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Aug 24, 2006 07:23 PM

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.

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        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?

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          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.