Friday, February 19, 2016

Brick Oven FAQ #2

continuing the FAQ...

#6. Are there less costly ovens?
Yes.  I encourage anyone who doesn't have the funds to either build one of these true brick ovens or have anyone build it for them to use less expensive materials and methods.
option 1- Salvage firebrick and proceed as shown in many of these posts.
option 2- Use red brick.  Standard red brick has been used in ovens since colonial times and is the usual material in many all-clay ovens.
option 3- Build a cob oven (see post).  These usually don't have chimneys and are constructed from clay, sand, and straw.

#7. Are these ovens a luxury?
In many countries and regions, brick ovens are the most basic and original cooking devices.  There
are as many brick ovens in Italy as there are grills in the U.S.
Yet, to have one built, requires some money.  I ask people to consider that a brick oven costs as much as a decent used car but will last 100 times longer.

Brewster Academy oven with flue and makeup air ducts
#8. What building codes pertain to Brick Ovens?
I have built ovens in many states and towns.  Each has its own code requirements.  Two aspects need attention: The proximity of anything combustable and the fireproofing of the oven container.  And the height of the chimney which must both provide a good draft and move the smoke away from habitations.

Pietree oven stays hot from May to December
#9. How long does the oven stay hot?
Ovens used for pizza are usually brought up to 700F.  If pizzas are made quickly, the temperature will drop rapidly, absorbed into the masonry mass.  Or you may soak the mass by slowing the firing process (see Owner's Manual)   'Soaking' the masonry extends the cooking time up to four days without extra wood.

#10. The Questions you leave in the comment box below, which I will answer as they arrive.
I welcome questions as they point to aspects of brick oven lore that I have yet to explore.

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