Bread/pizza oven thread

Discussion in 'Brick Smokers' started by dirtsailor2003, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    There seems to be interest in this here. So I thought a separate thread would be nice to compile ideas thoughts etc. so please share your ideas, photos, builds!

    I have an interest in building not a brick smoker but a bread/pizza oven. More than likely not even brick. Probably cob. I've done a bunch of research and know just enough to get me in trouble, with the wife that is! If I build one more cooking apparatus it better be big enough to live in!
  2. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Do it Case!! I'm very interested in seeing one built. I've been wanting to make one for the longest time. Hurry up get to it!!
  3. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Go get em ,Case.

    I have built one wood fired oven,from scratch brick by brick about 12 years ago. 

    Learnt a few things,didnt hurt my self in any lasting way ,cooked some great things in it. 

    Just a preliminary tip,its all about the hearth,dome & the chimneyIf you get them  right then the rest can be a bit out & nobody will know because the food will great. Commonest fault in all the backyard ones I saw was cracking in the joints caused by using non fire cement & the unequal  heat properties of adjoining materials ie fire brick to non fire rated concrete.

    Just let me know if I can help with anything.

  6. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Care to share some pics of yours? I have been wanting to do one of these for a long time. Just need the little umph to make it happen.
  7. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    When you gonna start your imu build??? ;)

    Don't tell anyone the secret recipe!!!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for posting Mick! Please share everything you'd do different or the same. I've seen your photos of your set up but please do post a photo here! More ideas the better!!
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All my day by day construction shots are non digital ,they are stashed in a shoe box somewhere.

    This is it finished.

    I made mine exactly to the Alan Scott plans & method. He was an Aussie that lived in California,a blacksmith by trade who pioneered the wood fired oven bread movement out of Sonoma.He made a lot of ovens for bakeries ,restaurants& winery cellar doors.His website was passed away a few years back.

    I love mine but its BIG,the door could be wider It is over engineered for a back yard oven .Its restaurant size & grade although not as neatly made but I am not a mason.I had help along the way from mates in the building trades.

    I looked at a hell of a lot of backyard ovens & a lot of commercial ones in Europe. There are some wonderful bread ovens in those little villages that have been used for years.I saw one in the Pyrenees that was early 1900s still turning out great bread.

    I modified mine a bit ,bread ovens have lower arches ,I love doing small pigs in mine or sides of lamb or goat. 20 x chicken mary lands at a time . 

    A local guy here who ran pizza places then moved into a gig selling wood fired kit ovens ,amongst other things imported from Italy, turned out about 60 pizzas at a wedding reception in my back yard. He said "Its different to any oven I have used but I like it a lot."

    Just let me know what I help you with & I will do my best.

  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As soon as I get a permanent place in Hawaii! Wanna come help?

    My lips are sealed on this one!
  11. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What a great community thing.You got to love people that honour their heritage.

    I have Portuguese building contractor friends who want to come & make bread at my house .

    There are 45,000 people who list Portugal as their place of birth living within 5 to 10 minutes of my me. Some great food nearby.

    I have seen ovens made from volcanic rock in Italy .I can see a fire brick ,volcanic rock hybrid as a viable option.
  12. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    If you do it on the big isle I'll be there! My brother in law has one behind his house.
  13. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Thanks for sharing! That looks awesome.
  14. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I will try & get an inside shot for you over the w/e. I scrounged the roof tiles of a building site in my street,they match my roof,same roof pitch as my house,same external bricks as my house & landscaping (scrounged again) heritage chimney pot so it looks like it's been there for 50 years.All this talk has motivated me to throw a small shin dig using it soon.
    It may be my North African chicken 1/4s, some ribs & some fish rubbed with curry paste baked in banana leaf, feed about 12.
    I will post it here.
    I assume that will be fine for this forum ?
  15. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I know I'd like to see it!
  16. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My dream is getting closer!  

    This is the tread I was looking for!    Case,  welcome!   I'm really looking forward to seeing your  build.   You'll have it done by spring right?  So I can started on mine!  :)

    Case, you made the comment of not building it from brick but cob.   Would you care to explain what that is for those that don't know, including me? 

    MIck,  I love your oven.  I'd really like to see the inside.  
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have seen ovens done all sorts of ways but you have to factor in that some methods were used knowing that the oven would have to be rebuilt in a year or so.

    I have seen them way up in the mountains of Italy bashed together with a mix of brick ,stone,block whatever was laying around. They were always going to crack but they just broke it up or patched it, until they could be bothered building another. .Same deal with those mud dome jobs where you pack the mud over a form for the dome then burn the form out.

    Problem is if the dome cracks & opens stuff falls IN & therefor ON your food. To repair an internal crack you need child labour or a pygmy mason to get in the oven.[​IMG]You can never seal it 100% just working from the outside. It will leak heat but the real issue is sand & cement in your food. I have seen a big pizza oven turn out 100 pizzas a night with a crack that had been there for years but they just put the fire on that side & cooked on the other. Crack was more side than top.They were always going to get to it but never did.

    I know Case builds boats so would be way out in front of me in technical skill.There are just a few tricks that can save you some heart ache . 
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh man, I don't know if I can sneak an oven into the backyard without the wife knowing! If I do it will be a cob oven, or one closer to the por refuse oven WR posted that's used on the Big Island. We just happen to have lots of lava rock here too!

    We've designed quite a few super fancy bread/pizza ovens at work. Most involve a pre-made kit that we embellish. Nothing I can afford!

    Do back to rocks and mud for me! One thing we don't have much of locally is the clay. Lots of straw and lava rocks.
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Paint and epoxy make me the boat builder I ain't!!!! I can build a great 50 footer. Looks great from 50' lol!

    One thing boat building does though is makes you think ought if the box, as nothing's square, level, plumb or straight! Gotta work with the eye!
  20. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thats inside.It needs a mop out. The bricks are a pale yellow rated to 1300c normally used for kilns,furnaces etc.

    I have a 2 x temp probe at the left & right of top of arch 2 hooked up to a metre.

    I struggle with level ,the fire brick skin came out really well & you can pick up slack by shaping the bricks in the arch but the external skin wandered which lead to lots of cursing by carpenter when we did the roof structure & comments like "How drunk were you when you laid these bricks? " Is this some leaning tower of Pizza .Was there some localised earth quake in this street ?"etc.Every one is a comedienne [​IMG]

    I love the idea of lava rock ,dome may be a bit of a challenge to get it to close & neck in. I figure as a boat builder you can bend some thin timber to act as a support while the mortar sets then just burn it out .You can probably shape a keystone to fit the top of the dome & exert the requisite pressure like the keystone in a Roman arch or those pre fab kit ovens made out of terracotta.

    Anyway I will wait until you start or ask me a question which ever comes first.

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