Old 05-24-2013, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 25
Default WFO: inside or outside the house

We are designing our new home and I am trying to decide whether to put the WFO inside the house or in an outdoor kitchen area.

Inside Pros:
1. It is integrated into the regular kitchen so no need to duplicate additional kitchen functions in outdoor kitchen area.

Inside Cons:
1. Is the WFO going to generate too much heat in the kitchen to be able to use it except during our short winter months?

Outside Pros:
1. You dont have to worry about excess heating in the house.
2. The dirt and debris from the wood stays outside.

Outside Cons:
1. Extra cost of building an outdoor kitchen area.
2. The mosquitoes will carry off small children in the summertime.

If you have a WFO in your home, are you able to use it during the summer months? I cant find anything on how much heat escapes from the oven when the door is open etc.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:45 PM
cobblerdave's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: brisbane australia
Posts: 2,610
Question Re: WFO: inside or outside the house

I believe I have the relations of your local" mozzies " live around this way ... They look a lot like small greyhounds with wings.
I live in the sub tropics and would never have considered putting a wood fired oven inside till I read your post. I don't know how much heat they would put into you kitchen. I do know that the old houses with the wood fired stoves used to have a kitchen seperate from the house , though I don't think an insulated WFO would be as bad? It would still throw out some heat.
Why don't you locate the oven just outside the kitchen so sink etc are close. Then enclose the oven with an insect screening there are a few outside areas I've seen that has this insect screened outdoor area in the past.
Hope something here helps
Regards dave
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:30 PM
mrchipster's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 1,479
Default Re: WFO: inside or outside the house

Another con, your building inspector may not let you build one inside the house or be so overly particular about how it is built you may go crazy.

Check out the outdoor enclave built by SableSprings he calls it the dragonfly den. A very nice project.

We also have the mosquito problem here ( land of 10,000 lakes) but I find that the time I spend standing in front of the oven at dusk is minimal and if you are having a big party and the oven is close the guests can build the pies inside and sprint out for the 90 seconds it takes them to cook.

I cooked several times this winter when the outside temp was below zero ( yes that is F Degrees ) and it was no problem, so a few Mosquitos - no big deal.

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Old 05-26-2013, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR USA
Posts: 292
Default Re: WFO: inside or outside the house

My wife wanted the wfo oven outside, so we didn't have to heat up the house in the summer to cook & entertain. It's also been mentioned elsewhere in the forum, that one of the biggest problems (besides the probable city/county ordinances that Chip noted) is that a WFO requires a lot of air flow...and if it's sucking it out of the house, then you'll get warm outside air in the summer and cold air in the winter coming through every crack and crevice in the house. (Neither of these outcomes are desirable for most folks.) It's also important to note that no matter how good your chimney system is, you will get smoke on oven start-up...and even a little cloud of smoke isn't pleasant when it's in the house. I also think that the chimney will provide a cold downdraft or significant heat loss when the oven isn't going unless you install a pretty sophisticated damper/vent system.

During the winter here (probably a similar temp range to N.C. ---not Minnesota), we continue to use the oven in our outside den for Friday group bakes. The oven doesn't really put out any heat at all if it's closed up. This last winter, we discovered that after the bake, by lowering the outside sunshades and removing the oven door we could have an active fireplace that did put significant BTUs into the room. The heat was retained/reflected by the shades a fair amount as long as it wasn't windy. However, the strategy doesn't work well at all if there's much wind (blows right through the screens & shades), but at that point we gather up our food & drinks and go in the house to continue the party.

We screened the den completely, more to keep the yellowjackets/hornets out in the summer rather than the spring & fall mosquitoes. Bottom line is we don't have any flies, mosquitoes, or other nasty critters bothering the party when we're in the den. Highly recommended if you can swing an outside enclosed/roofed area for the oven.

Chip, thanks for the compliment on the Dragonfly Den project.
Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
Roseburg, Oregon (
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 25
Default Re: WFO: inside or outside the house

Thank you everyone for your replies! It sounds like it would be pretty much a crazy idea to build indoors. And yes, our building inspectors are notoriously difficult for the wrong reasons...
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