Brick Ovens Custom Built
In this Blog I’m going to talk about the custom brick ovens and what it really takes to build a great Brick Oven. Lets start with the base. I prefer to build a base out of cinder block . The block base is very stable and will last as long as you have your brick oven. It also ads more mass to your oven giving a grander appearance. The only draw back for all this extra weight is that the oven needs to be built on a strong foundation. If it is being built above a basement you will have to either start the block in the basement and build through the joists or get lolly columns for extra support. This is an engineering problem for your engineer!
The base is then fitted with steel supports crosswise and a layer of bricks that will be the foundation for the brick oven floor. On top of the brick floor will be a layer, several inches thick of insulating cement as to keep the heat from escaping through the surface fire bricks . The surface fire bricks (or tiles) are made from refractory materials and are known as “fire bricks”. There are several types of fire bricks medium duty works best.The medium duty firebrick is composed of roughly 35% alumina and 50% silica, they heat up quickly and easily ,withstand the extreme heat your oven will reach, are designed for the rapid heat-up and cool down your oven will experience, and for giving off the radiant heat needed to cook your pizza or breads .
True Firebricks will also reach the heat required for your oven more quickly than a clay brick, as they are more efficient at conducting heat.The fire bricks are made to withstand what is known as thermal cycling (extreme temperature changes) therefore they will last for many years to come. The brick oven floor has to very stable all the bricks must fit snugly and be laid down on a solid insulated and level foundation. This will keep the bricks( tiles) stable and allow you the pleasure of cooking on a smooth even surface surface for years to come.
The Next Step: Your Brick oven dome size and shape. There are many shapes and sizes of brick ovens. Depending upon your needs, your cooking styles and volume will determine the over all size of your oven. There are many thoughts and view points on this subject. I myself have used dozens of ovens with varying dome heights and shapes from round to square . The Neapolitan ovens are more smaller usually around 3 to 4 ft in width and 17 inches in height. The domes are inverted with a low roof and built of fire brick as well. The low dome height is what reflects the heat and allows for the fast Neapolitan cooking . They are great for making small pizzas “Neapolitan style” Burt and blisters, and are truly and artisans oven.
The Pompeii style oven is more of a home owners oven it is more round the the Neapolitan oven with a higher dome height and easier to operate. It also heats up quickly and efficiently and cooks more evenly. The round dome does a better job of bouncing heat evenly onto the cooking floor. You can cook pizza, roast meats or vegetables any where on the surface !
The secret to a great brick oven building has many facets> Correct building materials, proper design for the right application, insulation to hold the heat and keep the oven working efficiently, proper venting and of course an operators needs, These are the many things needed to know and understand to build a great Brick Oven.
When we build Brick ovens we take all the above into consideration. We are available to travel through many states and offer consulting in the art of wood fired brick ovens and there uses. So let us build an oven for you.
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