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Outdoor wood pizza oven

Ok so I always said I wanted an outdoor wood oven and now, in honour of a certain landmark birthday, I'm getting one. I've been looking into some already-assembled oven units that are available and have found a killer deal on a smallish one. The usable interior size is about 24". It comes complete with a door and the chimney is about in the centre of the oven dome. I'm just wondering if anyone with experience with these things can give me any advice. The size is a bit smaller than what I'd had in mind but, on the other hand, it would heat up more quickly than a larger oven. The same company has slightly larger ones as well - 32" interior - which might be worth the extra money. I would still have to build the brick base and wood storage unit, but that's ok. Suggestions or advice anyone?

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  1. I dream of an outdoor pizza oven, so you are very lucky. If the price difference is minimal, get the bigger one!

    1. We had a le Panyol oven built last year (to celebrate our 25th). I can't remember the model number off hand, but it's an oval shape, @ 30x39". I don't think I'd want a smaller one. I can bake 4-5 baguettes at a time, but realistically, only one pizza. We've cooked all kind of things in it, including our Thanksgiving turkey and Easter ham. I don't think the smaller ovens necessarily heat up much faster than a larger residential ovens. Was it expensive? You bet, but I have to say le Panyol makes an awesome oven.

      1. I have a large one. I would NOT. NOT. NOT. get a smaller one. You need room to move things around inside there -and you will probably roast "whole" things before long. Remember that you will typically be having a small fire on the side of the oven *while* the food cooks, it doesn't leave alot of room to turn the food.

        I also bought a Tuscan grill (cast iron) so that I could charcoal grill in there too. It won't fit in a small one. Don't come this far to limit yourself. Go big or go home, baby :) LOL

        1. Deffinitely go with the larger one if you can afford it. Here is a great site (if you haven't already found it) for info on wood fired ovens.

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/

          Someday I hope to build one of these.

          jb

          1. Thanks all. I'm leaning toward the 32-inch interior one now. It's $300 to $400 more but I think it will be worth it. And thanksJuniorBalloon - I've looked at that site too. This particular oven is one that's been imported into Ontario from Portugal. The oven unit itself is fully assembled and ready to go onto a base. This would work best for me - my gift consists of $$$, not labour and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in figuring out how to get one built from scratch.

            Will report on what happens. I'm going to look at the ovens in person later this week.

            1. I thought about getting a wood burning oven but got a good deal on a second hand Big Green Egg. It is portable and versatile. Love it, it can grill, smoke and bake. I would like a wood burning oven some day. Fuel is cheap.

              http://www.indoors2out.com/

              1. Just to update - I bought the oven! After reading the comments, I decided on the larger one - approx. 32" interior. It's now sitting on my driveway waiting for a base to be built. I'm very excited. For anyone in Ontario who's interested, there are more of these available and the price is pretty awesome compared to what else I've seen. We ended up borrowing a friend's trailer and picking it up at the warehouse, but they can make arrangements to deliver. Further updates as pizza becomes reality.

                14 Replies
                1. re: Nyleve

                  Very nice! I don't think I'll be getting one anytime soon so I will live vicariously through you. Pics Please!

                  jb

                  1. re: JuniorBalloon

                    Here's a photo of the smaller oven - the one I didn't buy. The one I bought looks identical to it - but larger, obviously. Will post photo of the installed oven once we get it done.

                     
                    1. re: Nyleve

                      What make is it and where is their warehouse located ?

                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                        It doesn't have a "make" exactly and the whole business is somewhat shady. But I still think I got it for quite a good price and I'm happy so far. I haven't been able to get it installed yet, so I can't report on how well it works. Waiting for a brick person to build the base.

                        Anyway, the main contact is a guy in Toronto who stores the ovens in a trucking company warehouse in Markham. When I went there to look at the oven, the guy who showed it to me knew nothing whatsoever about the oven and I had to negotiate my price over the phone to the guy whose ovens these were. In the end, my husband borrowed a trailer and picked up the oven from another warehouse in Brampton - similar story. It's all a little fishy but then I actually kind of like fishy transactions like this. Makes for a better tale.

                        If you'd like a phone number for the guy I can certainly give it to you.

                        1. re: Nyleve

                          Contact info and address please.

                          I am very interested installing a wood oven as part of an ongoing (backbreaking) flagstone patio reno. The cooking series "Jamie at Home" and the thought of wood oven baked bread makes me go wild for an outdoor oven...

                          1. re: PoppiYYZ

                            The contact's name is Eugene and his number is: at 800-801-7339
                            And here's a link to the on-going Kijiji ad for this oven - this is where I first found out about it. The ad itself is for the smaller size oven, but they do have other options and, as I said, I bought a slightly larger one. Good luck.
                            http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-se...

                            1. re: Nyleve

                              Nylene, I too looked at the ovens and have been swapping emails with Eugene. Can you get in touch with me when you get a chance? i've got some questions for you.

                              thanks
                              sydtunes@gmail.com

                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  How did the oven work out for you? I am thinking of building one in my small backyard and wondering if its worth the effort. Not just building effort but also how its a commitment to cook in the thing.

                                  1. re: FoodExpression

                                    Ahhh it's a longish story. Got the oven, got a base built and finished the top of the base with some tiling and whatnot. It looks great and works well. The oven makes awesome pizza - if you take the time to let it heat up properly. We used it several times last summer and I even used it to roast a chicken and our Thanksgiving turkey (turkey wasn't a total success). The last time we used it was in December and it turns out that the floor doesn't hold heat well when it's cold out - so this either needs some insulation under the floor (it's open underneath for wood storage) or it really can only be used during the warmer months. BUT the bad part is that the top surface - a sort of stucco business - is cracking and flaking off. I suspect it wasn't entirely weatherproof - we have it outdoors, unprotected from the elements. Anyway, I'm currently researching an appropriate material to re-cover the surface of the oven. Hope to get that done soon. I also have great creative dreams of doing a sort of mosaic on the outside of the thing - but that may just not be realistic considering all the other things that have to be done in the spring.

                                    As for the commitment to cooking in the oven. Well, yes, it's a thing. To be totally honest, I do feel that this pizza oven hangs like an albatross - another item on my to-do list. I mean it's awesome and cool but does require quite a lot of fiddling around to use and my husband has neither aptitude nor interest in using it so it's my project alone. Sometimes I just want a pizza and I don't want to heat up a freaking wood oven for 2 hours ahead of time but then I think dammit I have a pizza oven I should use it so then I just don't have pizza.

                                    First world problems. I know. But there you have it.

                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                      Thank you so much for your honesty. I am also considering building a pizza oven in addition to a grill suitable for cooking whole hogs. Here in Florida, it is typically hot, but the lengthy heating requirements and absence of weekly if not monthly use may direct my meager resources into other areas.

                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                        Yeah this oven was a surprise birthday "present" from friends on a significant birthday. The idea came from my kids - adults now - who remembered me telling them that for my 60th birthday I wanted them to build me a pizza oven in the backyard. I envisioned a great happy family project, with my sons actually building the thing themselves, bla bla bla. What happened was a collection was taken up which ended up covering about half (or less) of the actual cost of buying the oven, building the base and putting the two things together. As you may have guessed, neither son was geographically anywhere near this oven as it was being assembled. So we ended up with a gift that cost us a lot of money and which I now have to use in order to justify that cost. But it's all water under the bridge and I do hope that I will get enough use out of it to overcome my very mixed feelings. It is great fun at parties when some guy takes over the fire-building and maintaining detail. But then I still have to make the pizzas.

                                        I need to stop complaining. It's a very cool thing to have. Really it is. And I appreciate all the thought that went into making it happen. So I will stop whining and get on with it.

                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                          I'll chime in and say that part of what makes a wood-fire oven worth having and worth the effort is that pizza is just the first part of the event. A properly built and insulated oven will hold enough heat to cook with for 3+days. Pizzas, then something roasted ( or bread) then something slow cooked. I can and do cook enough for a week plus freezer stash with one firing in mine, albeit with a lot of organization and thinking ahead.
                                          Yea, it's a thing and you have to love the whole process to make the effort worthwhile, but there's also nothing like what comes out of a WFO. That said, you need to be a little bit of a fanatic and detail person to understand and appreciate this, IMO. Particularly so with pizza.
                                          I should point out that ovens with a center chimney (aka "horno") are NOT what I'm talking about here. An oven with a front flue/chimney where putting on the door seals up the chamber is what I mean. A central chimney oven is similar only in that it burns wood. It will never hold heat the same.

                                          1. re: splatgirl

                                            I'm starting to look around for a pizza oven. Does anyone have feedback on Chicago Brick ovens and their Mario Batali range? How do they compare to Forno Bravo? Thanks!