To further close opening or not

I know this topic has been touched a bit before, but I was curious if there’s some further feedback from oven owners on their decision to partially close off the opening or not and if they regret doing it, or not doing it.
I am in the final decision making stages of the design and I can’t decide. From the photos it appears that about 75% of oven owners have left them open…but I’ve seen it stated in the forum that “most choose to close them” so it’s a bit confusing.
As for my intended use of my Grande, usage will likely be about 85% pizzas and then the occasional pan of meats or fish (I don’t anticipate anything large like a turkey…). I’m ok with some heat loss, but would like to at least get 5-10 pizzas done without constant re-firing…
Any feedback, thoughts, or experiences is really appreciated!!

Welcome to the BrickWood forums Brian!

If you’re planning 85 % of your output to be pizzas, but you’re worried about doing something irreversible by closing off the opening, you can always try it open first. It’s quite possible to do the face later if you find you’re firing too often.

Another choice: the classic pizza oven mouth is quite low and just wide enough to admit a peel. You really can’t close the Barile opening that radically.

But the maximum closing shown in the design is just that. You don’t have to close it that much. You can design an opening that closes off the top of the arch, where most heat out the front will escape, and just wide enough on either side to support the angle iron that bridges the opening. That gives you some of the benefits of closing it off, with the option to cook larger items if you ever need it.

I’d like to invite more contributions from builders about what they like and/or regret about their choices for their oven opening.