Author Topic: Newbie WFO questions and answers  (Read 37077 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Newbie WFO questions and answers
« on: August 23, 2010, 10:53:04 PM »
Did a quick search but didn't see what I was looking for.   Hoping to ask a few newbie questions and get a few answers about WFOs.  I'm hoping this thread will help provide answers to anyone interested in going the WFO route.

1) What is the best model to get?   :P  Totally just kidding there.

Here's a serious question.

I have a portion of covered patio right outside my kitchen that I would like to place a WFO on.  Will the smoke from the oven turn the ceiling of the covered patio black?  Would it be better to build the oven out in the open?  The outdoor ceiling is around 10" high.  Would having a cap over the smoke stack help that at all?

Can you burn anytype of wood in a WFO?  Or would you only want to use hard woods and fruit woods.  I imagine it wouldn't be a  good idea to burn anything with sap in it right?  Cedar or pine would be bad or are they okay?

Thanks, I'll think of more questions later.

Chau


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 07:55:43 AM »
Hi Chau,

about the wood type, here in Brazil ill start the fire whit any hard wood, then wen baking i use Eucalyptus...

about the smoke, well... wen you start the fire (and this is my oven) i have some smoke comming out of the front before it goes up the chimney, this happens because the oven is cold, so the smoke is looking for some way out... this takes about 20 minutes.... then wen the oven is hot all o the smoke goes up the chimney.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Matthew

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 07:56:29 AM »
Did a quick search but didn't see what I was looking for.   Hoping to ask a few newbie questions and get a few answers about WFOs.  I'm hoping this thread will help provide answers to anyone interested in going the WFO route.

1) What is the best model to get?   :P  Totally just kidding there.

Here's a serious question.

I have a portion of covered patio right outside my kitchen that I would like to place a WFO on.  Will the smoke from the oven turn the ceiling of the covered patio black?  Would it be better to build the oven out in the open?  The outdoor ceiling is around 10" high.  Would having a cap over the smoke stack help that at all?

Can you burn anytype of wood in a WFO?  Or would you only want to use hard woods and fruit woods.  I imagine it wouldn't be a  good idea to burn anything with sap in it right?  Cedar or pine would be bad or are they okay?

Thanks, I'll think of more questions later.

Chau

The oven only smokes for a few minutes during the initial startup & anytime you add wood.  The rain cap is exactly that, & prevents the rain from dropping down the chimney.  It's also a good idea to have a spark arrestor around the rain cap.  WFO's vent best with a minimum chimney height of 42", also a good idea to go with insulated SS if your going the metal chimney route.  Much more expenive but well worth it.  So will it turn the ceiling black? You bet it will.

Burn only well seasoned dry hardwood (including fruitwood).  Pine & Cedar; bad idea.

Matt

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 09:29:06 AM »
Is the roof part of the house or is it a roof that extends out with no rooms or anything above. If it extends out you can have your chimney go through the roof so it just vents to atmosphere. The only thing is that you will have a long chimney.

Edit: The way I explained the roof thing might not make sense so I found a picture to show what I am talking about. If it is something like the pictured roof you can do what I am talking about and have the chimney go through the roof.

about the smoke, well... wen you start the fire (and this is my oven) i have some smoke comming out of the front before it goes up the chimney, this happens because the oven is cold, so the smoke is looking for some way out... this takes about 20 minutes.... then wen the oven is hot all o the smoke goes up the chimney.

This usually happens to me when its really windy outside. If there is little to no wind the smoke goes right up the chimney. The last firing was evidence of that, there was no wind at all and the smoke was going right up the chimney. It put a big smile on my face because it was the first time it wasn't windy and all the smoke was coming out the front.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 10:00:10 AM by BrickStoneOven »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 12:21:29 PM »
Thank you very much guys.  That helps a lot. 

BSO, I believe the covered part is part of the house but I will snap up a picture later.   I also have another covered patio out in the backyard but that would require putting all my dough, ingredients, and such on a cart and cart it out there.  If I build it on the front patio, it will be very close to the kitchen. 

I may be able to power wash the soot off the ceiling every 6 months or so?  or just leave it?

Also wondering, prior to loading a pie, do you guys wipe down the hearth with a moist cloth to pick up the ash dust or just brush the ash aside? 

Thx

Offline Matthew

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 12:24:12 PM »
Thank you very much guys.  That helps a lot. 

BSO, I believe the covered part is part of the house but I will snap up a picture later.   I also have another covered patio out in the backyard but that would require putting all my dough, ingredients, and such on a cart and cart it out there.  If I build it on the front patio, it will be very close to the kitchen. 

I may be able to power wash the soot off the ceiling every 6 months or so?  or just leave it?

Also wondering, prior to loading a pie, do you guys wipe down the hearth with a moist cloth to pick up the ash dust or just brush the ash aside? 

Thx

Just brush for pizza & wipe down with moist mop for bread.

Matt

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2010, 03:44:07 PM »
Just brush for pizza & wipe down with moist mop for bread.

Matt

the same here...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2010, 03:53:02 PM »
If just planning to bake 1-10 pies per cook and maybe a few loaves of bread on the cool down, what size oven (Internal Diameter) would guys recommend?  I would like  enough room to cook a pie next to the fire or cook a NY elite style pie further away from the fire if possible.   Maybe 2-3 pies in there at a time max. 

And this maybe a tough question to answer but not sure between a prefab one and building one from scratch.  Obviously that takes a longer amount of time and maybe less costly.  Anyone built one from the ground up and wish they had ordered a prefab one b/c it was just too big a project.  I have no skills in laying brick but could learn.  I also don't have to go the cheap route or save $ either.  I don't like wasting it but don't have a cap either.  Could I build/buy a nice oven for under $3K? 

Thanks a lot. 
Chau

Offline carbon

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2010, 04:45:04 PM »

I have a portion of covered patio right outside my kitchen that I would like to place a WFO on.  Will the smoke from the oven turn the ceiling of the covered patio black?  Would it be better to build the oven out in the open?  The outdoor ceiling is around 10" high. 

Firstly, it is very convenient to have the wfo located right outside the kitchen.  I built mine just out the rear kitchen door and am glad I did.  It was either there or 100' away out in the open area.  The pic is during the construction of my wfo a few weeks back.

Yes, smoke will be a problem unless you route the insulated chimney pipe through your covered patio roof.  Also, the chimney end cap must be at least 2 feet higher than anything combustible within 10 feet.  Check your local building and safety code.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 02:57:52 PM by carbon »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2010, 04:54:08 PM »
Thanks Carbon.  I also have the choice of extending the cement area beyond the covered area so that the smoke (for the most part) will just go up into the open air but the oven will only be 4-5 ft further from the sliding glass door that is in the kitchen.   I'll see about posting a picture of the area later tonight or tomorrow. 

Chau


Offline andreguidon

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 05:04:27 PM »
my oven is 75cm inside, i recommend 100cm.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline carbon

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 05:30:58 PM »
Thanks Carbon.  I also have the choice of extending the cement area beyond the covered area so that the smoke (for the most part) will just go up into the open air but the oven will only be 4-5 ft further from the sliding glass door that is in the kitchen.   I'll see about posting a picture of the area later tonight or tomorrow. 

Chau

Regardless, even out in the open, you'll still need a tall chimney (to meet code) if your oven is only 5 feet from your house.

Offline TONY

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 05:39:02 PM »
You should check with your local building and or fire department codes.  Here in Long Beach California, the code requires that a wood burning oven must be at least 10 feet away from any combustable material.

Tony

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 06:48:56 PM »
I think a 42" oven is the best size for home use. You have enough room where you could make more then one pizza if you wanted. You will have enough space for a nice size fire/coals and not have to worry about the pizza(s) being to close so they get burnt. If you want to make 18" NY style pies you will have the room without having to remove the coals.

You could definitely make a good oven with $3,000, that is what I estimated what I would have spent if I built it myself.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2010, 07:04:26 PM »
Chau,

Regardless of the official codes, it is important to make sure the opening of your oven is not exposed to the wind - you know the kind of diabolic gusts common around here, especially in the spring and summer. You don't want to be the guy whose pizza oven burned down the Bosque. I'd make sure it is oriented and has wind breaks so that, no matter which direction the wind blows, there is no way embers will be blown out of the oven.

Bill

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 09:19:04 PM »
JT,  all good comments so far,  thought I would add a few.  Sounds to me like you will definately need to put the chimney through the roof.  No way can you have it exaust anywhere near or under a roof.  large amounts of smoke come out of a chimney at times,  plus the longer the chimney,  the better it drafts.  Surely get the oven close to the house and under cover if possible you will not regret it.  I worked with my local building dept and they allowed me to build one in my house that satisfied all codes of a fireplace.  They were baffled,  but they allowed it.  I have yet to have to change my plans as a result of the weather,  and using residual heat to make bread or dinner the next day is right around the corner from my kitchen.  Also,  I was a rookie bricklayer when I started it,  and I have no doubt that you can learn real fast based on the pizzas I have seen you post.  I think 3K might be a little low to get a good premade oven,  but if you really have no limit,  get a steffano ferrara.  That'll run you about 10K delivered  -marc

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 10:05:38 PM »
but if you really have no limit,  get a steffano ferrara.  That'll run you about 10K delivered  -marc

I second that if possible. It would be awesome to see a member with a real Neapolitan oven.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 10:54:36 PM »
Thank you all so much for the info so far.  This is really fantastic.  You guys are giving me a good head start. 

So it sounds like 40" or so oven is about the right size.  I'll definitely do a bit more reading on this.
I'll check into the local codes as well, but I don't imagine it to be a real problem building it close to the house considering there is a natural gas outlet coming out of the wall for a grill right where I'd like to place the oven.  I'm guessing here, but grills can't be anymore dangerous than WFOs.  Heck maybe I'm wrong.  ???

I'm attaching some photos of the area that I think would work well for the WFO to be.  It's basically my front covered patio right outside the kitchen.  The area from the column to the wall and sliding door is about 7'x7'.  I'm hoping to place an oven and a bit of counter space there.  Maybe enough for that Primo grill as well (somewhere).

Chau,

Regardless of the official codes, it is important to make sure the opening of your oven is not exposed to the wind - you know the kind of diabolic gusts common around here, especially in the spring and summer. You don't want to be the guy whose pizza oven burned down the Bosque. I'd make sure it is oriented and has wind breaks so that, no matter which direction the wind blows, there is no way embers will be blown out of the oven.

Bill


Bill that is excellent advice.  I hadn't even considered that but you are right.  Luckily I have a somewhat enclosed front patio surround by walls and an iron rod gate.   The area that I would like the WFO to go is somewhat enclosed as well on 3 sides, so I hope that I'm good to go.  The entrance of the WFO would be facing east,  there's a big sliding glass door towards the north, the back wall is towards the west, and the south would be open.  let me know what you think. 

Marc and David.  Thank you for suggesting the Steffano Ferrar"i" oven.   Even though I can afford a 10K oven, it probably isn't the one for me.  I have 2 little girls that will have to go to college someday and my wife and I do enjoy the occassional get away. 

If it's the creme de la creme, I feel I would have no business getting one.  I could/would not be able to fully appreciate it.  I hardly even know how to make a NP yet.  Maybe if I was opening a pizzeria or if I had trained under some prominent masters, then there would be no question about it.   I just wouldn't be able to do the oven justice IMO.  It is out of my league?  ???

I am considering getting plans and building one like member Ev for the experience but finding the time might be tricky.    My front yard would be a mess for a while and I'm not sure my wife would go for that either.  I told her that I wanted a WFO a couple of days ago and that it would cost about $3500.  I was just throwing a number out there to see the expression on her face.  She didn't seem surprise and said, well if it'll make you happy then go for it.   :P  So I think I could push that number up a bit if needed.   :-D 

I'd like to put the oven right where that primo ceramic oven is.  I can always have a slab poured next to that area for the WFO and then it wouldn't be covered anymore.  From that colum towards the wall and sliding glass door is about 7 feet both ways.  The ceiling again is about 10 feet high.  The oven floor would be about 40" high maybe, then another 30" or so for the oven.  That leaves around 4 feet for the chimney.  Would I need to hire someone to extend the chimney through that ceiling?  I'm guessing so...

Chau
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 02:29:06 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline utahdave

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 11:37:21 PM »
Definitely check your building codes.  You'll need to make sure the chimney is high enough or far enough away so as not to get smoke into the upstairs windows.  You should be able to figure something out.  As for smoke on  the ceiling, I have a WFO in a covered patio and haven't had smoke problems on the ceiling.  I have a couple of ceiling fans that dissipate any smoke that comes out rather easily.  I have found that to reduce or eliminate smoke coming out of the front I need to heat the oven slowly, and not make too big of a fire.  I start at the front which heats the flue and improves the draw.  Then I slowly let the fire burn its way to the back.  If I get the fire too big then I start having problems with smoke coming out the front, but if the flue is hot enough it tends to draw up the smoke.  As for size, I have a 1 meter oven.  It is an artigiano 100 from forno bravo.  The opening is small enough that you can only get about a 14" pizza in.  With a wfo you don't need a ton of room because you can't cook too many pizzas at once since they cook so fast.  You'll only need room for 1-3 pizzas.  Any more than that you'll likely start burning them before you can get them rotated.  I'll try and post a picture of my oven so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about with my configuration.  Best of luck,

David

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Newbie WFO questions and answers
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2010, 12:02:46 AM »
Utah Dave.  Your post makes a lot of sense.  Thank you.  And your outdoor kitchen there....drool...

Very nice.
Chau


 

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