I've been researching modular cast ovens for a while now. I'm glad I have taken my time as more questions and pros and cons of different oven shapes,dome height, ect continue to present themselves. My latest questions concern the cast dome refractory materials. Heat up time versus heat retention and hearth floor materials.
I will once again preface the fact that although I realize this is a pizza forum. I would like to use the oven for more general cooking. I am willing to compromise dome height door ratios for VPN to get a more versatile oven. And this forum has continued to be one of the best online sources for wood fired oven information. Unlike many members here who have cooked in different ovens and have experience doing so. I have not. My vast experience is derived from eating wood fired pizza and food from non VPN pizzerias and restaurants. Having true Neapolitan pizza in Naples and Sorrento. Roman pizza in Rome and finally VPN certified pizza from Settebello in Las Vegas and Youtube videos. So I don't have any real WFO cooking experience.
Italian clay refractory ovens like Volariani and Zio Ciro distributed by Mugnaini and Los Angeles Ovenworks claim to have fast heat up times due to the dual layer casting process of clay and clay aggregate. The also feature floors of compressed fired hearth tiles much like the Earthstone and Le Panyol.
To me the heat retention would be less on these ovens because of the less dense structure of the refractory materials. But they weight as much as refractory concrete. I always thought more weight equaled more heat mass. Do they cool down quicker. Pros and cons?
Im over the dome versus barrel shape thing. I know the dome is better and the barrel will work. Ive had the opportunity to so correspond with users of both designs and they all attain good results. I've eaten at Settebello 3 times in the last three weeks and the pizza is equal to the pizza I had in Naples. I know they use one of the best ovens on the market and every pizza Ive seen them bake has been domed. So this leads me to believe that the oven and technique are controlled by the chef with the ovens limitations being managed by them. So with this in mind I can see where its possible to use any oven if you want to search and define its parameters and master them. I get this, but I want to have a good start with as little headaches as possible from the start. I know good food and have traveled and eaten all over the world, but I don't have stereophonic HD tastebuds and with my steep learning curve and limited experience I just want to attain good. Great will come! I hope.
So at this point its size, heat up time and heat retention. I want to cook a turkey. Not now, but I want the option. Maybe even a small pig. I want to grill and smoke. I think I want to use the oven all week especially during the winter months. Its an indoor install. So a nice draft, versatile, heat holding, higher dome, bigger door is in order. I know, dont throw me out of the forum. So!
Faster heat up times versus longer heat up time? Constant restoking versus less frequent. Wood consumption? Clay versus concrete since brick is out of my budget for now.
Los Angeles Ovenworks or Mugnaini. Thought these were out of the question, but might be perfect for the style of cooking I want to do.
Pavesi. Pricey, but getting my attention. Cant see why the refractory is so much better than the others. Are they really worth it?
Thanks to everyone for their help so far. I appreciate all of the input.