Can I use Pre-Mixed High-Temp Mortar on a Mattone Barile Grande fire brick pizza oven kit?

I see the note to “NEVER USE A HIGH-TEMP MORTAR FROM A PAIL OR BUCKET!”. What is the reason for this. My local store (High Temp Inc. in Portland, OR) sells a pre-mixed mortar that I’d like to use. Any reason this wouldn’t work?

Hi Justin, and welcome to the BrickWood forum.

@BrickWood is very specific on this subject. He says that liquid-form mortar will remain soft in this application, and that you must not use it.

However, I followed the link you provided and read the description on their Web site. While I believe them when they say it “works flawlessly as a fire brick mortar in kilns, forges and even pizza ovens,” I don’t see a data sheet or detailed specifications for it, just that it’s rated up to 3,200°F.

I’m going to hang out the “wiser heads needed” signal and ask @BrickWood to weigh in on this. I know that both the convenience and the cost look tempting, but I’d wait for his opinion on it—because I’ll trade both convenience AND cost for an oven that works.

Thank you for bringing up this VERY important question & thanks to @bikerbudmatt for flagging this message.

I really need to sit down w/ a hot cup of Woods Coffee and spend a couple of hours on this one question. But right now I’m tapped for time, so I’m going to give you a list of Pro’s / Con’s of pre-mixed High Temp Mortar, until I get a chance to spend the proper amount of time that this question deserves.

The following is my experience w/ Sairset by Harbison Walker International

PROS:

  • Fairly Priced - Bucket or Pail
  • Excellent Heat Retention characteristics
  • Perfectly Blended - No Guesswork
  • Great Texture / Workability

CONS:

  • Non-Water Soluble (Breaks down / crumbles if it gets wet)
  • Can only be used for THIN mortar joints (no more than 1/8").
  • Mortar does not harden until it has been fired (mortar touches fire for a specific time period). And the slightest movement can crack those soft mortar joints.
  • Can’t support weight! If you place this mortar between two bricks or blocks, the mortar will squeeze out like ketchup under a heavy hamburger bun.
  • There are a few more cons… and I’ll add these at a later date. But you have enough now to realize that you DO NOT want to use pre-mixed mortar to build a Mattone Barile or Mattone Barile Grande pizza oven.

  1. DO NOT USE PRE-MIXED HIGH TEMPERATURE MORTAR ON ANY PRODUCT FROM BRICKWOOD OVENS!

  2. ONLY USE DRY HIGH-TEMP MORTAR THAT COMES IN A BAG.

  3. SAVE A TON OF DOUGH BY MAKING YOUR OWN HIGH-TEMP MORTAR WITH A NEAR-PERFECT TRACK RECORD!

https://forum.brickwoodovens.com/t/how-to-make-high-temperature-mortar-with-a-low-cost-4-material-blend-silica-sand-portland-cement-fireclay-and-lime

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