Old 04-07-2008, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange
Posts: 1
Smile Oven Design - Barrel or Circular

G'day gourmet compatriots.

I am currently going to undertake what many of you have already done.

I am uncertain if this question has been posed before, sorry if I have started another thread.

The oven I am/was contemplating will be about 38" x 48" (950 x 1200mm) internal. I have seen many a varied designs, but they all appear to either be of a circular or half barrel design.

I was hoping to construct a unit following the barrel design, but allow for a 45 degree slope inside the front and rear of the oven. The flu/chimney will be located at the front of the oven.

The actual corners would also be angled at 45 degrees (I am uncertain if I can do it though)

I have contacted a supplier who can supply me with arched oven bricks that allow for me to have the curvature of the oven without any significant amount of mortar (75mm down to 51, 63 or 69mm)

If I were to angle each corner at 45 degrees and follow the arc of the oven lining, would this work in regards to lowering hot spots etc.

I thought I would try to follow the plans that Rado, from traditionaloven.com is offering.

Size and area won’t be a problem and the supply of good wood for the oven is only a matter of exploring our property for any trees that might have fallen. Some of the timbers available here in Australia provide excellent coals and ashees that would be great for these ovens, so I hope it all works.

Sorry if my questions appear to be confused, but that’s pretty much my state of mind, regarding the ovens.


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Old 04-07-2008, 09:45 AM
dmun's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default Re: Oven Design - Barrel or Circular

Rectangular ovens are usually higher mass than circular pizza ovens, and are ideal for serious bread bakers who plan on making multiple bakes of bread on each firing. Because of their high mass, they are more suited to the lower temperatures of bread baking. You can get a high mass oven up to pizza temperatures, but not easily and not for long.

Circular ovens are best for pizza. Their fast, efficient heat up means that firing isn't an all-day, all-wood pile operation. They can, however, do enough baking needed by home users.

We have several barrel-vault oven users here. Look around. You might want to start with James' little essay on round ovens (Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round).
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:55 AM
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Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648
Default Re: Oven Design - Barrel or Circular

Dmun has it right.

Having just started cooking in a round (well, oval) Artigiano oven, I am all fired up (pardon the pun) with new ferver on how important it is to build the round Italian oven. The two designs really do not compare.

Don't forget that every pizzeria and every backyard brick oven throughout Italy uses the round Pompeii Oven design. Every one. :-)


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