Sunday, March 24, 2013

Perfecting Brick Ovens

An early post 'Perfect Brick Ovens' generated a lot of interest.  'Perfecting', the active verb tense, describes what I have been working on for the past few years.

Seeking perfection means that I analyse the design and function of each brick oven I build or see, looking for improvements.  Ironically, the more refined my design gets, the closer to the most ancient ovens they appear.

Here are the a few significant improvements over say, internet plans for Pompeii style brick oven that someone might find.

dome building without forms

cut and numbered dome bricks
  • The elimination of any angle-iron from the construction of the dome.
  • The mouth can be smaller than the face making the whole interior accessible from all angles.
  • A wide corbel brick throat that guides the smoke upwards to the chimney tile or flue.
  • The use of specialty bricks to form very tight joints.
  • The precise cutting of all bricks to form the smallest joint possible between dome bricks.
  • Formulation of refractory mortar so that dome forms are not necessary.
large face arch/smaller (20") mouth arch
Once the improved oven is built, the quest for the perfect bread, roast, smoked food moves forward with gusto.

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