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Kitchen Wood-Fired Ovens- Billy Joel and Me

January 19, 2013

I belong to a Yahoo group named ‘brick-oven” where the subject is wood-fired ovens (WFO) and why we love them. I always enjoy reading everyone’s contributions but have never offered any myself until tonight. This is what I wrote:

I think about the number of brain cells I tortured last year while researching every pre-built WFO on the planet. I agonized over whether or not to install one in my kitchen as there was very little information on the subject. Only the rich and famous owned kitchen wood fired ovens and certainly not poor, divorced women living in old retrofitted country cottages. I fretted about possible smoke pouring into my home, carbon monoxide, and would my insurance company freak. I obsessed to the point where I almost gave up on the idea.

One day I simply took the leap and ordered a hand-built brick beauty personally built by Giuseppe of Forno Classico. It meant tearing out a closet wall, shoring up the flooring, asking my ex to design a steel angle frame to support the 400 pound oven and borrowing the muscles and know-how of several friends for various stages of the installation. There were a couple of moments of sheer panic at how much it all was costing. I didn’t even know if it would be SAFE in my kitchen or would it burn my house down with my children and I in it.

I’ll never forget my first firing on a rainy morning about a year ago. I sat nervously on a stool with a cup of coffee and watched that little pile of kindling flicker to life in my new oven. The flue immediately warmed and smoke went straight up the chimney. The interior of the oven was sheer artistry in the flickering light. My nervousness melted into awe and I recall wiping at a few tears of relief and delight. It was magic.

That was many firings ago. We’ve had some major pizza parties and many simple Friday night firings just for family. After everyone has had their fill of incredibly wonderful pizza, there is always enough residual heat to bake flat breads, soups, and bean dishes.  Yes, it heats up my kitchen a bit but it’s welcome warmth anytime the weather gets below 60 degrees F. I pick up all the free hickory trimmings I could want from a local saw mill.

The magic continues. I love my WFO. Worth every moment I took to dream and work it into existence.  So scoot over, Billy Joel. You and I have got something really special in common.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 29, 2013 2:48 am

    r u sure which is correct?


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