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Residential Woodburning Ovens? [Moved from Not About Food]

Does anyone have any experience with a woodfired oven at home? I'm currently considering having one installed in my kitchen at home, and looking to see what pros & cons people have have with them. The two brands I'm looking at are Woodstone ovens and Earthstone ovens.

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  1. Have you checked whether your homeowners insurance allows it? Some friends of mine were looking into commercial pizza ovens until they realized it would violate their policy. Got space in the back yard?

    1. My homeowners insurance will cover it, only because I have a resedential fire sprinkler system.

      1. Check out ovencrafters.net.

        1. We are working on our plan for the backyard and are considering putting in a woodburning oven along with the built in bbq - I am wondering about the pros and cons? How often do you use them and do you think it's a good addition? I have never cooked in one before, but I love the flavor they impart. If you have one, how do you feel about yours and what do you use it for?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alice Q

            There are a lot of Brick Ovens out there. Be careful getting an oven that is made of clay or terra cotta; especially if you plan to build it into an expensive structure (it may not last).

            There are very few ovens actually made here in the US; so the shipping is usually over $500. If you are in the Midwest there is my company, Chicago Brick Oven. We manufacture brick ovens here in the US. We can ship anywhere in the US, but it comes with a cost.

            Make sure you check out our site, and go to Brick Oven 101 to get some good thoughts on what to look for. If you have any interest in knowing more please contact me through my site.


          2. Some 15 years ago, I used one on a remote ranch in Montana for a couple of weeks. The property was originally a large camp so the stove-oven was quite large. Perhaps my experience will not help with your decision because it was also quite old. It had six or eight burners, one large oven and one smaller oven in addition to a warming box.

            What surprised me initially was the difficulty of gauging temperature and the whole business of regulating the heat, i.e. which wood burns hot, which wood burns longer, etc. There were no thermometers and no way to regulate except by learning how the beast worked. Also, I had not reckoned that the cook - me - needed to awaken more than an hour earlier than the rest of the family to get the breakfast fire going. Certainly there was the romantic notion of the old west and pioneers but the stark reality is very different than sanitized Hollywood version. Because this was the only oven in this particular house, wanting to bake/roast something required forethought and planning. You didn't just stumble into the kitchen and think, "oh, I'll bake some biscuits this morning". Along these same lines and as long as the stove was going, it made sense to take advantage of the accumulated heat and do some serious cooking.

            I was on vacation and had not planned to make this project my two-week commitment, especially when it got in the way of enjoying the outdoors with everyone else. Having a structured life with regulated schedule would have made my experience much simpler.
            (I will admit to driving hours into the nearest town and buying an electric skillet (!!) to make up for my sloth & lack of planning on some busy days.)

            Certainly what is available today may put this experience in the pages of "Ancient History". It was interesting and not something I chose to replicate in my new house.

              1. re: Chad

                Very cool! You must be excited. I think I am going to try and talk my husband into one - along with an outdoor kitchen. Adds value to the house, right? :-)

                1. re: Alice Q

                  It is totally exciting and fun to do something this big and this creative. The way I am going, it is going to be worth more than the house.

                  1. re: Chad

                    That looks awesome. The oven I'm installing is right in my kitchen inside the house. I was hoping to have everthing completed by the end of the year, but it doesn't look like thats going to happen because of my work schedule and the contractors schedule. I'll take some before and after pictures to post.
                    I only plan on using this oven in the cooler weather.

                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      Thanks Infomaniac. Just make sure they insulate the heck out of everything with the calcium silicate insulation and you can always have a door on the outside portion after the smoke is vented and it should not heat up your kitchen. The only place you should have any heat coming out is right at the door. And do yourself and us a favor and take lots of photos. It is a great history.

              2. We actually have an Earthstone gas/wood oven in our backyard. I HIGHLY recommend the gas feature. You'll use it 10x more than wood alone. We're in San Diego so year-round really is almost year-round.

                Here's our initial blog on pizzamaking.com (great site with lots of resources):


                Also, if you haven't purchased your oven yet, we went through this site and saved about $1K. You have to register to use it though (Earthstone has been great with support regardless of where we purchased):


                Please let me know if we can be of any more assistance.

                1. I am planning on building a cob bread oven in our back yard this coming spring. I don't expect the total cost to exceed $200. There's nothing quite like bread from a wood fired oven.

                  1. I was at a party in Italy where we used an outdoor one. Everyone made their own pizza and baked it in the wood fired oven. They were fabulous! But the owners said they only used it for entertaining because it was really too much trouble to build the fire just for themselves and their children since it took quite a while to really heat up sufficiently. It wasn't a huge oven, not much bigger than the ones marketed in the US.
                    It threw off a good bit of heat from the opening so I wonder how it would do indoors during warmer months or would the use be limited to winter.

                    1. We have an outdoor wood-fired oven at our home in Mexico with an attached grill and a single hole fire for a bean pot. We have only used the oven for entertaining because it takes a lot of wood and trouble to get the oven hot enough. We had a gas port put in, but the oven builder didn't know what it was and covered it up. By the time we realized what he had done, the bee hive top was already on. Gas would have been much easier.
                      Also a word of caution, pizza stones are not rated for this kind of oven. Heat is too high and they tend to crack. Ours did.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pampatz

                        Pampatz, I would like to come over and bake some sourdough bread in your wood fired oven.
                        (Anonimo de Las Cuevas)

                      2. I cook quite a bit and when we remodeled our kitchen, I was prepared to purchase an Earthstone oven until I talked to some people who had them and found out how long it takes to heat them unless you have the gas unit, at which point the cost skyrockets.

                        We ended up installing a fireplace insert (as large as you can handle) with gas jets. It's waist high so no bending down. Very reasonably priced. Then purchased the Tuscan grill and rotisserie. it works perfectly. Recently, I put some lamb loin chops in a cast iron skillet and placed in on the floor of the fireplace next to the burning wood and it cooked it perfectly.

                        Highly recommend this affordable option.