Residential Oven FAQs
Choosing the Right Oven
How do you know to choose the right oven?
It is important when choosing a wood fired oven to check the materials and design. A poor design and lack of quality construction will result in insufficient heat retention and an inefficient oven.
The interior oven walls and overhead crown elements should have no flat surfaces. Flat surfaces cause a “destructive interference”, of the natural convection airflow pattern necessary for excellent cooking. Vesuvio Woodfired Ovens have perfectly curved interior walls which facilitates ideal airflow.
The floor elements of a wood fired oven should fit inside the surrounding walls and overhead crown elements. With a Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven, this ensures that the heat in the floor remains within the oven and is not lost through the floor and surrounding structure. The cooking floor should also contain a high content of alumina which gives the ovens two very important features; total lack of foreign smells and tastes and perfect cooking of pizzas & baked dishes.
A Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven’s opening size balances the needs for visibility, functionality & thermal efficiency. Excessively large oven openings are thermally inefficient and require more fuel.
You should also consider the after sales service you will receive when purchasing a wood fired oven. Having been in business for 10 years, our passion is wood fired ovens and we want it to be your passion too. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service and are always only a phone call away to provide professional advice.
Are the ovens wood fired only or can you use gas?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens may be used wood only, wood/gas combination or gas burner only.
What are the ovens made from?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are made from the finest quality refractory materials able to withstand the highest temperatures. The cooking floor is made from 100% naturally quarried cotto clay quarried from the hills of Tuscany. The cooking floor contains a high content of alumina, perfectly smoothed which gives the ovens two very important features; total lack of foreign smells & tastes, perfect cooking of pizzas, baked dishes & an array of different foods.
Will the oven be able to withstand rain, wind, direct sunlight (or the environment)?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are manufactured from the highest quality materials, built to last for many years, and so long as the oven is installed correctly, Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens will withstand the elements – even when it is exposed to the environmental elements.
How long do the ovens last? How much warranty?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years. They are highly durable and with care will last for many years to come. Our ovens have been in production for over 50 years, many have been installed in Italy for decades and are still functional.
Where are your ovens made?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are made in Reggello, Florence, Italy, in the foot hills of Tuscany.
I have seen ovens that are not a dome – do I need a dome shaped oven?
To achieve the best cooking results you do need a dome shaped oven. In a dome shaped oven, the flame rolls around the roof, creating the perfect amount of radiant heat. When other shapes are used, it compromises the cooking process and is not as effective.
Is a cotto clay cooking floor in a wood fired oven better than a concrete oven?
Absolutely. Clay has been used for wood fired ovens since the very first ovens were built in Pompeii over 3,000 years ago. Cement ovens, and in particular, cement cooking floors, do not retain their heat as well as clay, and cement ovens will wear over time as cement is not made to withstand the natural expansion that occurs when the oven is fired such as clay is. A cement oven may contain chemicals and a cement cooking floor may also produce foreign smells and tastes.
Do you deliver?
Our ovens are able to be shipped Australia Wide, New Zealand & Internationally.
How long will it take from placing an order to receiving the oven – do you always have the ovens in stock?
We have a shipment of ovens arriving approx every 3-8 weeks ensuring our stock levels are quite high.
How heavy is the oven? Will I need assistance when it is delivered?
Depending on the size of the wood fired oven you purchase, the weight ranges from 280kg – 450kg for our modular series. However, as it is modular form it is possible to lift each piece.
Assembly & Installation
Do the ovens come assembled or require assembling?
Our Residential Range FVR and TOP Series come in modular form for ease of installation – no cranes or other heavy lifting machinery is required. Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens come with full installation instructions.
Is a base required?
Yes, due to the sheer weight of the ovens, the ovens must be supported by a base. Brick bases are most common and stands are also available for all our residential woodfired oven models.
Is a flue required?
Yes, a flue is required. The flue begins from just inside the oven, never outside of the oven opening. This important design feature captures all the smoke, without allowing it to roll out the oven mouth, and maintains clear visibility through the oven opening at all fire stages to allow smoke to flow through.
How are the ovens installed? Do you need a professional?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens can easily be installed by a handyperson as full installation instructions are supplied. Depending on the scope of the project a builder/bricklayer may be required.
Our team of professional tradespeople are able to assist with the installation process if required. If a gas burner is required, a licensed gas fitter must install the gas burner.
Where can the ovens be installed?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are so versatile that they can be installed indoors or outdoors.
How long does it take to install an oven?
Typically installation of the oven will only take half a day when the base is ready.
Where is the best place for my oven?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Our customers often tell us they use the oven far more than they anticipated, so if building your oven outdoors, consider how close you will be to the kitchen for food preparation and easy access.
Can I move my oven once it is built?
If you think there may come a time when you would like to move your wood fired oven, it is advised that you build it on a metal stand, which we can supply. Once the oven has been built on a brick base it is very difficult to move and we don’t recommend it.
What is the best height for my oven?
The best working height for your oven is 1.2m from the ground to the opening of the oven.
Care & Maintenance
Do the ovens require regular cleaning?
There is very little maintenance involved when cooking with a Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven. Cleaning of ashes is required occasionally & when the oven is cold using a copper wire brush. At no time should water be used to clean inside the oven.
Do I need to cure the oven?
Yes, all Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens need curing before use. We recommend you let your oven sit for 5-7 days after you have completed building it. If the oven has a rendered finish, ensure render is completely dry before curing. Over the next 5 days, starting with a low temperature of approx. 100oC and increasing this by 50oC each day up to 500oC, build a fire and sustain it for the day. Try to maintain the temperature as you do not want a high temperature fire straight away. If you have purchased an FVR series oven, the best way to check the temperature is with an infrared thermometer.
Using the Oven
What type of wood is required?
We recommend using box wood or iron bark in our wood fired ovens. Also you can use aromatic wood such as hickory, mesquite or apple wood. It is important not to use treated wood or wood that has a moisture content of more than 20%.
How much wood can I expect to use?
This will of course depend on how long you intend to use the oven. 5-7 pieces of wood should be ample to cook around 50 pizza’s. To be safe, always have plenty of wood on standby.
Is the oven environmentally friendly?
When used according to manufacturers guidelines and the correct wood is used (as described above), Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are carbon neutral.
How long does it take to cook a pizza?
It only takes 2-3 minutes to cook a delicious pizza in a Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven.
How does the oven maintain its heat?
A high grade insulation is wrapped around the woodfired oven, assisting with heat retention – the inside of your oven will still be warm the following day.
What other foods can be cooked in a wood fired pizza oven?
It is possible to cook a variety of foods – not just pizza, such as; poultry, bread, vegetables, roasts, stews, desserts.
How long does it take for the oven to reach cooking temperature?
Typically, your Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven will take 90-120 minutes to heat up to cooking temperature, depending on oven size.
How can I tell if the oven is hot enough?
The roof of the oven should be ‘white’, all the soot should have burnt away. You can also use a temperature gauge. We recommend using a temperature gauge or digital thermometer.
Where can I find wood fired recipes?
You can find great, mouth watering recipes on this website. And if that is still not enough, down load our e-book for a more extensive range. If you have a favourite recipe for wood fired ovens, please email us and we will add it to our collection.
Can I use the oven during a total fire ban?
This depends on the laws of each state, however as a general rule, because wood fired ovens use a solid fuel source (wood) they can’t be used during total fire bans. Please check with the relevant authorities in your state.
Can I cook on the oven floor or do I need special trays?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are perfect for cooking pizza on the oven floor. Of course when cooking a dish that has natural juices (such as a roast) a tray should be used to ensure all those delicious flavours are kept and to avoid a mess!
Is the oven safe to touch when in use?
Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens are supplied with hi grade ceramic fibre insulation. Providing the oven has been installed correctly, the external dome on a Vesuvio Wood Fired Oven does not get hot and will be safe to touch when the oven is in use.
Do I need to cook with the door off/open?
Depending upon what you are cooking eg. pizza, it is recommended to cook with the door open. If roasting or baking bread it is recommended the door be closed. The fire requires oxygen to continue to burn effectively.
If you are using a gas burner in your woodfired oven you will need to cook with the door off.
I am interested using gas only – can I still achieve the wood fired flavours and aroma?
If you are using gas only you may wish to add hickory chips for added aroma and flavour.
After Sale Services
Do you offer training on how to operate the oven?
Yes, our experienced pizza chef can provide on-site training (Sydney & Regional NSW) to help you achieve the best cooking results from your wood fired oven. (Additional charges may apply). For Interstate & Overseas Customers we are only a phone call away. We also run regular cooking classes in our demonstration kitchen in Sydney. Refer to our Cooking Classes page of this website for upcoming classes.
Can you supply accessories I need for my wood fired oven?
At Vesuvio Wood Fired Ovens we have a large range of pizza tools and accessories, ensuring you will have all you need for your oven. Please go to the tools page of this website to see our extensive range.
Benefits of a Vesuvio Residential
- Choice of Pre-Cast Modular or Pre Assembled ovens.
- Presents a spectacular cooking display, adding ambience.
- Low maintenance cooking.
- Cost effective operation with a choice of wood only, gas only or gas/wood combination.
- Fast cooking times – a pizza will cook to perfection in 2-3 minutes.
- Ability to cook an array of different foods – from pizzas to your complete menu.
- Enhanced flavours – your customers will love the Versatility – ability to utilise different cooking methods; baking, braising, stewing, sautéing, grilling, moking, roasting, searing in juices, maintaining moisture & flavour, preventing food from drying.
- Extremely durable and – built to last.
- Made in and fully imported from Italy.
- Easy to install.
- 3 year manufacturer’s warranty.