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Wood burning oven with gas fireplace underneath

Good day to all oven builders and culinary chefs!

This is my second pizza oven completed 6/1/12. I built my first in Rome, New York in in the year 1998. This one I designed is at my second home in Palm Springs California. I custom designed this oven to have dual heat.

The fireplace below the oven is fired natural gas, the pizza oven above is wood fired. This enables me to get the pizza oven to cooking temperature much faster and at the same time to maintain a more constant temperature after reaching the full heat up. I believe this may be the first system of its kind. We also use the oven for other dishes – roasted vegetables, racks of lamb etc. It works perfectly.

Brick oven with gas fireplace under Upper oven is wood fired, lower is gas burner fired fireplace (provides extra heat for preheating hearth).

Brick oven and gas fireplace The internal chamber of the pizza oven is roughly 30 inches by 35 inches and is supported by steel plate under fire brick. The steel allows for rather quick transfer of heat to the firebrick. The dome is constructed of firebrick. This design also allows for easy replacement of fire brick since they are laid mortar free on top of the steel. The steel is also laid loose for easy replacement. I am quite proud of this design it is ready to cook in less than an hour. I will mail cooking pictures separately at a later date as we don’t intend to use it for another week or so.

Thank you
Nat from Palm Springs in California

Respond to the Wood burning oven with gas fireplace underneath article:

15 Comments - post your thoughts

  1. How much to build one?

    By Joe — Permalink

  2. The best answer could be found here – saving money + saving time while building (not only ovens!) :

    By Anne — Permalink

  3. Hi Rado,
    I have been thinking of the woodstove design and discuss it with my brother who lives near by pretty often. He said he’d prefer it with propane, which I sort of shrugged off. But as I was thinking of it, I wonder if there is some sense to having a propane supply. Would that allow a better control for temperature gradients over time? Could you imagine having the oven, when it’s running, to have a thermostat that could kick the propane on if needed for long slow cooks or something. I just thought I’d ask you about it to see if it’s worth pursuing.
    I’m more inclined like you said to make the MTo G3 model a little wider to allow for more insulation to keep the heat better. So I can see that the propane idea might be too complicated and not gain that much. Besides, it’s a wood stove we’re making right?! :)
    But, honestly, you’re thoughts would be great.
    Hope you and everyone down there are doing well. I hope the floods haven’t destroyed too many things.
    If you have any questions about the geothermal system, I’d be more than happy to help out with what I know. Or I’m sure Jerry (Geojerry that is) would be able to help too.


    By Naeem — Permalink

  4. Naeem,
    I managed to download all three plans, more precisely to have it done for me, all the files are now in before the link expired. It was done a few days ago. Thank you very much, just got the time to study the project images and to finally reply to you. I actually couldn’t wait to see the building progress images. I will be at home now till next Monday morning. To me your Geothermal heating project is so incredible. As I mentioned earlier I will plan to have it fitted in our place too. It would be fantastic to have your images described in writing, also if there were some photographs of the actual system which is under the roof, it would make it an excellent pages on traditional oven website – perhaps some enthusiasts people like me or You would offer to come to do it together with me as a “learning curve” for everyone as it’s being done (real life workshop).

    Why not, it is real good though if gas is used after the oven reaches the cooking temperature. Fire produced embers produce huge heat for the firing in comparison with even large gas burner nozzle. I will create some energy calculator for this, this just crossed my mind, as an example to calculate/convert between the heating energy when using gas burner compared with wood fuel.

    In other words, It is very common however more so with portable hand held equipment to assist the fire start in the early going with wet wood for instance. Many restaurant use mostly gas as it’s more convenient for saving time. But also the wood-fueled fire isn’t just for the effect. As a fuel, gas is more expensive than firewood. Usually these kitchens use gas for all appliances and the oven is basically only re-fired daily, where the oven is always hot and its temperature never cools downwards to cold state.

    * Only if the cost of fuel was a consideration; compare the flame size from the largest but common BTU gas burner (that could be fitted into oven) with the flames from wood fire. Energy wise, wood fire flames and embers especially produce much more heat used for the oven chamber heat up. Just for an idea.

    This page may suggest a lot to you:

    How big do you plan to build the oven, how many pizzas do you think you will make per day? What everything do you plan to cook? Wood can be very economical if you can get it from the surround nature, often for free. If you compare the amount of heat from wood fire and especially the heat radiating from the red embers, with even a large gas burner, how big the flame and gas consumption would need to be for these two to be even. BUT, if you heat up the oven daily then also gas or charcoal can be fine because while the oven is still hot the next day it is basically only refired and then kept at the desired temperature level with gas. Re-firing of still hot oven to a full heat up again is so much faster. Therefore then it is less expensive on natural gas or LPG if the oven is used in a daily production scenario, as mentioned only because fast to reheat again and again.

    You just place the burner/flame on a side or in sides at the floor level. For gas, depending on what’s cooking, you can calculate the entrance height as low as 7-1/2 inches – 19 cm high for efficiency/saving-energy for wood fired but no lower than that. If it’s dual, you can still keep the arched entry height at those original 10 inches – 25.5 cm and when you switch to gas place/hook a small metal plate to temporarily block of the entry height, top level of the entrance, to even lower than those 19 centimeters – 7.5″

    Something more complex:


    By Rado — Permalink

  5. Great looking oven/fireplace combo. Would you mind sharing how to build one? Thanks!

    By Jeff — Permalink

  6. If you do the work yourself, just for the oven perhaps 800 dollars.

    By Nat Filippini — Permalink

  7. I have the design plans that I sketched out, but they are merely sketches in pencil with notes. I was apprehensive about this design but it has proven to be an excellent plan for what I wanted.

    By Natfilippini — Permalink

  8. Thanks for the reply. I think your design would be perfect for a limited area. Would it be possible to see your sketches?

    By Jeff — Permalink

  9. I am not knowledgeable in thermal physics or masonry at all. However I do like to cook and desire an outdoor pizza oven. After reading your page, I have some questions.
    1. Is it possible to build a single outdoor oven that can simultaneously (or separately) burn gas, as well as wood to heat up these bricks inside?
    2. Obviously putting a gas “booster” oven below the wood burning oven has been done, but why not just one oven using both heat sources?
    3. Is my idea safe?, and can it be done?

    Please help ASAP, THANKS, marc

    By marc r. goldenberg — Permalink

  10. What you are suggesting can be done and I have seen such an oven. The drawback is that using a single chamber for both fuels means that most of the heat goes up and doesn’t heat the hearth much better than a single fuel. However, using the method you suggest would mean better control of the temperature in the oven itself. It seems to me that keeping the hearth hot – about 650 degrees Fahrenheit is crucial to a properly cooked crust.

    By Nat Filippini — Permalink

  11. I am very impressed with your oven, how did you pipe the flues from both ovens.
    I want to create an open fire for heat and incorporate a pizza oven in a garden room.
    Are the flues piped desperate or individual?

    Regards Simon

    By Simon — Permalink

  12. I am amazed about your oven design and its story, both structurally educative and also entertaining. I plan on building a similar oven for my family. Thanks!

    By uncle — Permalink

  13. The gas fireplace on the bottom vents partially from the front but mostly from the top rear through a flue designed into the rear wall. The wood oven on top vents partially through the hearth opening but mainly through the chimney in the front. After more than 2 years of use I am very pleased with the results and the design. If done again I would make the gas fireplace on the bottom about 8 inches taller, lowering that hearth and therefore making the firebox taller.

    By Nat Filippini — Permalink

  14. Hello,
    I am looking for someone to build a pizza oven on top of a wood burning fireplace in San Diego – Do you know anyone that can do this correctly? Thank you? Do you have plans that I can buy of how to do this?
    Lisa Coyne 760 807-3057

    By Lisa Coyne — Permalink

  15. Brick oven with fireplace under found on this page: Brick oven with fireplace under

    I would like to buy plans to build it, can you help me with that?


    By Ivan Navarro — Permalink

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