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nomnomnom 10-28-2010 07:47 PM

Building WFO on the cheap
I want to build a WFO on the cheap. I am completely new to oven building, so maybe my ideas are dumb... but since this oven is for cooking and not for looking, I think I might be able to get away with some major corner cuts.

My first idea:

I have a sheet of 1/4" steel sheet metal big enough for the roof, which I would cover with regular red bricks to add thermal mass.

For walls, I could build the on or near the ground, and use rocks and dirt for the side walls (not much clay in the ground here).

For the floor, I'm thinking some kind of an insulating layer, (as not to conduct too much heat away from the bottom), topped with a layer or two of regular red bricks, topped with a couple layers of unglazed quarry tiles.

I'm not sure what to do about an opening yet, maybe a sheet of steel cut to size and shape.


Has anyone tried using a sawzall to add a chimney, add some bricks, and convert a regular old electric oven into an outdoor WFO? These things are available everywhere for free. The only problems I can think of would be size constraints. Your thoughts??

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 04:21 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
So basically, you want to lay in the dirt to cook a pizza at 4-500 degrees. Just use your kitchen oven, Dude.

nomnomnom 10-29-2010 04:29 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
No, I want to lie in the dirt to cook at 7-800 degrees. If that type of design won't get that hot, then hopefully someone here will tell me before I waste all that time. I would imagine it will not be the most efficient oven, but it would be fine with a long warm up. Am I wrong?

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 04:38 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
It will get that hot for a pizza or 2, but it will take a lot of time and wood. I am not trying to dissuade you, just narrow down the criteria you are looking at.

The real costs of the oven are in the finishes, not the working bits or the stand. I think you could build an ugly but functionable oven for less than 300 bucks, almost per the Forno Bravo specs.

nomnomnom 10-29-2010 04:45 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
I will probably eventually build a nice one, but I don't have time this year to do the necessary research or shopping. So for now, it's either this or nothing. At least this way I get a little experience with it. Right?

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 04:49 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
No, you would be better off learning to make good pizza in your house oven. The temperature doesn't matter that much other than the amount of time it takes to cook it. I do both, the WFO when I plan on making a lot of pies, the house oven when I make one or 2, and get no complaints about either.

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 04:54 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
2 Attachment(s)
Which one is made in which oven?

nomnomnom 10-29-2010 05:38 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
I make plenty indoors. I'm no rookie to pizza, just ovens. And are you suggesting a 400 degree pizza is indistinguishable from 800 degree pizza?

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 05:45 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
No, but a 550 one is. You adjust the technique and ingredients for the same end result.

The pizza don't care what it is cooked in.

Tscarborough 10-29-2010 05:48 PM

Re: Building WFO on the cheap
Which one of those pizzas was cooked at 900 degrees for a minute and a half and which one was cooked at 550 for 4 minutes?

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