I finished (mostly – still a little detail work to do) my oven last November. I built the firebox, cladding and insulation as close to your Masterly Oven a possible. The bricks here in the US are different sizes than yours and trying to do mathematical conversions made it too complex so I just threw away all my drawings and built it by looking at your pictures. This is the first time I have ever laid brick. I nearly killed myself in the summer heat when I got heat stroke working last July. The outer shell design is adapted to my location in my courtyard.
The one city that I live in – Fresno California USA – is part of an Air Pollution control district that does not allow the construction of a wood burning anything! So in order to get the permit I had to make it a Gas Fired oven – and basic wood – but read below. Oven image shows the firing, gas flame of the burner inside.
Another image shows the burner and port. No need for gas unless the city comes down on me for using wood. The oven burns wood so clean after the first 30 minutes I don’t think anyone would really notice the wood. This is because all the fume gasses and smoke burn to an extent that only the blurry heat is visible.
I was originally planning to plaster the outside leaving just the black trim bricks showing; so much of the red brick is course and the grout is different colors and unfinished. My wife and all of our friends love the look of it the way it is now! So this is how it shall remain. I intend to install a lamp above the opening to the oven (you can see the electrical box) but we have not found just the right one yet.
We will never be able to eat pizza from a restaurant again. Once you eat pizza out of a wood fired masonry oven there is no going back. We have mastered cooking Pizza with my wife rolling out the dough, everyone choosing their own toppings and me working the oven. We mostly use your Pizza dough recipe and it is the standard by which we measure others that we experiment with. Whole foods Market located here in the states makes pretty good whole wheat pizza dough but I still prefer yours home made. One of my favorite toppings is marinated dried tomatoes and as you can see we are growing some to dry with residual oven heat.
Recently I built the door and I am amazed at the ovens heat retention ability. I am just now studying the numbers so I can utilize a single firing to its full potential. Test with the door closed and oven not heated to the high pizza cooking temperature: It took seven hours to drop from 480F – 250C to 300F – 150C and nine more hours to drop to 250F – 120C and from there it takes another 24 hours to drop to 140F – 60C at which so much drying or warming can be done. The next Holiday plan is to have top Pizza for lunch, Bake bread in the afternoon then slow cook a prime rib beef roast and vegetables for dinner. Then if I have not had too much fun I might dry some tomatoes.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I would not have attempted this project if it was not for your plans with 1000 pictures and my life would be unknowingly poorer.
Fresno, CA, USA