#1  
Old 08-29-2013, 04:05 PM
waynespizzaworld's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Garden Bay BC Canada
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Default small oven for friend

Greetings....

Its been quite a while since I have visited the forum. I am still loving the wood fired cooking experience and we use our oven on average once a week for sure. I am posting this under the Pompeii Oven pages even though the build I may help a friend with may be a fire brick build or a kit from Forno Bravo. I have had both a 36" and a my current 42" Pompeii style oven in my new place. I have noticed how much easier and better it is to cook with and manage the fire in my newest oven the 42" inch. I have a friend that is because of space and costs wanting to build a 28" internal cook floor oven. I am looking for some feedback on going the route of a smaller oven like this so I have a few questions below that will help asses what to expect from such a small oven.

1. If anyone has used both a 42" and an oven like a 28" oven how would you compare the efficency of the smaller oven? I am guessing you would need smaller sized fire wood to burn clean?

2.I have never used a small oven like a 28" and have no idea what to expect. I am thinking its going to be one small pizza at a time and this may be ok as long as the oven is effecient and clean burning. Any first hand comparisons to a larger oven and the 28" would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Wayne Bergman
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Step by Step of Oven #2 Build... I have built this one in partnership with a friend for a customer that took a liking to my first oven
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2013, 05:23 PM
david s's Avatar
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Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
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Default Re: small oven for friend

There are pros and cons for small vs large ovens. Regarding fuel consumption, obviously a small oven uses less, but a large combustion chamber is more efficient. Generally the fuel used is directly proportional to oven volume. But not quite eg a 4 litre engine does not use 4 times the fuel of a one litre engine.
My own oven is quite small at 21" and uses very little fuel, no trouble to fire up and cook 2 pizzas. The time taken to heat is more dependent on wall and floor thickness. The larger oven will simply accommodate a larger fire, so firing up time will usually be much the same. Management of a small oven can be more difficult although you don't require tools with long handles. The door area in relation to wall surface means greater heat loss for a small oven.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:18 PM
Tscarborough's Avatar
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Default Re: small oven for friend

The more pizza you plan on making, the bigger the oven should be. 42" is a commercial size.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:47 AM
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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Default Re: small oven for friend

I have a 32" and no experience with a larger oven.. so please view my comments in this context:

I am very happy with my oven and I can host big pizza parties where I can cook pizzas one at a time almost indefinitely. It takes about 3 minutes per pizza so if I have them "staged" (i.e. my wife is waiting for me to hand her the cooked one and pass me the raw one!) we can cook > 15 pizzas an hour. No-one has ever stood around bored or hungry. Of course if you want everyone to eat at the same time that is a problem with my oven.

In order to prepare the oven for a party, I heat the oven a little more slowly than normal - and allow about 2-3 hours to do it (If I only want to cook 1-2 pizzas I can clear the dome in 60-75 minutes). Then during cooking I always keep some small pieces of oak burning on the sides. Adds a bit of heat, a bit of smoke and a bit of light. Plus it looks good and always gets oohs and aahs from the guests!
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:30 AM
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Location: charlotte NC
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Default Re: small oven for friend

Boerwarrior, I'm curious, did you build with half bricks or thirds? How thick of a layer of concrete did you add on top of the bricks and what insulation on top of that?
Mine is 48" with half bricks , 2.5 " of concrete and several inches of perlite. It is nice but is way too big for home use. Just me and the much better half so a couple loafs and a dinner or two a week, maybe.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:54 AM
boerwarrior's Avatar
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Default Re: small oven for friend

Hi klaatu

I used half bricks until about the 6th course - then started using thirds. For the top two courses I used some 1/4 bricks. That's one of the problems with a small oven - the radii get pretty small and it is a little harder to use the big bricks!

Your question about concrete... are you referring to the base? If yes, my base is very thick - about 6 inches of high strength concrete followed by 3 inches of CalSil insulation board. then I laid the floor bricks on top of the CalSil.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:18 PM
david s's Avatar
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Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 4,698
Default Re: small oven for friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by boerwarrior View Post
I have a 32" and no experience with a larger oven.. so please view my comments in this context:

I am very happy with my oven and I can host big pizza parties where I can cook pizzas one at a time almost indefinitely. It takes about 3 minutes per pizza so if I have them "staged" (i.e. my wife is waiting for me to hand her the cooked one and pass me the raw one!) we can cook > 15 pizzas an hour. No-one has ever stood around bored or hungry. Of course if you want everyone to eat at the same time that is a problem with my oven.

In order to prepare the oven for a party, I heat the oven a little more slowly than normal - and allow about 2-3 hours to do it (If I only want to cook 1-2 pizzas I can clear the dome in 60-75 minutes). Then during cooking I always keep some small pieces of oak burning on the sides. Adds a bit of heat, a bit of smoke and a bit of light. Plus it looks good and always gets oohs and aahs from the guests!
This is exactly the way we do it too.Sharing whatever comes out makes for a better party too.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:29 AM
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Location: charlotte NC
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Default Re: small oven for friend

The 2.5 inches of concrete was for added mass. I'm thinking about ripping out the big one and building a much smaller ,thinner walled one.
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