#1  
Old 09-20-2011, 04:11 PM
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Default Pompeii heat up?

Hello all. I have seen many threads discussing similar topics, but never found a solid answer.

We are currently deciding between the 36 inch Casa and the DIY Pompeii. Our main concern re: the Pompeii is the heat-up time - if it can't be ready for pizza in under an hour then I don't think we'll get sufficient usage.

So... If I build the 36" oven according to the plans, using the proper firebrick, what kind of heat-up times can I expect? How does the time compare to the modular/pre-built ovens (the Casa line)? What factors affect the heat-up time? Type of brick? Construction method? Insulation? Or is this just a difference intrinsic to brick-oven vs refractory?

I'd appreciate any guidance you all can offer.

Thanks,
brian
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2011, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

The casa is a thinner oven, and will heat up faster than the 4 1/2 inch thick pompeii. As far as claims of sub-hour heat-up on any oven, I think that would take very dry, very finely split wood. Ordinary firewood logs just don't burn down to coals that fast, even with good draft.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

My 42" Pompeii (4.5" thick) takes right at 2 hours to be ready for pizza when I'm in a hurry. The Casa has to take less time then that.

I agree with Dmun. You won't be able to get any oven ready for pizza in under an hour. Once you figure in the time to start the fire, bring it up to temp, then move the hot coals aside and give the oven a few minutes to stabilize you'll be over an hour with even a small oven.

Don't worry... The effort is SO worth it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

Quote:
if it can't be ready for pizza in under an hour then I don't think we'll get sufficient usage.
Does something catastrophic happen at one hour?

Most builders embrace the fact that cooking in a WFO forces you to slow down and savor the slow-cooked goodness that comes from cooking in a coasting pizza oven. This is something you just can't get from fast food, and like Ken says, is SO worth it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:53 PM
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Thumbs up Time to pizza temp isn't such a big deal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by milhousebk View Post
....snip.... if it can't be ready for pizza in under an hour then I don't think we'll get sufficient usage....snip...
I must report the evolution of several ideas about choosing a design, making the oven and using it in the 'process' of our oven.

I went through all kinds of iterations for the design, beginning with a barrel oven and ultimately to the dome oven of the pompeii plans. I must say that we were uncomfortable with the reports of an hour and a half to get the oven ready to cook pizza. After all was said and done, I built the oven as close to the pompeii plans as I could -that meant no additional mass in the floor because of the extended heat up times, and very little added mass on the outside of the dome for the same reason.

Now, to the point of your question. I've found that the time to get the oven to pizza temperature and then to equalize isn't the hardship I had first envisioned, you soon get into a routine which will allow plenty of time for food prep while the oven is on its way to being ready to cook.

I can heat the oven to pizza temperature in one hour, but the whole experience is better when It gets time to soak up all that heat, which will allow similar cooking conditions from one time to the next. In short, you will almost surely not mind the 90 minutes it will take to heat the pompeii oven built in accordance with the plans.

Don't forget that you can cook for three or four days after pizza. Two days after heating the oven to pizza temps, you could easily reheat it in 45 minutes. Don't forget about that residual heat. It feels great to put a couple potatoes in there any time and have them cooked to supplement a meal otherwise cooked inside.

HTH

Insulate, insulate, insulate
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Last edited by Lburou; 09-22-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

Quote:
Don't forget that you can cook for three or four days after pizza. Two days after heating the oven to pizza temps, you could easily reheat it in 45 minutes
Hey Lee,

Question: Based on your normal heat-up times, what does your coasting curve look like? The reason I ask is in response to what John (Aegis) did to finish his dome, which is add 1.5" of thermal mass (firebrick chips). I'm trying to determine whether or not the added mass is going to provide a decent return in residual heat for the amount of extra wood needed to heat it. This assumes insulation that exceeds acceptable levels.
John
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

Hi All,
I am guessing at this, but intuitively the extra mass in the dome doesn't affect pizza heat up times all that much. My reasoning is as follows, the first several inches will be close to high temp and the next will some temperature lower. The temp. differential between the two is now relatively small and the outside mass will not be sucking the heat out of the inner dome nearly as fast as it was when the dome was cold with a first fire. Add the insulation into the equation and the thermal transfer rate slows way down(no place for the heat to go but back into the dome) Kinda of a kin to using a water hose to fill up a sealed container, at first it flows in quickly then the pressure builds and pushes back on the water until the water stops.
Unless I had another pompeii built beside it without the extra mass this is only speculation and maybe wishful thinking! Just remember- if you don't think too good, don't think too much! lol
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:07 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Pompeii heat up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
Hey Lee,

Question: Based on your normal heat-up times, what does your coasting curve look like? The reason I ask is in response to what John (Aegis) did to finish his dome, which is add 1.5" of thermal mass (firebrick chips). I'm trying to determine whether or not the added mass is going to provide a decent return in residual heat for the amount of extra wood needed to heat it. This assumes insulation that exceeds acceptable levels.
John
John, my dome is always hotter/warmer than the floor of the oven. 80 to 90 degrees F hotter at pizza temperature and 30 degrees warmer four days later -does my 3/4 inch of castable on the outside of the dome make that much difference, or, is everyone's dome that much hotter/warmer? I don't know, but suspect any dome built to the plans will be that way.

Pizza Temperature around noon w/floor temp around 750-800 F
  • 1 PM floor temp after pizza around 720 F
  • 9 PM floor temp= 600 F
  • 9 AM floor temp= 500 F
  • 9 PM floor temp= 380 F
  • 9 AM floor temp= 337 F
  • 9 PM floor temp= 280 F
  • 9 AM floor temp= 250 F
  • 9 PM floor temp= 210 F
  • 9 AM floor temp= 184 F
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Last edited by Lburou; 09-22-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
Based on your normal heat-up times, what does your coasting curve look like?
Here's my oven's cool down curve. This was done a few years back with a fairly new oven. I should do another one for fun.

My oven is a standard 42" Pompeii with custom cut bricks. 3"-4" ceramic blanket with 3"-5" vermiculite/Portland on top of that.

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f17/...html#post33220 (Oven Temperature Graph)

Looks like Lee's is a tad better insulated than mine.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Pompeii heat up?

Thanks for the detailed input, Ken and Lee. It's interesting that after the initial temp drop the dome and floor coast at nearly identical rates. This statistic suggests that the oven hastruly equalized and that the dome will always remain hotter than the floor since heat rises. Lee, if your oven holds its heat this nicely I'm thinking I will add a minimal (1") amount of thermal mass to 'tighten' up the dome and call it a day. What I'm really curious about is how the 3.75" SS-topped firebrick floor will behave. Can't wait to try it out!
John
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