Brick Oven Hazard? or Just poor design?

Hi, I am looking for advice from someone who has some knowledge/experience with brick ovens.

I was just visiting a friend who had a backyard addition and decided to added a brick oven to the project. When I saw it, I was confused by two design elements: Chimney in the Center, Mortar between the bricks on oven floor. Are either of these serious issues / hazards?

I had never seen a brick oven with the Chimney in the Center of it. Also, the floor is fire brick, but it has standard mortar between the bricks; I am almost confident that it is not vermiculite or Refractory Fire Clay. I am concerned that instead of a wood burning oven, the mason built a really big rocket stove.

Thanks for any thoughts. (Here is a poor video of the inside)

Standard mortar will chip out faster with thermal shock. Probably not ideal.

I don’t know if the chimney in the center is a good idea. Could affect convection. I guess the questions that I would have are:

How hot does it get throughout the oven during the cook?

How has the pizza tasted?

Does it work in the way he wants?
I mean if it works it works.

1 Like

It is literally brand new (last week) and has not been cured/seasoned yet. So we have yet to see it in action.

I have never seen an oven with the chimney in the center, so I was pretty concerned. I was informed that this is a “barrel vault configuration.”

Anyhow, thanks!