For a long time I have been absolutely fascinated by wood fires, wood ovens, pizza and bread and the whole tradition of cooking with wood but I have always thought there should be more efficient ways to achieve similar results. I am on a mission to reinvent wood ovens :-)
In order to invent something that suits the needs of passionate bakers and cooks, I am trying to figure out these needs. What are the biggest problems that you face? What is holding you from building or buying your oven? What would you like to see improved? I wanna know what an ideal wood oven would be like and learn from your experiences.
This is my attempt to contribute to a better world.
Rather like trying to improve the wheel I fear, however a fresh look at something can’t be a bad thing. Personally i feel the critical dimension for a WFO is the oft quoted ratio between the door aperture height and the internal roof, usually given as 63%. This seemingly random figure is apparently the result of measuring a large number of ancient working ovens to determine experience over time by actual users*. If adhered to this allows a front flue WFO to breathe efficiently, if an open fronted fire can be said to be in anyway efficient ! It also predetermine’s the height of a hemispherical dome as most builders start with a restricted floor area to work with. There are of course flatter dome shapes used where pizza is the only consideration.
*this statement may be just bullshit generated by pernickety Americans but I rather like it.
Not sure what you have in mind but looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
If there’s a gap in the market it’s affordability. Most of the ovens on the many forums and groups have cost the owners thousands. Completely out of reach for many people. They also require a degree of skill (and not least confidence) to undertake. The truly low budget versions have probably been a result of a great deal of ingenuity, materials searching and the ability to just give it a go.
The budget ‘ready-made’ part of the market is certainly affordable but performance is poor in comparison. Possibly poor enough to put off potential pizza-oven builders. I suppose the Ooni fills a bit of a gap for an out the box, relatively inexpensive solution, but lacks the charm of a ‘real’ oven.
If you could achieve a brick built, or modular, genuinely DIY kit oven (including all base and finishes) that gives somewhere close to the performance of a ‘proper’ wood fired oven, at a price that was affordable if not by all, then certainly many (maybe under £1k all in. £500 would be even better!), then I think you’re onto a winner.
Everyone who sees and tastes food from the two that I’ve built so far is in awe of them and wants one straight away...until they hear the cost of having one.