The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

conversion of outdoor fireplace?

ltews's picture

conversion of outdoor fireplace?

We're purchasing a home that has an outdoor fireplace and we both would like to convert it if possible to a pizza oven.  Can anyone provide sites that show conversions and how to do it if at all possible.  Thanks!

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

A fireplace and a wood fired oven are really far apart in their design as well as function.  It would be like converting a motorcycle into a pickup truck. You can do it but it will cost you four times as much.  I recommend that you find a good place for your WFO and build new then sit and enjoy your bounty in front of your fireplace.


ClimbHi's picture

A WFO is based on entirely different concepts than a fireplace. Primarily, a WFO's flue is outside/in front of the burning chamber, not inside/above it like a fireplace. It's also designed to soak up and retain the heat, not radiate it out like a fireplace. I have a friend (who should know better) who uses WFOs in his business. He recently built a WFO with the flue opening inside and at the top of the fire chamber -- didn't work very well and he regreted it.

Recently, I visited the home of Paul Revere in Boston. There is a WFO/fireplace combination in the home. I asked the docent if I could check it out up close and she let me. The WFO, was built into the back wall of the large (almost walk-in) fireplace so the smoke could exit the oven chamber into the fireplace and go up the fireplace flue. However, it was totally seperate from the fireplace otherwise, i.e., you couldn't heat the oven with the fireplace fire -- you had to build the fire in the WFO as is normally done.

I'd plan on a seperate WFO. You MIGHT be able to vent the WFO into the fireplace flue, but lots of potential problems with that as well.

Pittsburgh, PA