wood burning ovens
I'm enamored with the concept of having an outdoor wood burning oven. Friends of our purchased a house that had one. They used it sporatically at first, but have since abandond it. The biggest complaint is that they have to start the fire first thing in the morning and tend the fire through the day in order for it to heat the brick mass to the point where it holds the heat. The second issue they have is a simple design flaw in that the door opening is a really tiny oval, probably no more than 12" long and about 8" high. Not only does this limit what you could put in, but made tending the fire difficult.
I've seen other articles that claim that they can fire up their oven in 2 hours. I would love to hear other's experience and thoughts.
greggc, do a search on this board (authentic wood burning ovens) for a lot of commentary. I've been using one for over two years now and love it. It's not nearly all the work some people say it is. In no way does it take all day to heat up. If it does, then it wasn't built correctly. I get mine up to 900 degrees in under two hours. I also get alot of use out of it, baking much more than pizza. I cook anything in the oven that you could cook in a conventional oven, only with much more flavor. Again, the small door opening sounds like a design flaw. My oven's opening is about 18", plenty of room for whatever I want to cook in there. Do the search, you'll see some photos of that I attached.
Perhaps the reason why the oven opening is shallow is because it is a dedicated low dome pizza oven, designed for pizzas and flat breads.