Thursday, August 18, 2016

How Much Can You Fit in a 48" Brick Oven

I can fit inside when I'm inspecting the dome!
One question that often comes up when talking with customers about the oven they want is QUANTITY of food.
"How much can I cook in it?"
"How many  pizzas?"
"How many loaves of bread?"

Okay.  Start with the fact that the ovens I build are well insulated.  That gives you cooking TIME.
The diameter of the oven floor is the space you will have for PRODUCT (what we usually call 'the food').
If you want to cook pizzas for instance, the oven temp will be near 700F, pretty hot; a thin crust pizza cooks in 90 seconds.  This means, unless you have four people making pizzas, by the time you get the third pizza in the oven, the first pizza is done (if you're fast and attentive).

Loaves baked in my 36" oven at
The Kneading Conference
Bread?  A TBO 36" will bake three batches of eight loaves each batch (more if they are boules); a TBO 48" will bake 12-16 loaves.  This makes it feasible to bake 50 loaves before the temp changes enough to alter the type of bread baked from ones needing 550F to loaves that prefer 430F.

Pizza at the Fair in a TBO 48

A baker friend in Audrix France

The start of a really big oven

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Restaurant Oven Test Firing

At the conclusion of each build, the oven needs a slow warm up to drive any remaining water from the masonry.  This takes about five hours (much longer than a common firing).  Instructions for this are outlined in the Operation Manual PDF posted on True Brick Ovens website.

About a month ago, Mike Mason and his crew at Loon's Haven Family Campground in Naples, Maine. attended the test firing.   A few hours of 300-400F temps and the oven was ready to go up to 700F.  All good.

Thanks to all at Loon's Haven who helped

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

True Brick Ovens Trademarked (TM)

True Brick Ovens is now trademarked (TM) approved pending the long wait for processing.  
Why?  After nine years and dozens of ovens built from real fire brick with real mason skills, this small company decided to protect its name.

Although, as an artisan, I believe that security resides in a company's product.  But as Shakespeare said in R&J, 'What's in a name'.

So, aside from 'signing' my ovens with my handprint on the exterior of the dome, we are now trademarked.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Russians Are Coming

There were 891 visits to this blog by Russians this week.   Добро пожаловат.

Are Russians building brick ovens for themselves? Дай мне знать.

Are there Russian foods that cook well in brick ovens? Что вы готовите в духовке?

I would love to hear directly from any of you over there.  

Я хотел бы услышать непосредственно от любого из вас там.

Thanks спасибо!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Restaurant Brick Oven: Part Eight

As the TBO 48" nears completion, there are still some vital details that are worth attention.

The visible face of the oven consists of the wood box, framed in dark granite, the hearth, the face arch, and the stone veneer flush with the future walls of the kitchen.

Veneer stone offers a beautiful solution that, just a handful of years ago, was not available to masons. Real stone is sliced into pieces about 3/4 of an inch thick.  This gives the exterior a traditional old stone look without the accompanying weight.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Talk to a Brick Oven Builder

When people interested in brick ovens find this blog, they may also go to my website:

From there, they may contact me via email or the TBO checklist option.  None of these are personal and in this digital age that works for many.

However, I do get calls the archaic way, on my cell phone, sometimes from places as far off as Belgium and Australia.  Rather than the potential distraction from my work as a designer/builder, these calls are enjoyable because the conversations are on common ground.
This coming weekend, in Fryeburg, Maine, I will be demonstrating brick oven cooking and a number of professional chefs will join me at the Northern New England Home and Garden Show.

I've met thousands of people there over the years and look forward to a weekend of cooking and assisting chefs at the Meet the Chefs pavilion.  You can't miss the oven.  It's just inside the entrance adjacent to its own event tent.  I look forward to meeting you.

Buono appetito!
David Neufeld

Post Script:

The weekend of brick oven cooking with chefs and talking was fruitful.  For any of you who met me and spoke with me, thank you.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Restaurant Brick Oven Build- Part Seven

Preparing for the stone hearth, the granite arch (or brick, or tile, or other choices) requires preparing the entire plane of the front for masonry.

In many cases, the brickwork of the oven doesn't extend to the ceiling or limits of the structure in which the oven in contained.   Steel framing, standard at most lumber yards, is used to frame the space and this is covered with cement board, both of which are non-combustible.
pre-fitting the granite arch stones

Hearth supported while arch is set
This structure needs to be stiff and I most often place the framing on 12" centers.

A smooth stone hearth is set on a granite lintel and then the primary face arch is constructed, in this oven of two types of granite with the thermal surface out.

Part eight will show the remainder of the veneer work.