How We Built Our Wood-Burning Ovens
While most pizzerias in America and Italy alike do boast “wood-fired ovens,” we’d like to go one step further with bragging rights in this department. The ovens we have in our pizzificcio in Naples are not just wood-fired ovens; they are ovens that were built specifically for our pizzas and were constructed inside the building. In having custom-built ovens, we are able to guarantee that the quality of these ovens is unmatched—whereas using existing ovens that multiple brands might also work with would not deliver that same guarantee.
When we visited Naples earlier this month, we were shown the entire process of the oven construction and were surprised to learn how interesting it was! Below are some highlights of the process, along with photos, to show you how our wood-burning ovens were made precisely for our pizzas!
In order for each wood-burning oven to achieve the perfect shape, the builders first create a dome made entirely of sand. Then they layer on a version of paper-macher with newspapers, which will harden enough to serve as the foundation on which the insulation and brick could be added.
Why sand and newspaper? The sand can be shoveled out of the oven opening, like in the photo below, once the foundational layers are built. Then the newspaper layer can be burned away from the inside of the oven once the insulation layers have set.
Once the foundational layers have been set, the builders work on adding additional layers of insulation as well as creating the optimal ventilation system within each oven. The materials used to complete the oven are carefully selected so that together, they allow for the ovens to reach high temperatures internally without causing the external temperature to change significantly. There are several rounds of burning wood in between each layer’s completion to ensure the integrity of the oven is maintained throughout the construction.
By the end, we are left with a beautiful, custom oven that cooks pizzas in the same fashion as the first pizzas ever made. Our facility currently has 3 ovens designated for signature pizzas