Author Topic: Barrel style brick pizza oven  (Read 4283 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Barrel style brick pizza oven
« on: July 28, 2013, 07:55:01 PM »
So I have made this barrel style brick oven and it looks pretty cool I think.  I have tried it a few times and the pizza has a ways to go to get to the quality I have been able to achieve in my electric indoor oven.  It seems to take a while to get up to temp (500+) and then the pizza takes a while to cook (10+ mins).  Obviously it is not hot enough to cook in 3 mins but my 2nd attempt had the crust burn badly in a short time.  Tonight my IR gun was reading 5-600 on most places of the floor but after the pizza's where in, it seemed to drop into the 400's.  So I have many questions:  How long does it take to fire these up, should I have a burning piece of firewood in the back or are hot embers ok?  Does anyone put the embers on the side or always the back for the barrel style oven? How do you ensure even temperature on the floor bricks?  Thanks in advance,  Pete


Online Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 10:30:23 PM »
If I were you I would tear it down and start over, and maybe ask for my money back from the originator of those plans.

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 04:27:06 AM »
Ok, that is option #1, do you have any heating or cooking suggestions so I could avoid that?  Is there a reason you suggest the demolition?

Offline Pizzaboyo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 242
  • Location: Ireland
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 05:56:31 AM »
That's a bit harsh Ts  :) that's Pete's baby now. perhaps some slight modification would suffice in my humble opinion. Is the door very wide or is that just me and my humble (not got a clue) opinion  :-[
An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth.

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 09:01:11 AM »
I will give you some specs to help with any helpful suggestions people have :inside  oven dimensions are 23.5 wide x 17" high x 36" deep.  Hearth floor is 2.25" thick firebrick over 2" vermiculite/portland cement mix (8:1).  Dome is 2 layers of firebrick - inner layer is narrow side down, 2nd is wide side down.  Back is single layer of firebrick.  Front arch is 23.5" wide at bottom and 12" high from hearth floor to top inside of arch.  All oven mortar is high temp refractory mortar.  Thanks for your help and suggestions, Pete

Offline shuboyje

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1052
  • Location: Detroit
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 09:45:09 AM »
Pete,

Sadly we know this oven well.  It is without a doubt the worst oven design out there, but due to its easy to use form many people build them before they realize that they have a poorly designed fireplace and not an oven.  As it currently sits it will never cook the pizza you want.  Outside of a complete redo your best bet would be to get some 2" high temperature board insulation and put it on top of the current floor.  Build a new floor on top of the insulation. Remove the outer layer of brick from the dome and insulate with ceramic fiber.  Cover that with stucco.  Add a damper to the flue and close off the front to create a smaller door. It will be a lot of work. 
-Jeff

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 12:12:38 PM »
Jeff and others,

Thanks for this unfortunate info.  So I can understand the problem better, is it the barrel shape that is bad or the construction method and design of this particular barrel kit that make it bad.  I have seen other barrel shaped ovens on this forum that describe and show some pretty nice pizza's with great oven temps and fast cooking times. It sounds like from your suggestions, I can improve the thermal properties of the oven with the modifications and materials you suggest.  Is there one key flaw that I could fix easily (close off the opening more for example?) or are there a multitude of contributing issues?   One suggestion was to remove the outer layer of brick and add ceramic fiber blanket to that (followed by stucco), would it work to keep the outer layer of brick as is and then wrap with the ceramic fiber blanket and stucco over the outer layer of brick?    Thanks for your help with this,  Pete

Online Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 03:53:58 PM »
The barrel is fine, the issue is the lack of insulation, especially under the floor.  You can still insulate over the top and fix the opening, but there is no way to retroactively insulate under the floor.

Offline breadstoneovens

  • Vendor
  • *
  • Posts: 521
  • Location: Dallas, TX
    • Bread Stone Ovens
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 04:12:48 PM »
Not sure how the floor was build, but can it be removed? Cut the bricks along the walls and remove them. Put some proper insulation and put the bricks back over.
Then I agree for the door and dome.
I never seen one of those, only cringed each time someone tells me they were thinking of getting one.
Given the amount of work already put it, I think it is worth trying to fix it.
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 07:50:10 PM »
TS and others,  what would happen if I layed another layer of fire brick on the present hearth?  That would raise the floor height to get a better width to height ratio and would that not provide some insulation to the floor?  I fired it tonight with the fire on the side and the hearth was about 680F about an in inch away from the fire but dropped down to around 460F about a foot away.  Is that all related to the lack of floor insulation (although it does have the 2" of vermiculite Portland cement on the floor).  Do you dome guys ever build the fire over where the pizza is going or is that not needed with a properly insulated oven?  Pete


Online Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 11:48:35 PM »
Do not confuse "thermal mass" with "insulation".  That is the error of this oven design in all respects.  Thermal mass pulls heat away from the heated surface, insulation allows heat to soak the (desired) thermal mass and not continue to suck it out to the base, the shell, and the air around it.

On an insulated oven that is fired to capacity, you are able to fire the oven, door it and even it out in temps without suffering much if any loss in temperature.   On a fireplace like you have, no matter how long you burn it, the heat will continue to migrate from the cooking surface to the outer shell and the base and will continue to cool almost as quickly as you can fire it. 

My barrel oven of a similar size will heat to pizza temps in an hour and a half and will not return to ambient temps for a WEEK if I do not cook anything else.

Offline peteH

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 07:49:46 AM »
Thanks for your help with this.  For the floor insulation, can you give me the name of the high temp insulating board and for the dome, can you give me the size or grade of ceramic fiber blanket.  I will think over the modification recomendations while i try to make some reasonable pizzas with the fireplace i have.

Offline Fire-n-smoke

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 190
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Yardley, PA
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »
Now I dont have a WFO but I do use my fireplace once in awhile to cook and bake pizza and was just wondering how many pies you make at one time?  I use a tucsan grill in my fireplace with a 1" thick kiln shelf on top, get the FP hot then brush more coals under the grill/stone, let that heat up and throw my pizza on that.  Works like the oven in the kitchen except I get the smoky wood flavor.  May just be a bandaid fix but atleast you can get to use your oven... in my opinion
tom

Online Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 09:31:20 AM »
Here is the cheapest prices I have been able to find for board/batting:

http://www.skylinecomponents.com/In-Stock_CeramicFiber.html

Offline lennyk

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 134
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 11:49:04 AM »
A week you said, wow


My barrel oven of a similar size will heat to pizza temps in an hour and a half and will not return to ambient temps for a WEEK if I do not cook anything else.

Offline Polo1523

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 169
  • Age: 30
  • Location: TJ Mexico
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2013, 06:46:36 PM »
Tscaborough, and where did you get your ceramic fiber blanket? forno Bravo?, or do you have a cheaper option?
Regards Leo.

Online Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3274
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2013, 10:09:20 PM »
I use perlite, ceramic blanket is very high performance but pricey.

Offline woodchipper

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
  • Age: 56
  • Location: CT
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2013, 07:55:35 AM »
Wow, wow, wow.  Thank you, Thank you everyone- This post and all its replies saved me a lot of pain, and just in the nick of time.    I am building an oven similar to the one PeteH shows in his picture.   I dry-layed the floor last week and was about to start laying the mortared walls this weekend.   I was going back and forth regarding ceramic board vs. concrete/vermiculite.   I went with the vermiculite.  Then I read this string yesterday.   Instead of mixing mortar next, I am going to pull out the floor and add 1" ceramic (thickest I can fit now) under the floor and around its perimeter.  I have a box-like, Roman/Greek decorative enclosure planned (think Parthenon) and it will allow me a lot of volume between the firebrick barrel and facade to fill with ceramic blanket and vermiculite.  I also have planned a removable door cover with adjustable venting and an adjustable damper at the top of the chimney.
Now for the ridiculously ironic part--- My name is also PeteH and I also live in Connecticut.   If it wasn't for the posting PeteH's picture of his oven, I would have thought I was in the Twilight Zone, reading a post from me in the near future regarding the oven I screwed up.
Thanks again everyone, I have put a lot of time and effort into this oven this summer and I would have been heartbroken if I did not get good temperatures in it.  Please if anyone has any other advise on modifying this design while in process, please tag on.

Online stonecutter

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 491
  • Location: SC
    • Old World Stone & Garden
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2013, 09:58:27 AM »
Where are you in CT? I lived there until a few years ago....I might be able to direct you to some suppliers. 
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis

Online stonecutter

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 491
  • Location: SC
    • Old World Stone & Garden
Re: Barrel style brick pizza oven
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2013, 10:05:14 AM »
And if it was me I would use splits for the floor to squeeze more than 1" of insulation under it.
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob August Riis