Pompeii oven vs. Firenze Oven
Looking for some comparisons in these two ovens. They
seem very similar. I liked the LOW cost of the
firenze oven, how do they differ? Are the plans
available for the firenze like the pompeii?
The Firenze oven and Pompeii oven describe different parts of a brick
pizza oven, and in fact, you can use them together. Basically, every
oven has three main parts: the stand/hearth, the oven chamber/vent,
and the insulation/enclosure. The Firenze oven describes an efficient
way of building the hearth/stand and the oven enclosure, in this case
an Igloo -- using a Forno Bravo pre-fab oven chamber. On the other
hand, the Pompeii oven describes how to build the oven chamber itself
using bricks and mortar.
There are some pretty clear trade-offs between the Pompeii oven
chamber and a Forno Bravo pre-fab oven chamber. The pre-fab is faster
and easier to install, requires a lower level of skill, and there is
less risk that something will go wrong. On the other hand, the
pre-fab costs more than the cost of materials to build the Pompeii
oven. If you have the time, energy and skill to build the Pompeii
oven chamber using bricks and mortar, you can save some money, and
you will have the experience of really building the oven body
yourself. If you are looking to have a professional install your
oven, we would recommend using the pre-fab, as the professional labor
costs of building the Pompeii oven chamber will cost more than the
Both ovens cook wonderfully, and you cannot go wrong -- either path
you choose will give you a great oven, that you will love.
James, as always, thanks! You're full of good advice
and info. Still going ahead with the pompeii (I
think) but on hold b/c of winter weather. Will get
going in the spring. Can't wait to have it ready for
Here's one for a delicious rib roast...
1 8lb beef rib roast (1 rib per 2 people...except for major carnivores)
1/2 cup dijon mustard
3 cloves fresh garlic
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tbls olive oil (or to coat saute pan)
2 tbls butter
splash of red wine and fresh ground pepper to taste
You should fire your oven until the soot on the dome cokes off and let
it drop in temperature until the bricks are running about 250-275F
before starting to prepare the roast. This is a good time to make a
pizza lunch followed by a few loaves of bread.
You'll be cooking the roast for several hours (30 minutes per pound)
at relatively low heat (200-250F) which means you need to brown the
roast before you put it in the oven (this will kill any surface
bacteria which is important when roasting at temps where the surface
won't reach 180F within a couple of hours).
Splash olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy saute pan on
medium-high heat, add 2 tbls of butter to melt. Brown the roast on all
sides. It won't get any more browning in the oven so this is where
you're getting the crispy brown outside you want.
Take a half cup of dijon mustard, add 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, a
couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary (crushed), fresh ground pepper and
a splash of red wine in a small bowl. Stir to mix completely. Pat
mixture all over the roast with a spoon, making sure it sticks to the
Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and place it into
your oven. Close the door tightly. (This is a good time to get
yourself a remote cooking thermometer & receiver -- you can find one
at Amazon.com for about $40. You can also a get digital thermometer
that sits outside the oven but I like to be able to "set it and forget
it", the remote will beep me in the kitche.)
Medium (140F) will take approximately 30 minutes per pound for an 8lb
roast. Rare is 125-130F, medium-rare is 130-135F. When cooked like
this you won't get a temperature "bump" when you take it out (where
the internal temp rises another 10-15F) like you do with a regular
high-heat roasting in your home oven so take it out as soon as the
internal temp is what you want. If you're not quite ready for dinner
yet you can put it in a 140F oven for up to an hour without it cooking
Let the roast stand for about 15 - 20 minutes to cool slightly and for
the juices to pull back into the interior. Now you're ready to slice
and serve the best prime rib you've eaten.
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