Author Topic: Building a Mobile wood fired oven  (Read 21711 times)

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Offline Chef_Boy-R-Dee

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Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« on: October 04, 2009, 10:41:06 AM »
I've asked similar questions before but I would like to re-visit this. I'm wondering how easy it would be to build your own portable wood fired oven. There are a few places around the country that charge between 15K and 22K for these...but they could be made yourself for around 7-9K. I'm sure these businesses would dissuade one from building their own, but really, all it is is having a trailer made to fit the design, calculating where the load should be (can't the trailer company do this) and then ordering an oven and having it installed on the trailer by a professional mason.

What am I missing here that would complicate things and make this task harder to do by the average person. Anyone with oven building knowledge please chime in and help me de-mystify this a little.

Thanks!!!

BRD
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-Constantin Brancusi


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 11:28:32 AM »
BRD,

I can't offer any building experience for you, but this kind of endeavor is something that has been faced by countless folks with BBQ pits that need to trail their rigs to competitions, catering events etc. You might want to reach out to that community through the many BBQ forums on the Internet. One thing I do know that you should consider in your design is what to do with the live embers when you trail your oven back after an event. Roadside fires have been started so you need a way to either dispose of all embers/coals or soak them throughly or completely encase them so that none escape as you're going 75mph down the interstate.

Offline Chef_Boy-R-Dee

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 11:48:07 AM »
Bill....all very good points. I guess I just look at it as your towing something and the thing has to be balanced for load distribution. Maybe I'm being a little too simplistic, but it's not rocket science...just a little bit o intelligent engineering. These guys that build these for a living had to start somewhere too~!!!
"Simplicity is Complexity Resolved"

-Constantin Brancusi

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 12:07:16 PM »
I've seen a lot of discussion among the BBQ guys about more than just transport. They talk about adding things for prep and cooking - slide out or fold up/down surfaces, etc. Especially for selling at public events, they worry about passing health code inspections ...  hot water sinks, cold storage for perishables, etc.

Offline pacoast

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 03:58:25 PM »
All of the points that Bill raised, plus..

1. Don't underestimate the difficulty of getting an approval from your local health inspector. In some jurisdictions this is relatively simple, in others it is all but impossible to get an approval for a homebuilt oven. Some have even had to pay for UL field certifications to get over this hurdle. Not to mention that some inspectors will insist on 5-compartment sinks, potable water, refrigeration & a host of other things. Call your health department & find out where they stand on all of this.

2. A masonry oven is going to be a lot less robust than a terra cotta type precast sectional oven. So a masonry oven should be very well built to stand the rigors of transport, potholes & so forth. Definitely make sure that your trailer has some kind of suspension. Unfortunately, I don't have more than anecdotal reports of mobile masonry oven having problems so it's hard to say exactly where the line on this is. While there is no doubt that the precast ovens are structurally stronger, a well built brick oven should be fine. But I would err on the side of having it overbuilt for mobile use.

.

Offline Chef_Boy-R-Dee

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 05:58:07 PM »
Oops...I should probably clarify...it's going to be a pre-cast oven.
"Simplicity is Complexity Resolved"

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Offline jjerrier2450

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 10:02:21 PM »
I am one of the guys that bought one of the mobile ovens...and I can't imagine wanting to build it myself - even with a precast oven (individual bricks would have way too many joints to survive even regular road travel).  It has been worth it to pay the extra money to have the peace of mind (and warranty).  The trailer I have is really well designed - a spot for everything - and really well built.  In Dallas, the health dept is really wary of self-built cooking rigs - but they were really impressed with the build quality of this oven.  I just passed my 1 year anniversary with the mobile unit and have had no real structural problems - the oven is still cranking out great pizzas...I did 200 this weekend over 3 private catering events.

Offline PizzaPolice

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Offline Chef_Boy-R-Dee

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2009, 04:52:27 PM »
@ JJerrier2450....I hear you. It seems like an arduous task, but for some reason I take on things like this and want to figure out how to build things. I'm also in the process of Taking a look at small camper trailers (teardrop) and thinking about building one of those too. I think the biggest thing motivating me to even slightly consider doing it myself is the cost savings. Even the one on CL was asking 14K...but I could still get everything I needed for around 7K to 9K....but with that, comes the challenge and the labor of figuring out how the heck to do it.

@ PizzaPolice...thanks for the CL ad. If anyone knows any others out there, please let me know. I saw one in NY a while back but my timing was just a little off. That could of been a great deal and I probably would have got that!

Thanks for the info guys....keep it coming. I so want to do this business but need to make it as affordable as possible!
"Simplicity is Complexity Resolved"

-Constantin Brancusi

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2009, 04:53:27 PM »
I got that one in NY...


Offline Chef_Boy-R-Dee

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2009, 05:00:18 PM »
Ithaca?

You have a website PizzaP??
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 05:03:12 PM by Chef_Boy-R-Dee »
"Simplicity is Complexity Resolved"

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Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2009, 05:05:00 PM »
Yep! 
 I was talking to Joseph, the guy who builds them.  He said he was in the process of making a portable WFO trailer much like the Inferno Catering model.  Now THAT would be awesome.

Offline PizzaPolice

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2009, 05:11:33 PM »
No. Not yet.

Offline jeff v

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2009, 05:54:50 PM »
Yep! 
 I was talking to Joseph, the guy who builds them.  He said he was in the process of making a portable WFO trailer much like the Inferno Catering model.  Now THAT would be awesome.

What's the Inferno Catering model?

Thanks,

Jeff
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline pacoast

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 06:15:50 PM »
What's the Inferno Catering model?

It's probably a reference to the trailer that Inferno Catering in WA uses.


Offline jjerrier2450

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2009, 06:18:53 PM »
I think what WOULD be cool...and maybe easier than putting an oven on a trailer...is putting an oven inside a step van...like a fedex or ups truck.  That way you could have dry storage and refrigeration.  You might even get a health department to approve you as a mobile food vendor if all was enclosed.  Joseph at Portable Wood Fired Pizza has been around the block and has a ton of great ideas on what works and what doesn't.  He has really thought of everything.

My next trailer will be like Inferno (check out www.infernocatering.com - thought I think you can search on Flickr for better pics of their trailer).

I can personally attest that the mobile pizza catering is a truly viable business model with low overhead.  I haven't spent any money on marketing ($0.00 - except for $60 for business cards) and I am doing on average 3 events per week.  The foodie media loves the novelty of the concept and you can keep busy with both private events (far more profitable and less work) and fairs/festival (big revenue but lots of work).

Offline pacoast

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2009, 06:23:37 PM »
Just about any type of trailer, step van or truck you can imagine has a pizza oven in it somewhere. Have a look at flickr sometime & you can find dozens, if not hundreds of them.

Here's one outfit that builds catering trucks, including pizza ovens into step vans
http://www.pizzatrucksofcanada.com/trucks.htm


Offline jjerrier2450

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2009, 06:36:47 PM »
Funny...I've talked to them about ovens - but they haven't done wood-burners.  Only decks and impingers...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2009, 06:44:46 PM »
I posted earlier today (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9383.msg81305.html#new) on another example of some people selling pizza (slices and whole pizzas) from a truck: http://streetza.com/.

Peter

Offline pacoast

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Re: Building a Mobile wood fired oven
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2009, 07:03:02 PM »
Funny...I've talked to them about ovens - but they haven't done wood-burners.  Only decks and impingers...

You might have to have a WFO installed by a local fabricator. I can name half a dozen outfits that have wood burning ovens mounted on trucks, but each one was more or less designed by the operator & built by local metalworking shops. A quick Google search only seems to pull up trailers. I did read that Forno Bravo is contracting someone to build WFOs on either trailers or panel vans. It looks a lot like the Inferno catering trailer, so maybe that is who built or at least contracted it out for them.