To Enclose or Not?


I am in the process of completing the hearth slab (just need to fill with perlite and cement).

Looking ahead at the instructions for the oven, I see that there is an option to partially enclose the mouth of the oven. My question: does the partial enclosure make a noticeable difference specifically when making pizzas? i.e. Does it improve the quality, reduce cooking time, reduce the amount of firewood needed, etc.?

Thanks very much.

Hi Greg,

Some of those things, for sure. The partial enclosure will retain some more heat in the oven vs the wide open mouth. It won’t reduce cooking time for pizza, but it will reduce the time you have to wait until your oven is ready to bake pizzas. It may reduce the amount of fuel needed, and may have a marginal effect on the tops of your pies.

One thing you didn’t list but I think is true: it will direct more smoke toward the chimney rather than back out through the oven mouth. For some bakers, smoke control is important, though it shouldn’t be a factor when you have a blazing pizza flame.

And you didn’t ask, but if you decide to branch out to bake bread and similar slow baked items that tend to be “flame out,” a closed mouth will be in your favor.

Wow, very helpful, thank you Matt!

You’re right, I had not considered the other benefits. Based on your response, I’ll enclose it per the instructions. I am really hoping I can make it look centered and arched like the diagram, I really don’t like the square / rectangular opening some have done.


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