Friday, April 15, 2016

Getting Started with My Second Oven!

My last post here was almost four years ago...  about leaving my oven behind, as my wife got transferred to San Antonio. We've now moved back to the DFW area and we're again in a house where we can do another wood burning pizza oven.

In San Antonio, we were in a high-rise condo building, which was great, except that we couldn't put in another oven. Thankfully, we enjoyed two great VPN-style pizzerias: Dough and Braza Brava to get our pizza fix.

But now, we have a back yard... and control over that yard. I'm fortunate that I'm not having to fight to do an oven. My wife is totally on board with the idea... she'd be upset if I did NOT do an oven, so again, I'm lucky.

Last time, we did a Forno Bravo Artigiano oven and we loved it. It was hand-built in Italy before being brought to California by FB. I had chosen FB at the recommendation of Jay Jerrier, who had an FB oven in his backyard -- and this was before he had the Cane Rosso pizza truck that led to his growing pizzeria empire.

My original oven - see the beautiful brick dome interior:

This time, we are still going with Forno Bravo, but in a different direction. With the Artiagiano, we basically got a dome, four floor pieces, some metal chimney and cap, and a door. The whole upper structure needed to be insulated and built around the core oven. This took time and my contractors screwed up a number of things that required rework. You can scroll through older blog posts to see those stories.

Here are posts about the first try, which got stopped before they were done.

Here are posts about the second attempt, which ended badly when the wood framing used the contractors (against the instructions of FB) caught fire. The third time was the charm...

We decided to go with the Forno Bravo Vesuvio oven.


  • It ships as a single piece, fully assembled
  • It installs easily on top of a hearth/base that we're going to have a contractor build
  • Slightly less to buy the fully assembled oven than it would have been to pay the contractor more to insulate and build the upper structure
  • Lacks the romance of having been hand-built in Italy
All things considered, the pros outweigh the cons. It should perform as well as the Artigiano and it's about the same size -- great for having large pizza parties.

Here is a standard picture of a Vesuvio from FB:

This shows the metal stand option. We're going to have a stone base built for it.

See more pictures here that show some of the variety of tiles and colors they can do.

In future posts, I'm going to give sort of the play-by-play of how this goes.

I placed the order with FB on Monday. They quote a 21-day lead time, plus shipping (about another week). 

I hope you enjoy following the progress.

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