Our Q&A section covers general questions, and some specific to the Rustica, Neo and Climenti ovens.
Q. Does food and pizza really taste better than ordinary oven cooked pizza? A. Oh boy you really can’t imagine, light and crispy bases, cheese like molten lava, little burnt speckles on top! There is just no comparison. Better than most restaurants can deliver.
Q. What else can you cook in your ovens? A. When its searingly hot (pizza cooking temperature) anything that you would normally cook fast. Naan breads, tandoori style chicken, roasted peppers, meat and veggie skewers and of course fish. Make sure you use metal skewers! As its cools down, jacket potatoes wrapped in foil, breads, meats and casserole style dishes take on a smokey flavour that is quite divine. As it gets even cooler the slow roast meats are the order of the day. You can even use it as a smoker!
Q. What is PizzaForno envy? A. When you have one and friends don’t.
Q. Do your ovens need any maintenance? A. Practically nil. Just clean the ash out every now and then and keep them dry in winter with a cover.
Q. Why do you sell two peels? A. The larger peel is used for lifting uncooked pizza from the prep table and placing in the oven. The small peel is used for all the oven work, moving wood around, clearing ash, and of course for turning cooking pizza! Yes you really do need both peels
Q. What is in the full kit?
Rustica and Neo A. Our kit contains everything you need to make great wood fired pizzas. It comprises a base and dome oven. The base has a lining of fire bricks which provides the cooking hearth and absorbing heatsink. 2 pizza peels (AKA a pizza paddle). Our peels are made with an aluminum head and a wooden handle. These we believe are easier to use and more robust than wooden pizza peels. A thermometer is also included and of course the oven stand. Just add wood and light!
Clementi A. All Clementi ovens are shipped with a peel, brush and log hook. A thermometer is built into the door.
Q. How many pizzas can I cook at one time? A. This is not really a factor. Pizzas cook so fast, 90 seconds! Far quicker than you can make them! But if you really want to you can get up to 3 medium 10″ pizzas on the cooking hearth in the Neo and Rustica. From 2 to 6 in the Clementi range depending on the size you choose.
Q. How long does it take to warm up?
Rustica. A. Typically around an hour to an hour and a half. But if the ambient temperature is high and your timber and oven are also very dry it can be as fast as 30 minutes. If the oven is damp or very cold it can of course take longer up to a couple of hours.
Neo. A. Typically around a 30 minutes to hour. But like Rustica if the ambient temperature is high and your timber and oven are also very dry it can be as fast as 30 minutes. If the oven is damp or very cold again it can of course take longer up to a couple of hours.
Clementi. A. Typically around a 30 minutes to hour. But if the ambient temperature is high and your timber and oven are also very dry it can be as fast as 30 minutes. If the oven is very cold it can of course take longer up to an of hour and a half but this is very rare.
Q. Do you make a bigger oven ?
Rustica and Neo A. We only make one size. Why? After many years of experimenting with different designs and sizes we consider the oven we now produce to be the optimum in terms of volume, a manageable weight, efficient and economical to use. More information
Ok after you have considered:- Where to put your oven, can I get it through the door, and naturally I want to lift it without a crane, you may think I can go for something 2m by 2m in sections, great. It will require a big old base and get the builders in before I can start cooking. If your running a busy restaurant thats ideal. But for most of us we will want to throw the odd party and cook for the family. As few as 2 or 3 pizza and maybe as many as 40.
Now consider the physics of the oven. Like a pan of water on a stove, a litre of water will heat up faster than 2 litres of water if the same amount of heat is applied. A wood fired oven is no different. If you have a 2m diameter oven with same thickness of wall, which is unlikely as it will have to be thicker. Compare with our oven which is .8m diameter the volume of material in the oven dome alone to get hot is around 1/5 of the 2m oven. In practice this means you have to put at least 5 times more energy into the larger oven to get it to the same temperature. If you also factor in the hearth 0f the oven its maybe 7 times the amount of energy to get the big oven hot. Thats a lot more logs to burn!
With our oven we recon a net of logs will easily give enough heating and cooking time to deliver 5-6 pizzas. A large oven would be considerably more.
Clementi A. The Clementi ovens come in 3 sizes measured by hearth size. 60 by 60, 80 by 60 and 80 by 100mm
Q. How hot does the oven get? A. Typically pizza cooking temperature is around 400C! Phew!
Q. What sort of base do I need? A. If you are also taking one of our stands any solid base will do the job. A patio is fine, grass of course would not support the weight. Naturally it should be relatively level. If you are buying just the oven a good sturdy square base around 1100mm high by 1200 by 1000mm is fine.
Q. Can you paint the oven ?
Rustica A. Yes you can mineral paints seem to work best. Two companies we know supply a very good product.
Cornish Lime http://cornishlime.co.uk, Beeckosil is their recommended solution.
Keim, http://www.keimpaints.co.uk Granital is their recommended solution.
Neo and Clementi A. Generally speaking you would not want to paint these ovens.
Q. Can the ovens be left outside in winter ? A. Yes just make sure they are dry before covering to keep the weather at bay.
Q. Can I extend the chimney ?
Rustic, Neo A. Yes we use a standard chimney size so it can be easily extended.
Clementi A. The Clement ovens use a 130mm flue which can be extended but you may need to experiment a little with UK sized chimney products.
Q. Where can I buy Caputo Flour ? A. A Di Maria and Son.
Q. I am building my own stand for the oven incorporating a work surface for which I am using treated wood suitable for outdoors. My query is, is it desirable ( or perhaps necessary) to include additional insulation between the oven floor and the wooden base? A. Yes essential, you could use Calcium Silicate board. Travis Perkins do a version for building work. Very easy to work with and non toxic. Just cut with a saw. To place the oven on a wooden top can cause a fire so always top a wooden stand with a non-combustible material. Or the use of slabs or cast concrete is great.
Q. I have heard pizza ovens crack, do your ovens?
Rustica A. All wood fired ovens have the potential to develop cracks. The very high heat on the inside of the oven causes the shell to expand faster inside than out. This puts a small stress on the structure and hair line cracks can appear. The ovens settle down after a bit of use and move much less than when new. Hair line cracks can appear across the dome. Often these may not manifest at all or after some period of use. In any event they are easily repaired and rarely shorten the life of the oven. We know of folks who have had ovens for years and every spring just give them the once over. Good as new!
We use a stainless steel fibre reinforcing needle to strengthen the structure. This means the ovens will always remain strong. Before you consider buying any wood fired oven have a search on the net about pizza ovens, wood ovens or outdoor ovens and cracking. You will see it is just the nature of the beast. High temperature cooking can have an effect even on refractory materials (the mix we use in the manufacture of our ovens is rated to over 1400C) which are designed for use in high temperatures. We know this can be a concern. Its not a cheap purchase. If its likely to be a worry consider buying one of our other ovens which do not crack.
If you have any concerns about this characteristic please feel free to give us a call and talk it through.
Neo Ovens A. They will very rarely develop any cracks due to the high levels of insulation you get much less thermal movement of the inner dome. The outer dome is crack resistant. It is possible to get slight surface crazing in small areas over time. This is only in the surface coat and does not affect the waterproofing benefits of the dome. This is a natural characteristic of glass fibre.
Clementi ovens A. They are a metal bodied oven and naturally are not susceptible to cracking at all.
Q. How much smoke is created in use? A. You will get smoke when you first light up. Not much you can do about this. But once the oven is starting to get hot the smoke is literally burnt away. When the soot is burning off it will be very obvious. It literally disappears no black soot in the oven dome. Starts at the top and gradually spreads down. This can be as fast as half an hour if the oven is nice and dry and the weather warm. Will take longer if the oven is cold and damp. Ensuring you use kiln dried timber will reduce smoking considerably during start up.
For the Summer and the Winter ! Just like a chiminea our outdoor pizza oven gives of a massive amount of heat in use. This means you can comfortably extend your pizza cooking into the winter months! Just keep it topped up with logs, warm and cozy.