Author Topic: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.  (Read 832 times)

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Offline jayl65

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Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« on: November 02, 2013, 12:46:59 AM »
I know from reading this forum the past few days that pizza is the main focus thus the name of the site. I started looking for WFO's after a recent trip to Italy and having great pizza in Naples and the Amalfi Coast. A recent trip to a local restaurant with a WFO and having delicious food prepared with the wood fired taste it triggered my interest again in pursuing an oven for myself. I want an indoor oven that is small because of space and super well insulated because of heat concerns in the summer months. I know the general consensus here is to go big ,but I have space limitations as well a budget concerns. I am also bit of a survivalist at heart and love the self reliant idea of not having to depend on gas or electricity to cook. I just finished an install of a new wood stove with a cooktop and with the addition of a WFO I will be set for heat and cooking in any situation. Also, unlike many here who use their ovens on the weekend. I would like to use it more often. I work from home and don't mind some added work in maintaining the oven. Lastly the cost of firewood here is a concern. Hardwoods and fruitwoods are available with the most dominate woods being pine,juniper,pinion and cottonwood. All of those are fine in my new EPA wood stove but not suitable for a WFO. So thermal mass and heat retention are important factors.

Ive contacted a few manufactures and have narrowed down my choices . All modular builds. I have also been assured by each manufacture of the ability to produce a decent Neapolitan style pizza and well as bread and roasting, etc. Please don't cringe. I realize Im going way out here with the versatility thing. My choices are:

Precast Modular
Earthstone Model 60  square not round, but the best fit size wise.  I want to stay under a 4x4 finished install. Love the hood design since Im afraid of          smoke coming into the house.
Fagazzo 855 also not domed. Very nice to speak to and they have two new models coming out in a few weeks that might work better size wise. Made int he USA in California.
Forno Bravo  Casa2g To large for my space. Plus Ive called several times and the customer service is bad. Helpful, but not very knowledgeable. Promised to get back to me twice and have never received a return phone call. Not a good start.

Cast Brick. I like the look of the brick interior a lot.
Breadstone FGM 700 probably standard height not raised. But raised might be better for versatility. Seems to be a favorite here. Comes cast or brick. Is the brick worth it? Great price for cast though.
FornoClassico Residential modular 32" Most expensive. Made in the USA in California.

Any information and advice would be greatly appreciated.




Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 01:42:22 AM »
jaly65,


I like the idea of using your oven for frequent cooking of all kinds of foods. It is more demanding and less forgiving, but well worth the effort. I try to get a few meals from each firing.
 
Firewood: oak is plentiful around here. Pecan also, but it can be a little more expensive. I'll hook you up with a good local supplier if you want.


Heat in summer: don't underestimate the amount heat that will be radiated out through the opening into your kitchen while you are firing and baking. Regardless of oven design, insulation, venting, etc., you will need a way to handle all of the extra energy you will be pumping into your kitchen.

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 03:16:54 AM »
Thanks Bill. I may take you up on your wood source here in Santa Fe. I have a source already, but its good to widen the field. As to heat in the summer. I realize I can't expect to have no heat output. I do have central air and grateful to have the cool summer nights here in NM. I have no place outside that would be protected enough to use the oven in the spring and summer during the windy season. I live closer to the desert and don't benefit from the shelter of trees and buildings closer to downtown or the mountains. So I'm afraid the wind would render the oven useless for a few months every year if it were outside.

Also the spirit of the west has gotten me so I'm doing my best yuppy pioneer impersonation. Having the oven inside appeals to whole hearth/home/cozy feeling thats missing in todays fast paced world. I am willing to compromise between the ovens I have listed, but I feel like I really need more information about where and what to compromise on. I'm certainly no expert. I hope to get advice from people who have experience with more than one brand, and also personal experiences with the ovens I've listed or others I've missed.

Offline Pizzaddict

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 09:51:19 AM »
Antoine is developing a "draft door" for his line of FGM ovens.  I own a FGM 950C oven and have my own custom draft door/ember screen.

I think that a draft door/ember screen would be very beneficial for an inside install.  There is a significant difference in heat radiated from the mouth of the oven during firing when the door/screen is in place.  It has the added, and in my case primary, benefit of reducing the risk of embers popping out the mouth of the oven.

I did not choose the B or brick version interior for my FGM, but if I was installing it inside, I would definitely go brick.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 10:43:32 AM »
Any draft control should be adjustable to accommodate the OP's altitude (7000 ft above of sea level). The reduced oxygen density at these elevations makes proper combustion challenging enough without anything restricting the airflow to the fire.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 10:46:12 AM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Pizzaddict

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2013, 11:08:42 AM »
Any draft control should be adjustable to accommodate the OP's altitude (7000 ft above of sea level). The reduced oxygen density at these elevations makes proper combustion challenging enough without anything restricting the airflow to the fire.


I agree!  I live at 7000' as well and my draft screen works beautifully.  The one Antoine is developing has a much smaller opening and might present a challenge at 7000'. 

You can see Antoine's design here... http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21869.20.html

This is my screen...again, the primary purpose for my screen is to keep embers from escaping, but I've found it significantly reduces heat loss during fire up and reduces the heat up time required.  For an indoor install, I would think a screen would provide significant peace of mind!

« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 11:28:52 AM by Pizzaddict »

Offline Tampa

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2013, 11:43:14 AM »
I don't have experience with indoor WFO so sorry if this is a simple question.

On balance, with an indoor WFO is there a net heat gain to warm up the room or a heat loss? 

I'm guessing that much depends on the implementation.  The small igloo opening draws a lot of inside air during an active burn and combusts up the chimney.  That draft, combined with a small opening, would suggest more heat is drawn out than is added to the room.  It would seem that keeping the dome inside the living space and running a warm flue up a high-ceiling room, then outside would help in a cold climate.

As beautiful as these WFO can be, I don't see how it would make sense indoors in a warmer places like FL.

Dave

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2013, 01:00:40 PM »
Thanks guys,
This is the kind of lively information I was hoping for. Antoine did tell me about the screen/draft control when I spoke to him. Since I've never owned a WFO I didn't think much about it at the time. 

Antoine and the others guys I spoke with all said they own or have installed indoor versions of their ovens. 

As to Tampa's question of net loss or gain of heat. They all told me the same thing. It is not a heater, so don't expect to benefit much from the heat in the winter. As to the summer they all say that a well insulated thermal mass will also hold heat inside and be cool outside except the oven door area which will be hot as expected. Guiseppe at FornoClassico said his ovens were "heat hogs" keeping the heat all to themselves. Most of his ovens are finished as a beehive with no enclosure and he told me there was not noticeable heat on the exterior of the oven at all. Except the oven door.

I've already had nightmares about running the air conditioning on high with fans blowing during the summer.  Most of these manufactures are in California though and seem to install many indoor units there where the temps can be like FL.

Also, I ask about draft because of all of the black soot covered photos online of WFO's. I have been told the same think by all of the vendors. The height of the chimney which will be apx 13' will increase the draft significantly so the drawl will be pulled into the chimney area with much more force than an outdoor install with say 4' of chimney.

I had not thought of the neg pressure effect this would have in the house pulling air outside until you guys brought it up just now. My home is a fairly new build only 5 years old so it's built pretty tight and well insulated. I need to find out how this will effect the draft of the oven.

Open a window? Turn on the HVAC fan? I'll be heating with primarily wood in the winter but will have the central air on for insurance. Im still confused about summer. Although I have to say I don't cook as much in the summer anyway.

Any advice on brands?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 08:48:57 PM by jayl65 »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 01:37:19 PM »
jayl65,


A lot of your concerns will be addressed once you get to know your oven and learn how to control it. In this process, you will likely get black soot outside your oven, fill your kitchen with smoke, under-fire, under-bake, over-fire, over-bake, drop pizzas on your kitchen floor, and everything else that can go wrong until you get to the point where you know just how big a fire you need and how much time it will take to get your oven to the desired temps and what you need to do to keep it there. It can be a difficult beast to tame. You will need to give it time.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 01:39:48 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 02:26:40 PM »
Thanks Bill.
Here I go over planing as usual.


Offline RobynB

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 09:19:41 PM »
You've read about my indoor oven?  If not, http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/05/my-pizza-oven-robynbs-indoor-wood-fired-oven.html  and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13956.0.html

We've had ours over 2 years now - feel free to ask me questions  :D

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2013, 11:42:03 PM »
Thanks Robyn,
I just reread your entire oven build post. It looks amazing. I called about the 700 FGM. I realize it would be smaller than yours, but any advice about size would be great.  I do want to cook a turkey. I also would like to hear about the heat retention. I want to use mine a lot. Id love it if I could fire it 2 or 3 times a week and have enough residual heat to cook all week. To optimistic ?

Offline RobynB

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 07:58:35 PM »
Sorry, just saw this!  Heat retention is great.  Just this last weekend, I fired it for pizzas on Saturday night, banked it and put in the insulated door, and left it.  Monday night we decided to see if it was still warm enough to cook something.  Nice big pile of coals that instantly turned orange when stirred up, and the walls and floor were still over 400F.  So yes, I am sure that you could fire it 2-3 times a week and keep cooking in it easily. 

I don't think a whole turkey would fit in the standard low-dome oven like mine.  I'm not a fan of the raised dome option, but it would probably hold a turkey.  However, it would also release more heat and smoke into the room, and be a lot harder to cook pizza, and much less efficient.  Did I mention I'm not a fan? 

More questions?   I'll subscribe to this thread so I'll notice faster next time  ::)

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 01:50:52 AM »
Thanks Robyn,
Antoine has been great communicating about the FGM 700. I wish I had room for the 800. I really do want to have room for larger items. I know there are strong opinions here about dome height. I understand that especially for those who concentrate on pizza. But I can  honestly say I've had good pizza from ovens with dome heights much higher than recommended here. I'm glad to here the FGM ovens hold heat well. I am leaning toward them now and would be finishing any oven I purchase in a dome shape in my kitchen. I want it to look like a southeastern Kiva.  But Im still researching and seeking as much advice as I can get.

Im originally from North Carolina so being a southern boy and not southern Italian, Im drawn to smoked/big meat. LOL. Lets say that a chicken is just the beginning of what I would like to cook in the oven. I realize this forum is dedicated to pizza makers so I have to weigh that bias into my decision. I have yet to find another forum with any the kind of information found here. FornoBravo is not my favorite for info and I've already had two phone calls that did not go as well as I would have liked.

Also, I realize that this is a subjective choice and every oven reacts differently to it's construction,wood and operator. Out of all of the manufactures I listed earlier I am drawn to the FGM the most. Mainly for the brick option, integrated insulated door,damper,and temp probe, and lastly even at this early stage of my research the customer service provided by Antoine. He's already really working for my business.

I went to a local pizza  place for lunch today that has an Earthstone. I could see that the large door let's alot of heat escape. Antoine had mentioned that there would be more heat exchange with a larger door. I can really see where this could be a problem for me in the summer months.  I did ask about the Earthstone's use the summer and was told it was not that bad. Although they did have a exhaust vent over the door and I can imagine that the air conditioner is turned on pretty high in the summer. I was in the same restaurant this summer and didn't pay attention to the oven. I was to busy trying to get to the patio and grab a beer and pizza.

Speaking of not paying attention. When in Italy earlier this year owning a WFO was not on my radar. From the deck oven Roman style focaccia pizza at Pizzarium. Which by the way was crazy. The potato pizza still haunts my dreams.  To Naples. I cant remember the name of the place we had pizza there. Im beating myself up right now about not finding Da Michele. By the time we got to Naples and tried to locate the train station we were overwhelmed. Naples is crazy. The gritty Italian energy there is a bit much. We had pizza at many local places in Sorrento, Amafi,Piano de Sorrento and the little town where Herculaneum is. I looked at the ancient ovens of Pompeii and Herculaneum and only though of them through a historical and archeological lens. I wish I would have been more present and could have investigated a bit more. But in the end, all of the pizza was good to great. Therefore, Im now looking for an oven.

Having been warned before going not to expect to much form the pizza in Italy by well meaning American palates. I really didn't know what it would be like. Luckily, It was a life changing experience. My biggest takeaway from Italy was the simplicity of everything. Simple,honest ingredients which I know has been an ongoing theme in food circles here in the states. I knew this, but there is so much noise and easy distraction here in the states that it never stuck. Until, Italy. Dishes with six ingredients were amazing. Cabonara. I've embraced this philosophy since returning and it has lead me to this site and pursuing a WFO.

So I do want to cook pizza but I also need more versatility. I would be happy right now with a close approximation of Neapolitan pizza. I have a long way to go. It seems members here who have been WF cooking for years are still learning and honing their skills. I have to come to find out that the oven is in some ways only as good as its owner. So therefore I want to give myself to by best chance to be successful with the oven for the kind of use I need it for.  Compromise on dome height versus floor space versus cast versus brick seem to just that compromise.  I'm looking at a French oven to cook Italian pizza, international breads, southern barbecue, American holiday fare and I honestly can't wait to make a pecan pie in it.  So I end up with size, quality,versatility  and features being the main deciding factors for the oven.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 04:03:00 AM by jayl65 »

Offline jayl65

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 01:58:52 AM »
Inspiration. Kiva fireplace with banco.

Offline Tampa

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Re: Opinions please! Researching ovens for indoor install.
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2013, 12:43:34 PM »
Inspiration. Kiva fireplace with banco.
That certainly is an elegant installation.  Thanks for sharing.
Dave


 

pizzapan