You too can do this. Score some free cinder blocks, bricks, and pavers on a site like this. You could buy them retail, I guess. But really, that’s just less fun. Use your lego skills and build yourself an oven. Heck, use some mud.
But know something. You would be entering a world of geekdom, and for many of its inhabitants, my current trajectory of free-style-dry-stack is the path to the dark side.
For a reason I’m still not sure about, there seems to be segregated schools of thought about wood fired ovens. First, there’s the old school mud/Quebec oven camp based on natural building materials. I get this. It’s liberal, resourceful, and practical. Children have built them for free. Take this book out from the library for more. These folks are like the bicycle. Effective, practical, simple, inexpensive. Then, there’s the Alan Scott camp, advocates of the barrel dome and loads of thermal mass, focused on baking bread and long hauls of heat for cooking of multiple items over many hours. Akin to a semi tractor trailer. They’re big, get it done, in a big way, for a long haul. Then there’s the Italian sports car folks, motivated primarily by pizza, and building small, speedy igloo style domes like these. These are the folks stop-watching the speed of their pizzas, getting giddy at solar oven temperatures, eschewing long firing time, and seeking pizza perfection. Speed and horsepower are king.
I’m here to ask the question, who cares? They all achieve great culinary things. They’re all beautiful. They all have their pros and cons. So why the infighting? Should we not want to be spreading the wood fired oven love? WFO geeks will watch the video below and scorn the lack of silica content in the hearth bricks, the pan the pizza’s on, the lack of efficiently reflected heat, the amount of insulation below the hearth, the dimensions, the build of the pizza itself, and many other items if they could see them in the photo. It’s true. You know who you are.
So for some fuel to the creative spirit, this site is a lovely peruse for inspiration and non-conformism. Let us liberate the wood oven, peoples’ imaginations, forget the clans and perfectionism, and get to inspiring folks to get these in their back yards cooking wicked food.