Tom P’s Premio Wood Fired Oven Build Adventure
Our many visits to small towns in France and Italy introduced us to the world of wood-fired oven cooking. When we retired and purchased a home with two acres on the Oregon Coast, we finally had the space and time to build our own wood-fired oven. All we needed now was the knowledge to build it.
Jane’s son Clint was visiting us from out-of-town and we were watching a YouTube series by The Wood Fired Oven Chef. After exclaiming, “I wish I had the knowledge to build one,” Clint volunteered to visit several more times to help us build an oven if we bought the Forno Bravo kit. Inspiration turned into reality.
While waiting for the oven kit to arrive, we finalized our construction plans, focusing on oven construction and functionality. As coastal weather is generally cool and damp, we chose to locate the oven adjacent to our covered patio to allow year-round use.
I learned how to mix and utilize concrete, mortar, thin set, grout, base coat and stucco to the tune of over 100 combined bags of cement product. Jane became a master in measuring and cutting tiles. Clint managed the concrete pours and block wall build, mortared and stuccoed the dome, then did his creative thing with the tiles and appropriately signed his work of art.
Our photographs attempted to document appropriate views that visually detail answers to many of the construction questions we initially had in designing our foundation, framing the platform and deck, insulating the dome, applying the base coat, as well as the finish and tile work.
Clint’s expertise with concrete and tile turned a difficult work assignment into more of an artistic creation. Despite the challenge of matching the oven’s cooking surface with an extended tile hearth, the project went very smooth. While my concerns centered around simply building a concrete pad and raised platform, we blew past that stage in just a couple of days and the challenging tile design project began.
A friend of a friend donated a big pile of tile in colors, which coordinated beautifully with the project’s overall tone. The diverse colors of this mostly recycled tile inspired Clint to weave together a wall reminiscent of an old-world Mediterranean building. The results exceeded our expectations as the tile work became the true opportunity to set this oven apart from the ordinary.
The input of many people helped to make our vision a reality: The Forno Bravo sales and installation expertise which we tapped for advice, the Forno Bravo Online Forum where great ideas and experiences are shared, and my local Forno Bravo dealer (Bocce Luce) who made suggestions on the most appropriate model for our dream wood fired oven. Networking with community members and wood fired oven aficionados, including a local restaurant owner who built a large commercial oven that stays lit 24/7, brought our community further into the mix.
What do we love most about our oven:
Placing the oven adjacent to our covered patio positively changed the dynamics of our outdoor living space. We now have room for guests to safely mingle and enjoy each other’s company while cooking their personalized pizza or T-bone steak.
The “community” aspect of this design/build project quickly became apparent with the assistance of so many people (some we haven’t even met yet). We look forward to learning this new way (for us) of cooking, while sharing recipes and experiences with our friends in our small coastal community.
Recognizing our friends’ interest in our new capability to make pizzas and other great culinary delights led us to our final design change. We decided to smoothly stucco the dome and paint it a color that complements the tile, but allows us to use magic markers to write on the dome…so now, all family and friends who join us for dinner and make their own pizza will be invited to “sign” the dome of our Forno Bravo Signature Oven.”
Owner: Tom P
Location: Yachats, OR