NSR - Pizza/wood fired Oven
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Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:24 am quote
So - I am looking to build a wood oven in which I can then cremate my own pizzas, and other lovely food like things.

I am about to start the build, after a millenia of procrastination, and was wondering if any of my fellow MVer's had dug out the trowel and cement mixer and headed down this path?

As a wise man once said, better to learn from the mistakes of others, than your own

Look forward to your comments.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:50 am quote
My friend in Adelaide keeps threatening to build one, but not yet he has a couple of good project videos of the net only problem is one if them is about the size of a good shed lol

You good take the easy route and buy a ready made one from bunnings

Mark
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:23 am quote
Funny I thought I was the only one that wanted an oven. I have seen a few places on the net you can pick up plans to build one from scratch but last year at our Home and Garden Show one of the vendors that also make pavers for sidewalks and driveways had a kit of pavers to make an oven. It looked really nice. i believe the price of the kit was around $600.00 US but it came with the base, poured platform, sides and fire brick and roof.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:54 am quote
They had one here at the development where I live. One of its "features" was that they had to keep the fire burning constantly, never let it go out, to keep the bricks hot or summat. That eatery has since closed...
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:31 am quote
I have been threatening for three years to have one built. Yeah, I'm not a tool guy. I looked around for inserts and found a site called "forno bravo" which will supply all types of wood fired ovens for home or commercial use. Its worth looking at.

Ultimately, all things being considered, other than the coolness factor of it being a real Italian wood fired oven, my big green egg ceramic oven with the appropriate pizza modification (more wood and very thick pizza stone) really does the job quite well and at a fraction of the cost. I'll post a few pictures.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:50 am quote
Pizza on the Egg
We used to make our own dough and when that got to be too much of a PITA we
started getting rounds for under $3.00 from a local pizzeria. I put two
coal chimneys worth in the Egg along with a large chunk of Hickory wood. I
let the pizza stone get very hot and let it stay hot for a bit (650) and
then each pizza is done in 4-6 minutes.









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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:54 am quote
Knight Train wrote:
Ultimately, all things being considered, other than the coolness factor of it being a real Italian wood fired oven, my big green egg ceramic oven with the appropriate pizza modification (more wood and very thick pizza stone) really does the job quite well and at a fraction of the cost. I'll post a few pictures.
Ditto here. After visiting Italy and eating real pizza nearly every day, I really wanted a pizza oven in the back yard. Ultimately, though, it wouldn't get used enough to justify the cost or the space. My compromise was also a Big Green Egg, which I can get up to 1000° with enough lump charcoal.

And despite the fact that I can't make a round pizza to save my life, the pizza that comes off of that grill are awesome.

pizza-1.jpg

pizza-2.jpg

pizza-3.jpg

pizza-4.jpg

Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:08 am quote
jess wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
Ultimately, all things being considered, other than the coolness factor of it being a real Italian wood fired oven, my big green egg ceramic oven with the appropriate pizza modification (more wood and very thick pizza stone) really does the job quite well and at a fraction of the cost. I'll post a few pictures.
Ditto here. After visiting Italy and eating real pizza nearly every day, I really wanted a pizza oven in the back yard. Ultimately, though, it wouldn't get used enough to justify the cost or the space. My compromise was also a Big Green Egg, which I can get up to 1000° with enough lump charcoal.

And despite the fact that I can't make a round pizza to save my life, the pizza that comes off of that grill are awesome.
That is some "free-formin' formaggio" there!

Looks very tasty though.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:19 am quote
you guys are killing me. I love fire baked pizza. Start the fire now
The Beer Guy
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:04 am quote
Another ditto on the Big Green Egg. We've been very happy with the pizza we've made on it.

My daughter and son-in-law built a cob oven. That can be done on the cheap if you've got good clay soil at your disposal.

oven.jpg

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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:10 am quote
Yes. Cob is a cheap solution if you have space, and earth, to do it.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:14 am quote
Where can you buy a Big Green Egg?
Thanks.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:21 am quote
Don't know if you are a Costco member, but they have them on occasion at very good prices - approx $600 vs the $800 i typically see (for the large unit with all the goodies). Sam's club has them as well.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:23 am quote
If you have the space and are handy with the trowel, the following design seems to work very well. This is Seattle's Pizza Veraci oven design. They have two and the results are outstanding.

The oven itself is about 3-4 feet accross. The bottom is lined with brick and is flat. The oven walls themselves seem to be made of clay. The heat source is usually a pile of wood charcoal at the back that seems like the amount if you dumped out a complete large bag.

I bet it could be scaled down a bit and use less fuel.

Veraci1.jpg

Veraci2.jpg

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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:34 am quote
BRAU that's awesome. I've seen many around SA when i'm traveling. Most people have one in their yard for bread. Where do they live? Looks like the southwest. TWIN go for it and i'll stop by for a pizza. Good luck. Now i;m hungry after seeing all those pizza's.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:52 am quote
SLORob wrote:
Don't know if you are a Costco member, but they have them on occasion at very good prices - approx $600 vs the $800 i typically see (for the large unit with all the goodies). Sam's club has them as well.
One needs to be careful when purchasing a BGE from the warehouse stores, as often the factory will not honor any warranty. They claim this is because the big boxes are not actually certified dealers. I have no idea how the consumer is supposed to know this. The factory website has a "find dealer" function.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:00 am quote
voneschenbach wrote:
The oven itself is about 3-4 feet accross. The bottom is lined with brick and is flat. The oven walls themselves seem to be made of clay. The heat source is usually a pile of wood charcoal at the back that seems like the amount if you dumped out a complete large bag...
This is very similar to the "tatakua" used in Paraguay and northern Argentina. They only use wood. This is a modern version of what the country folk use in the villages. Usually, in the countryside, the tatakua's are built on the ground. Here is a gallery of photos to get a better idea of different sizes and shapes. On the right hand side, you will see a list under the bolded word, TATAKUA, open each link and it will give you dimensions and weight of each one. BTW, David Cargo of MN teaches an oven building class. You may want to contact him for additional advice. Oven Building Class. Another thought, Google the word, tatakua, and/or tatakua paraguay,and you will get all kinds of images, blogs, and more ideas. Good Luck! P/S I was in the Peace Corps (Paraguay) many decades ago and this was "the" oven used.

Many, many vids on Youtube ... learn from others mistakes.

Last edited by Big_Boys_Mother on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:04 am quote
We have several BGEs and enjoy having pizza parties. With an egg cranked up to speed, around 650-700°F, everyone gets to create their own pizzas from a large choice of toppings. They cook in just a couple of minutes, are delicious, and I get to stand around taking bows while everyone else did all the work.
And, they taste just like the ones from the local "wood fired" pizzerias, at (and this is the good part) a fraction of the cost. Well, after buying the Eggs and building a whole outdoor kitchen area, that is.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:36 am quote
Check out Superior Clay's website. They make a pizza oven "kit".

http://superiorclay.com/oven/technical.php

We've sold many of them to our customers.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:42 am quote
Go for it, Twin. The result will always be special and more delicious than most anywhere else.

A friend has an elaborate one in his backyard that works very well. He bakes breads in it too. He did say, though, that building (and using!) one just for an occasional pizza is something he would not do again. That insight convinced us not to do it, and we LOVE pizza.
The Beer Guy
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:15 am quote
judy wrote:
BRAU that's awesome. I've seen many around SA when i'm traveling. Most people have one in their yard for bread. Where do they live? Looks like the southwest. TWIN go for it and i'll stop by for a pizza. Good luck. Now i;m hungry after seeing all those pizza's.
They're in Charlottesville.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:13 pm quote
Another benefit of the BGE is that it is far more portable than the totally cool looking built in equivalent. Most of the Eggs are on wheels and when one moves ones home, as many Californians tend to do, said Egg comes with. Not so the totally cool wood fired built in oven.

Don't get me wrong. I want a wood fired backyard oven but I cannot imagine an "on the road" price at under 3K while an extra large BGE is about $1500.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:12 pm quote
Knight Train wrote:
Another benefit of the BGE is that it is far more portable than the totally cool looking built in equivalent. Most of the Eggs are on wheels and when one moves ones home, as many Californians tend to do, said Egg comes with. Not so the totally cool wood fired built in oven.

Don't get me wrong. I want a wood fired backyard oven but I cannot imagine an "on the road" price at under 3K while an extra large BGE is about $1500.
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:36 pm quote
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
I'll take earthquakes over tornados.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:37 pm quote
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Knight Train wrote:
Another benefit of the BGE is that it is far more portable than the totally cool looking built in equivalent. Most of the Eggs are on wheels and when one moves ones home, as many Californians tend to do, said Egg comes with. Not so the totally cool wood fired built in oven.

Don't get me wrong. I want a wood fired backyard oven but I cannot imagine an "on the road" price at under 3K while an extra large BGE is about $1500.
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
Good point.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:41 pm quote
I use a BGE for pizza as well, sadly just cracked my pizza stone two days ago. It was a pretty thin stone that I've had for awhile and I got the BGE dome thermometer pegg'ed over 750 by not paying attention, I usually like it at 600-650 for the thin crusts I roll out. So anyways need to find a thick 16" diameter stone soon cause pizza on the Egg is fantastic.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:42 pm quote
jess wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
I'll take earthquakes over tornados.
That's just crazy talk.....
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:46 pm quote
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
jess wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
I'll take earthquakes over tornados.
That's just crazy talk.....
Out of the last two major earthquakes to hit California (Loma Prieta and Northridge), what do you suppose the combined death toll was?

It was 119, all together.

Over the same period of time, how many people died in tornados?
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:08 pm quote
jess wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
jess wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
I thought Californians used earthquakes to move their homes.
I'll take earthquakes over tornados.
That's just crazy talk.....
Out of the last two major earthquakes to hit California (Loma Prieta and Northridge), what do you suppose the combined death toll was?

It was 119, all together.

Over the same period of time, how many people died in tornados?
Point taken, but around here earthquakes just scare the hell out of us, seriously. Tornados, although quite deadly, just don't have the same effect on people, I guess it's because we just grow up with them.
Several months back, we were staying in a cabin when a tremor came through (very rare) and made everything shake. You guys would have probably just yawned at this one but I couldn't get my wife to come back inside for about three hours. The next day, everyone I encountered was talking about how they almost died. The seismic folks reported it as very,very mild with no reported damage to any structures. Still, I'd really hate to experience non-mild.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:17 pm quote
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Point taken, but around here earthquakes just scare the hell out of us, seriously.
This is why Californians just smirk when people everywhere else talk about how much they fear earthquakes. It's an irrational fear. Tornados are quite a bit more frequent and destructive.
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Tornados, although quite deadly, just don't have the same effect on people, I guess it's because we just grow up with them.
I grew up with tornados. When I was about 7 years old, the town next to me -- Xenia, Ohio -- was nearly leveled by a massive tornado. The residents had almost no warning. I remember many nights that summer, huddled in the basement in the middle of the night because the town sirens went off to warn us of a tornado in the area.

And yet despite that (or really because of it), I definitely prefer to live in non-tornado country, even if that means putting up with occasional earthquakes.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:22 pm quote
Jess, what is the reason for the elevated pizza stone set up on your BGE?
Maybe to get the pizza higher in the dome? More even heating? We have always just set the stone directly on the plate setter, although we have an additional extra-wide fire ring, so the pizza still is fairly elevated.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:24 pm quote
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Jess, what is the reason for the elevated pizza stone set up on your BGE?
Maybe to get the pizza higher in the dome? More even heating? We have always just set the stone directly on the plate setter, although we have an additional extra-wide fire ring, so the pizza still is fairly elevated.
Something I read somewhere said that if you really want to focus all the heat on the pizza, get it up farther into the dome. I don't know if it's strictly necessary or not, just the way I've done it ever since I read that.

(Probably from the BGE forum).
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:32 pm quote
Jess, what size is your BGE? And where in the Bay Area did you buy it? Looks like a decent investment.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:40 pm quote
qballfc wrote:
Jess, what size is your BGE? And where in the Bay Area did you buy it? Looks like a decent investment.
It's a Large. I got it at Barbeques Galore in Campbell.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:58 pm quote
jess wrote:
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Point taken, but around here earthquakes just scare the hell out of us, seriously.
This is why Californians just smirk when people everywhere else talk about how much they fear earthquakes. It's an irrational fear. Tornados are quite a bit more frequent and destructive.
Route 66 Lawdog wrote:
Tornados, although quite deadly, just don't have the same effect on people, I guess it's because we just grow up with them.
I grew up with tornados. When I was about 7 years old, the town next to me -- Xenia, Ohio -- was nearly leveled by a massive tornado. The residents had almost no warning. I remember many nights that summer, huddled in the basement in the middle of the night because the town sirens went off to warn us of a tornado in the area.

And yet despite that (or really because of it), I definitely prefer to live in non-tornado country, even if that means putting up with occasional earthquakes.
That's a tough deal for a 7 year old. We lost about half of our neighborhood when I was around the same age. It does seem that those I encounter who grew up in the upper midwest take tornados a bit more seriously than those raised in Kansas, Oklahoma, or Texas.
It might be foolishly cavalier, but in my experience that is just how most folks from this region behave: They pretty much ignore the storm until the last five seconds, and then it's duck-and-cover time. Could be we're just not that bright.....

As for the pizza, I think next time I might roll up some foil balls and place them between the stone and the plate setter and see if it makes any difference in how evenly the crust cooks. I'm already pretty high in the dome because of the fire rings.
P.S. Only on Modern Vespa could we have a "Pizza and Tornado" thread. I love this place!
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:58 pm quote
I have a Big Steel Keg - once known as the Bubba Keg and now the Broil King Keg. http://www.broilkingbbq.com/grills/keg/landing.html

It's an insulated steel analog of the Big Green Egg.

I have cooked all kinds of meat all kinds of ways, but I haven't tried a pizza yet. Maybe soon.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:04 pm quote
For those who cook with a BGE, I have found "The Ceramic Grill Store" to be a great source for all kinds of BGE-specific cooking aids. Their website has many examples of ways a "cook" can be set up.
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:06 pm quote
mpfrank wrote:
I have a Big Steel Keg - once known as the Bubba Keg and now the Broil King Keg. http://www.broilkingbbq.com/grills/keg/landing.html

It's an insulated steel analog of the Big Green Egg.

I have cooked all kinds of meat all kinds of ways, but I haven't tried a pizza yet. Maybe soon.
When you try pizza, neighbors will find their way over to your house!
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Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:12 pm quote
qballfc wrote:
Jess, what size is your BGE? And where in the Bay Area did you buy it? Looks like a decent investment.
They also sell them at "Eggs by the Bay", University Electric, and Complete Backyard - all in Santa Clara (over in the neighborhood of 101 & Lafayette St.).

I bought a large BGE from one of those 3 - don't want to say which, because they all have their redeeming qualities. If any were the only game in town, I'd easily buy from them. Nonetheless, it's nice to have choices...
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