Wood burning oven recs?

A friend on another board writes:

“This is not time sensitive, but one day in the not so distant future I hope to be able to have space for an outdoor, wood-burning pizza & bread oven on the west coast. From what i have been able to tell from a few friends and the interwebz, both Mugnaini and Forno Bravo have some very reliable options – i am thinking the install on-site versions, not the “assembled”/pre-built ones. Do any of you serious, or even sometime, bakers have experience with either of these firms’ ovens, or other providers in the CA/PNW region?”

Anyone here able to help him out? It’s well outside my areas of expertise


This thread might have some useful information:

Thank you!

The biggest things he has to consider are (1) internal diameter of the oven, and (2) internal height. For pizza, a low dome is preferred, which gives better balance of top & bottom heat, but often people are interested in doing bigger things (like roasting turkey) and end up with a higher dome to accommodate that.

For diameter, I’d suggest in the range of 36" to 42". Smaller and he’ll be playing games like putting in angle iron to keep the fire off the pizza. Larger and he’s into very long heatup times. I was originally planning a 42" oven but decided to downsize to 36" after two 42" oven owners warned me of long heating time.

For prefab modular ovens, both Mugnaini and Forno Bravo are well respected. I think these both fall into the high-dome realm, but the FB Casa series might be low-dome. I built my own both to control all dimensions, but also for the labor of love. Forno Bravo earlier this year instituted flat-rate shipping so the fact that they’re in NorCal now means nothing. Shipping Monterey to Miami costs the same as to San Jose.

If I was going prefab I’d do the Four Grand Mere 950B, which is available in a low-dome and with a raised dome option; even the raised is still fairly low:

This is a good place to research a variety of ovens, with lots of FGM builds documented:

Get a higher internal height, to accommodate big items, like a roast.

When making a pizza, one can slip in some bricks, to support a wide
metal griddle. Slide the pizza under that griddle, which would then
reflect heat onto the pizza top.

I am very happy with a stainless steel Alfa Forno pizza oven I got at Costco.

How long have you had a WFO Victor?

Unlike (formerly) North Shore kids with WFOs, we Uptown ghetto rats just burned down slum buildings instead.

We have a 30" diameter Earthstone and really enjoy it, I would not go any smaller.
The wife and I took the Mugnaini cooking class about a year after we had the oven to expand our skill set.
The Muganaini ovens have a flatter dome and seem to heat up more quickly which is an advantage for both time and amount of wood you end up using.
When watching Hells Kitchen a while back, they were using an Earthstone