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Old 21.09.2020, 17:29
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Built in Pizza Oven at Home

Hi All,

I am in the process of building a house. I have always wanted a built in pizza oven and the opportunity to do so has finally come around. I am looking for someone to help me design and build this - but struggling to find any companies in Zurich that do this and have some credentials/photos of completed work. Any suggestions? What worked well and what didn't? What do I need to look out for? Should I go full brick, pre-cast or a standalone ALFA FORNI type oven?

Thanks!
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Old 21.09.2020, 18:09
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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Hi All,

I am in the process of building a house. I have always wanted a built in pizza oven and the opportunity to do so has finally come around. I am looking for someone to help me design and build this - but struggling to find any companies in Zurich that do this and have some credentials/photos of completed work. Any suggestions? What worked well and what didn't? What do I need to look out for? Should I go full brick, pre-cast or a standalone ALFA FORNI type oven?

Thanks!

I'm a moderator on the ukwoodfiredforum, from when I built my over years ago. Happy to give you some pointers, but look at that site - it's a treasure trove of plans and ideas (and helpful people)
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Old 21.09.2020, 19:21
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

My Italian mate bought a premade one from Italy and then just built the plinth himself.
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Old 21.09.2020, 20:37
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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My Italian mate bought a premade one from Italy and then just built the plinth himself.
This is one of the considerations. Could you perhaps ask him where he got it from the next time you see him/her?
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Old 21.09.2020, 20:43
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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I'm a moderator on the ukwoodfiredforum, from when I built my over years ago. Happy to give you some pointers, but look at that site - it's a treasure trove of plans and ideas (and helpful people)
Awesome - I will sign up and have a look. In addition to the pizza oven, I have also been looking at a built in South African Braai. I found the ones I want at: https://www.mimosa.ch/produkte-mimos...anischer-grill

They seem to be made in South Africa by MegaMaster from what I can see, but are pretty pricey here, but would probably save me the headaches of buying it there and importing it. Would be keen to see if there are any suggestions on what other built in Braai’s are around and available a bit more locally.

Thanks for the tip, ill sign up straight away!
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Old 22.09.2020, 11:49
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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Awesome - I will sign up and have a look. In addition to the pizza oven, I have also been looking at a built in South African Braai. I found the ones I want at: https://www.mimosa.ch/produkte-mimos...anischer-grill

They seem to be made in South Africa by MegaMaster from what I can see, but are pretty pricey here, but would probably save me the headaches of buying it there and importing it. Would be keen to see if there are any suggestions on what other built in Braai’s are around and available a bit more locally.

Thanks for the tip, ill sign up straight away!

I love a good braai, but the challenge you will have is finding suitable wood. It sounds like a small thing, but the wood makes all the difference. Having lived in africa for nearly 15 years, I spent a long time working out the differences - and my final conclusions is twofold:
- meat quality (not cured in most cases)
- wood quality (EXTREMELY dry hardwood and softwood)


There was a supplier in the UK importing wood from SA, individually wrapped in moisture proof plastic shrinkwrap so the logs wouldn't absorb humidity from the air... as much as I craved a proper braai, I never could bring myself to buying it...


Instead, I used to kiln dry my wood in the pizza oven, and then store a batch indoors. Get a humidity sensor (less than 10chf from ali), and you can start experimenting. Also useful for pizza oven wood.
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Old 22.09.2020, 14:10
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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I love a good braai, but the challenge you will have is finding suitable wood. It sounds like a small thing, but the wood makes all the difference. Having lived in africa for nearly 15 years, I spent a long time working out the differences - and my final conclusions is twofold:
- meat quality (not cured in most cases)
- wood quality (EXTREMELY dry hardwood and softwood)


There was a supplier in the UK importing wood from SA, individually wrapped in moisture proof plastic shrinkwrap so the logs wouldn't absorb humidity from the air... as much as I craved a proper braai, I never could bring myself to buying it...


Instead, I used to kiln dry my wood in the pizza oven, and then store a batch indoors. Get a humidity sensor (less than 10chf from ali), and you can start experimenting. Also useful for pizza oven wood.
This is one of the best ideas I have come across in a long time.
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Old 22.09.2020, 17:22
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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This is one of the best ideas I have come across in a long time.
It's also a great way not to waste heat. My over can maintain a temperature >200c for about 18hours after the fire is out, with the door closed.


It's a bit of a beast of an over (1.5m internal diameter), so I just fill it with wood after I'm done, that dries the wood for the next firing. Once the oven is up to temperature, it'll happy gobble up damp wood, dry wood, dead bodies, paper logs, sawdust/reclaimed wood logs, and just about anything else
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Old 22.09.2020, 17:58
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

It's much more important the type wood, than few % less of humidity:

fir burns at 350 °C
Oak burns at 900 °C


but again, isn't this unnecessary , as you don't need such high temperatures for barbecue and even in pizza ovens the temperatures are between 350-400C?
What's wrong with classic pizza oven (aka bread oven), made out of fireproof bricks and wooden logs that you dry under your roof/porch/shed?
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Old 22.09.2020, 23:25
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

I would buy one of those:

https://www.backdorf.de/en/home/

Much more useful IMO.
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Old 23.09.2020, 07:49
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

That's a common mistake - bread ovens are NOT pizza ovens. You can use a pizza oven to bake bread - it’ll work a charm. The opposite (baking pizza in a bread oven), won’t be so successful...


The ideal pizza oven should have two cooking methods: contact and radiated heat. The pizza base should be cooked from the heat of the floor bricks, while the top of the pizza should be cooked by radiated heat. To get the second, you need an oven with a very low ceiling, and the heat comes of the ceiling bricks.

Temperature wise, I tend to run my oven a bit cold (380-400), but ive seems temps around 350-450 for a pizza.
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Old 23.09.2020, 09:53
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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That's a common mistake - bread ovens are NOT pizza ovens.
I want to stress this as well. I bake my pizzas at around and slightly over 400c for about 90 seconds (with the much smaller toy, the Roccbox) and my breads at around 250c. Baking a pizza at 250c means it will need 6-7 min to bake which means all kind of gimmicks to compensate (higher hydration dough which is much harder to deal with and tends to stick to the peel, pre-baking the crust, take out, put the toppings for 2-3 min which means opening the oven, losing heat, put back in, ramp the fan, take out, turn off the fan, wait to get back to temp again). It's a rabbit hole, been there, doesn't work, it feels like a chore rather than a pleasant experience, which pizza should be

A proper pizza oven is a great thing to have

p.s. I wasn't aware there are so many pizzaiolos around, shall we create a thread to discuss doughs, toppings, tips and tricks?
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Old 23.09.2020, 10:44
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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I want to stress this as well. I bake my pizzas at around and slightly over 400c for about 90 seconds (with the much smaller toy, the Roccbox) and my breads at around 250c. Baking a pizza at 250c means it will need 6-7 min to bake which means all kind of gimmicks to compensate (higher hydration dough which is much harder to deal with and tends to stick to the peel, pre-baking the crust, take out, put the toppings for 2-3 min which means opening the oven, losing heat, put back in, ramp the fan, take out, turn off the fan, wait to get back to temp again). It's a rabbit hole, been there, doesn't work, it feels like a chore rather than a pleasant experience, which pizza should be

A proper pizza oven is a great thing to have

p.s. I wasn't aware there are so many pizzaiolos around, shall we create a thread to discuss doughs, toppings, tips and tricks?
How is the Roccbox? Does it work well? Do you use gas or wood burning on it?

I wouldn't use it as a replacement for the one I am going to build, but I may use it in the meantime, my house will only be finised ca. Dec 2021.

Brilliant idea, let's do that - I have to convert people with putting a whole egg on as a topping. Only works in a proper pizza oven, otherwise the egg is overcooked!
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Old 23.09.2020, 10:48
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

Just to be clear, that's classic bread oven, where also pizzas were made:


First you make pizzas, while fire is still burning in a corner.
Than you cover the entrance and you bake a bread using accumulated heat.
At the same time you throw in a whole beef shank, but this one you leave overnight, to get amazing dish that you can pull apart with fingers.


Usually, in hot climate, people have two ovens, one in a summer, open kitchen and one inside, that heat a house at the same time. But you see pizza, bread, meat comes all from the same oven. Don't over-engineer things.



So OP, build one outside, but under the roof, so you can use it whole year. Get some mechanism to close the door. It's a simple thing, people are able to build it out of round river-stones and mud.
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Old 23.09.2020, 10:55
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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How is the Roccbox? Does it work well? Do you use gas or wood burning on it?

I wouldn't use it as a replacement for the one I am going to build, but I may use it in the meantime, my house will only be finised ca. Dec 2021.

Brilliant idea, let's do that - I have to convert people with putting a whole egg on as a topping. Only works in a proper pizza oven, otherwise the egg is overcooked!
The Roccbox is great for what it offers. It's really well built, isolation is top notch, it maintains temp quite well and as much as it's not as versatile as what you will have in the end, you can also use it for steaks, veggies, etc. I use it on gas, still waiting for the wood burner V2 as the version 1 was a joke, it simply didn't work properly. I think they now offer a version with the gas burner only, don't waste your money on the wood burner (happy to give you mine for free, it's sitting around sad and useless). I use it year round and even in winter it can reach 400+c and maintain it. It reaches 500c but I am not comfortable with that temp, I tend to burn the pizzas too much too quickly, but at around 400 and 90-ish seconds its stellar. It takes only a few minutes from the moment you take a pizza out for it to reach the target temp on the stone which is exactly the time needed to stretch your next, put the toppings on and you're ready. The temp sensor is not accurate though, I use a infrared "gun" and this is a better gauge. Also, it comes with the placement peel, but I highly recommend you also get the rotating peel

p.s. egg on the pizza is great, i actually experimented and put it on at around the second turn, around 60 sec. and it's perfect - yolk is nicely runny, whites are solid and..white. Absolutely different ball game vs. an oven
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Old 23.09.2020, 11:11
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

Another vote for Roccbox. Great bit of kit. And doesn’t take hours to heat up.
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Old 23.09.2020, 11:41
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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I want to stress this as well. I bake my pizzas at around and slightly over 400c for about 90 seconds (with the much smaller toy, the Roccbox) and my breads at around 250c. Baking a pizza at 250c means it will need 6-7 min to bake which means all kind of gimmicks to compensate (higher hydration dough which is much harder to deal with and tends to stick to the peel, pre-baking the crust, take out, put the toppings for 2-3 min which means opening the oven, losing heat, put back in, ramp the fan, take out, turn off the fan, wait to get back to temp again). It's a rabbit hole, been there, doesn't work, it feels like a chore rather than a pleasant experience, which pizza should be

A proper pizza oven is a great thing to have

p.s. I wasn't aware there are so many pizzaiolos around, shall we create a thread to discuss doughs, toppings, tips and tricks?

Yes! and don't forget the eternal debate of sourdough vs yeast...



Oh and what flour to use (I tend to use caputo, but as it comes in 25kg bags - I buy a bag and then spend a day partitioning it into smaller vacuum sealed packs ;p)
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Old 23.09.2020, 12:00
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

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Yes! and don't forget the eternal debate of sourdough vs yeast...



Oh and what flour to use (I tend to use caputo, but as it comes in 25kg bags - I buy a bag and then spend a day partitioning it into smaller vacuum sealed packs ;p)
The eternal debate is settled at our place: I tend to bake my breads with sourdough and my pizzas with yeast. The reason is simple: the LAB in sourdough denatures the proteins and I end up with a less stretchable dough than I could and since I manually shape my pizzas, this is key.
I'm experimenting with different Caputo's and I tend to prefer using the Nuvola. Where do you get your flour? Getting a 25kg bag vs my 1kg all of a sudden sounds like a better investment

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Old 23.09.2020, 14:44
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

what's wrong with a frozen pizza in the oven at 200c

*dodges the groans*
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Old 23.09.2020, 14:55
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Re: Built in Pizza Oven at Home

different but similar question... does anyone have recommendations for a fire pit? we're looking at something similar to this

https://www.eldur-gardenfire.ch/
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