if your choice is 36" or 42" (b/c that is all FB has for their kits) well, the 36" is just 3" shorter (x2 of course!) all the way around. I would be happy with it too. It's pretty rare when I've got more than 2 roasting pans in there (ie: 9x11 pan of potatoes and a 12" oval with leg of lamb) and that would fit easily in a 36" with room to rotate the pans with a poker. A 42" might add room for another pan. I rarely do that and by then, well I'm also using my kitchen oven if my meal/party is that big anyway.

The 6" makes a difference on everything else too: It's usually 1 less concrete block in 1 or both directions on the base and that saves concrete, weight, etc. I do tend to really fill my 42" oven when I'm smoking meats, but with a 36", it technically heats up quicker with less wood (by a small amount) so you can fire it more often if you were smoking or baking large loads of bread.

Other than that, 42" is a great choice but I wouldn't mind a 36".

Outeniqua 02-07-2013 10:24 PM

Re: 36" or 42"
Hi K79

I built a 36" and have to say that I absolutely love it. I regularly cook two pizzas at the same time and would be able to do three, but that would be too difficult for me to handle. I also roast a lot and use the oven to bake bread. For me the 36" is more than enough. Also the door opening size incorporated in my build is big enough and allows easy access for any bake or roast.

That said I can obviously not comment on the advantages of a 42". All I'm saying is that the 36" is perfect for me and if I had to do it again I would again go with a 36" regardless of availability of space.

Good luck with your build.

AaronTheGeek 02-08-2013 07:24 AM

Re: 36" or 42"
I started out to build a 36", but bumped it up to a 38" while building it. I think it's perfect for the average cook. I can do two pizzas at a time comfortably and it holds more than enough bread to suit me.


BarryKeith 02-10-2013 03:19 PM

Re: 36" or 42"
I built a 42' and would like to have gone with a 48" or even a 54". I can cook 3 pizzas at once, but for baking bread I would have like to have a bigger oven. The cost of the extra bricks and mortar would be well worth it when you think you'll have the oven for years and your saving money building it yourself. Build bigger if you have the room.

david s 02-10-2013 04:03 PM

Re: 36" or 42"
Just be aware that you are fighting against mathematics. A 42" is only 17% bigger in diam. Than a 36" but is 36% bigger in floor area and a whopping 59% bigger in volume. This means that there is a significant increase in weight and materials required. Also as fuel consumption is directly related to volume of the chamber the fuel required is also drastically increased.

BarryKeith 02-10-2013 06:15 PM

Re: 36" or 42"
You must have built a 36". Don't have dome envy. Maybe 30-40 extra bricks at a couple bucks a peice for an added 36.11% increase in floor sapce. Also I use 10 peices of almond wood to get my oven to temp and it keeps because of the efficiency of the insulation. K79 dont cut corners on something you will probably use for the rest of your life. Plus you guys in Maine must be rich, look at how much lobster you eat. Bigger is better. At least that's what my wife says.

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