The Wood-Fired Blog

Forno Bravo Pizza Oven Components

Dec 22, 2023Posted by cecebeauchamp

At Forno Bravo, our high-end oven cores and components drive outstanding baking performance. We trust these components so much that we use the exact same elements in our DIY oven kits and our fully assembled pizza ovens. In this “Back to Basics” overview, we’re going to pull back the curtain, and provide a quick review of the elements that make Forno Bravo pizza ovens great!

*Please note, Forno Bravo offers several oven styles for both residential and commercial applications.  The ovens will vary slightly in their look, structure, and thickness based on size and model, but the overall principles and component materials are the same.

So, let’s get started (working from the bottom to the top!)

Ultra-Premium Ceramic Insulation Board

This 1″-thick, rigid ceramic insulation board is the base layer that goes under the floor tiles and oven dome. It is wickedly efficient in keeping the wood or gas-fired heat inside of the oven and pointed towards the food, and away from the counter or support structure underneath the oven.

Strong and Efficient Ceramic Insulation Board

Firebrick Floor

Our refractory pizza ovens come with a NSF-4 rated cooking floor made from high-grade firebrick. It smoothly conducts and retains heat for even baking. The tiles are large, commercial grade 12″ x 12″ pieces to reduce joints.  These hearty tiles are also 2,700psi compressed and 2650ºF kiln-fired for long-term durability.

12″ x 12″ Firebrick Tiles

 

Cast Refractory Dome

We make the oven dome in-house using a 38% alumina (81% alumina and silica) refractory material cast in a two-sided, vibrated form. This process eliminates air bubbles and pockets, and results in high compression strength to greatly reduce the chance of hairline cracking. The high alumina formula speeds up heating times to get you cooking faster, and the high purity of the ingredients improves the oven’s durability. The density of this cast refractory material also enables it to have the best heat retention on the market! Some of our home ovens have been reported to maintain bread-baking temperatures 30 -50 hours after the original fire has gone out!

For our larger ovens, the dome comes in interlocking sections that weigh no more than 200 lbs each. This helps keep the build process manageable for setting the sections without over-taxing the builder and helpers. Building the dome in sections also allows for expansion and contraction as the oven heats and cools to, again, reduce cracking. (Trust us, you will save days or even weeks over building the dome with individual bricks and get a much better, consistent baking performance to boot!)

Cast Refractory Dome in Overlapping Sections

Optional Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Gas Burner

Our optional gas burners are ETL-certified to UL’s stringent standards for safety and efficiency you can count on. The residential burners run at up to 51,000 BTUs (using liquid propane) or  38,000 BTUs (with Natural Gas). They can be used as the sole fuel source for heating your pizza oven, or in combination with wood for more flavor and flexibility. They are extremely convenient, adjustable (with high and low settings,) plus, clean, efficient, and fun! This burner can be used in all but our smallest oven models.

Our upgraded commercial gas burners are a smart burner that comes standard with 5:1 automatic BTU modulation to achieve and maintain the temperature set by the chef. Its typical range is 20,000–100,000 BTUs, though it has been tested and certified for up to 200,000 BTUs! It has an easy-to-read digital display, and can help keep the oven topped off with heat for even the busiest rush. By supplying its own air, it is 30% more efficient than atmospheric burners, helping to save money on fuel.

Both burners come with a custom, Forno Bravo steel guard to help protect the burner from damage from wood ash or accidentally getting hit by a pizza peel.

Gas Burner with a Laser-Cut, Steel Ash Guard

High-Temperature Mortar

With internal oven temperatures reaching well over 1,000ºF, using high-temperature mortar is essential for long-term durability when sealing the dome joints.

Mortar for Securing the Dome Joints

Ceramic Fiber Insulating Blankets

1″ thick and easy to cut, shape, and form over the dome, these ultra-premium, ceramic insulating blankets were first developed for the steel-making industry (now, those are some hot temps!!) They are so effective in keeping the heat inside the dome, that our pizza ovens can be running at 900ºF inside, and the exteriors are barely warm to the touch.

*Note — always wear protective gear (gloves and glasses) when handling insulation materials.

Kits and Fully Assembled Ovens Come with Enough Fiber Blankets to Cover the Dome in 2-4 Layers, Depending on the Oven Size and Model.

Venting System

Most of our ovens come with a steel anchor plate, a steel, single-wall flue, and a simple chimney cap, or spark arrestor-styled cap. Some of our smaller ovens come with a terracotta flue instead. All of these components work together to efficiently move the smoke and soot away from the pizzaiolo/chef for comfort and safety. Depending on your kitchen style and installation location, you may need to upgrade to a double-wall chimney pipe, and vent through the roof or wall.

Check out our venting page for more information on the various requirements for materials and angles, and for how our team can help review your plans for the perfect build every time.

Steel Anchor Plate, Flue, and Chimney Cap

Powder Coated Single or Double-Wall Steel Oven Door

Built and painted in Colorado, these sturdy, solid oven doors come with an integrated temperature gauge and robust handle.

Stylish Doors to Keep the Heat In and the Weather Out

Extra Elements

Foundation – All of our ovens should be built on a reinforced concrete pad. This provides a strong, level foundation for the oven that will help it to perform well for years to come.

Counter, Stand, or Base – Since the oven needs to be installed at cooking height for optimal comfort, customers have their choice of methods to achieve this. Counters integrate the oven into the whole outdoor cooking look and experience, metal stands allow for under-oven storage and a more open aesthetic, and solid or concrete block bases split the difference between integration and stand-alone efficiencies.

Steel Tray – On our fully assembled ovens, many come with a steel tray that encapsulates the insulation board and base of the dome. It integrates with the factory-made, steel, powder coated stand for functional stability and a unified look.

Oven Finish Materials – Smooth or rustic stucco, glass or matt tiles, stone or brick, mosaics, steel or copper surrounds, or penny tile disks…the ideas for the oven’s exterior are as customizable and endless as your imagination! Check out our Customer Spotlights and our Photo Gallery for hundreds of ideas.

 

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