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DOC Opa 11-07-2009 07:34 AM

Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
Igloo or enclosed, which is better? I was all set to enclose the oven when Catherine stated she liked the look of the igloo. I'm curious if the insulating properties of an enclosed oven is far better than an igloo insulation.


jmhepworth 11-07-2009 07:45 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
No difference. 4 inches of insulation around an igloo is the same as 4 inches around an enclosed dome. If you want to over-insulate, as some of us have done, it may be easier to do with an enclosure. But over-insulating an igloo just makes the igloo bigger. Bottom line is aesthetics. My wife said she likes the raised up doghouse look better than the igloo. In a particularly lucid moment, I went with the enclosure.

fxpose 11-07-2009 08:14 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
I would go with the overall aesthetics, as there will virtually be no difference in performance. I personally like the simple look of the igloo.

dmun 11-07-2009 08:37 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
I think over any significant period, it's easier to keep water out of a house enclosure than an igloo. You can also build a taller and more effective chimney without it looking weird. Other than that, it's builder's choice.

texassourdough 11-07-2009 08:42 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
Hi Mark!

And welcome aboard...

There is no difference that I am aware of in any way but one. An enclosed oven can easily be made more waterproof than a dome. The dome will probably develop hairline cracks that require sealing and the ledge where the dome meets the base can serve as a means for water to get under the hearth. The walls of an enclosed oven solve the dome crack and ledge issue.

I built an igloo and plan to convert to an enclosure this spring. My "problems" with water are exacerbated by the fact we used sandstone as the finishing rock and it easily lets water from the ledge onto the support slab. IF you build an igloo I would suggest using a hard, relatively impermeable stone to finish the ledge and to seal it. I also think the ledge issue is less of a problem if you use the Primavera approach of using the insulation boards under the hearth, but mine is not done that way. So...

Hope that is useful!

DOC Opa 11-07-2009 10:03 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
I built a 12' x 16' pavilion over the oven so weather is not a concern. Guest I need to research how to properly construct an insulated igloo. I have a eight lb ceramic blanket to cover the dome. Cover the blanket with aluminum foil. 4" vermicrete reinforced with chicken wire and thin rebar I'm guessing. Then a couple layers of stucco and paint.

texassourdough 11-07-2009 10:34 AM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
Hi Mark!

The roof should the trick! :o)

With the roof I would tend to go igloo but you will (obviously but...still feel I should mention it) have the smokestack go above or through the roof.

Sounds like you are in great shape!

nissanneill 11-07-2009 02:16 PM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
all previous responses have buttoned the choice. It is really up to you. However, might I add, your oven is just the beginning mate, believe me.
Once the oven is finished and you are thoroughly and justifiably enjoying it, you will the want/need to work on the outdoor entertaining area and ultimately (if you get the bug severe enough), a full outdoor kitchen.
Whether down the track you envisage a large roofed area over your oven, well then a roofed enclosure will look a little out of place, one roof under another, so a dome might be more appropriate. If however you have your oven out in the open with no plans of building/developing a area around it, then go for an enclosed closure.
Look further down the road than just the next couple of months. You can always place an enclosure over a dome, or vice-versa as the case may be.



DOC Opa 11-07-2009 03:53 PM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
Thanks Jay,

I realize I have to get the chimney through the roof and I'm going to see if I can accomplish that tomorrow.

Neill, stop giving my wife ideas!! I have enough to do! LOL


texassourdough 11-07-2009 06:06 PM

Re: Igloo or enclosed, which is better?
Good luck Mark!

Winter is coming. Time that will be difficult for you in Toledo and is my favorite time to do pizza!

Look forward to your first bake! (And I know you are too!)

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