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It All Started with an Oven

This is a blog excerpt from one of our clients. To read more from Angela please visit her website at



Written By: Angela Barnes

What convinced us a wood fired oven was right for our family? The wheels seriously began turning when friends shared stories and pictures of the delicious food they were able to cook in their wood fired ovens, including a thanksgiving turkey (my favorite meal of the year). Then we started creating and eating pizza with our neighborhood friends. It is such a fun and social way to cook. This was definitely something we could get into! Now the big job began…choosing an oven. Which oven was best suited for us? Thankfully Mr. Fanatic is amazing at research. He started reading and watching everything he could about oven construction, size, style, portable, built-in…you name it, he read it. I will write future posts on each of those considerations but for now, I want to share what oven we chose and some of the reasons why.

We chose an oven from Forno Piombo.

Forno Piombo is a family owned business in Northern California with the most amazing owners, Guy and Anthony Piombo. We discovered their business while reading posts on a pizza making forum. From the very beginning Guy and Tony have been a wealth of knowledge and always willing to help. They have answered questions about everything from their ovens and why we should choose them, to the host of questions about wood fired cooking we have had since the oven has been in our yard.

After much discussion and consideration, we determined a permanent oven was the right choice as we have no plans to move. We did not want the oven to look like an after thought but rather that it had always been a part of our outdoor kitchen. The aesthetics of Forno Piombo’s oven fit with the overall look of our home and yard. By ordering the oven finished only through the scratch coat process, we could stucco it after installation to match the texture already on our house and BBQ island.

The most important aspects for us were oven construction and heat retention. Forno Piombo oven interiors are made completely of firebrick, both the floor and dome. Brick ovens have been built this way for centuries and there must be a reason for that, right? One reason is heat retention. This oven is extremely well insulated because the brick is 4 inches thick versus concrete that might be 2.5 inches. Let me tell you, it can retain heat for days following a pizza night.

The center vent was an important consideration. This allows the to door to be used to help control the heat in the oven. Additionally, the hot air exhaust from the oven is sent over the top of the dome before it exits the stack making it even more efficient. Forno Piombo’s higher dome offers versatility to use the oven for many dishes besides pizza.


Finally, it felt good to buy from them! They are a small business making a terrific product. The level of service they offer is truly exceptional. Guy and Tony are like having a friend in the brick oven pizza business. Although not here in our hometown, buying from a family business like the Piombos’, felt like we were shopping locally.

Although there are many different types, manufacturers, beliefs, and theories, these are the reasons WE chose the oven we did. Our friends all have different types of ovens that fit their particular needs. Posts that go into the various attributes of wood fired ovens in detail will be coming in the future. If you don’t already have a wood fired oven, you will be more informed to make the best choice possible.

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