Issue Getting the floor hot enough and retaining the floor temp

Hi All,

I recently finished building the Mattone Barile style oven and am looking for advice to get the floor temp high enough. I’ve cooked many pizzas in it but am having trouble getting the floor hot enough and also retaining heat. I can barely cook one pizza before having to move the coals over the floor to reheat. To heat the oven, I have been building a roaring fire to fully heat up the oven for about 1.5-2 hours. I’m lucky if I can get the floor to be at 750 F but it’ll drop down to 500 F pretty quickly and it’s tough to keep the temp up. I followed the build instructions to a tee and am looking for some advice.

Can you show us any pics or images of the hearth construction and oven construction - I need to see how the oven is built.


Of course! I attached some pictures of my build. For the hearth I used a vermiculite + concrete mixture 2” thick. Sand and fire brick for the oven floor. Fire brick, heat stop 50 mortar for the barile then covered with 2” of ceramic fiber blanket and a couple inches of stucco on top of that. I can only seem to post one picture at a time but I’ll try to post others.

Do you have a door &/or damper?

I’m currently building a door now but have not used one yet. I do not have a damper.

Continue firing the oven as normal - there is a learning curve that takes a bit of time to master, but also consider a door and a damper…

The door will prevent heat from escaping out the front of the oven.

And a damper will prevent heat from escaping out of the chimney.

When both are used together, you retain almost all of your oven heat (there will be a gradual cooling off, but this takes hours -

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Hi, Doug, and welcome to the BrickWood forums!

As @BrickWood says, there is a learning curve, but it looks like you have a good build there. I’m sure the finished product looks great built on that foundation.

The damper does make a big difference, certainly for heat retention but also for heat control.

As for keeping the floor hot: build your fire as you have been doing. Before you cook, shift the fire to one side of the oven (not all the way to the back, but to one side near the back). When you are ready to bake a couple of pizzas, use your brush or turning peel (you’ll feel really Neapolitan if you do it that way!) to shift the fire to the other side of the oven. Drop your pies in, make sure you rotate them at least once, pull them out. Repeat for the next batch.

The floor will retain heat, but it needs direct contact with the flame just before you sear those pizzas.

Let us know how it goes; you have a well-built oven there, and we want to help make sure you get great food from it!

Hello Braytondos,
I had the same issue after I built my Mattone Coupal,
I discovered that I was getting rain water, that was seeping in and getting the bricks, sand wet.
I bought a large grill cover, and started covering it when not in use,
and Magic, my floor temp will stay at 700 to 800 for 15 or 20 pizzas,
before I couldnt even get one pizza and the floor would drop 100 degrees
So Just a thought for you


Thank you michaelrph! My pizza oven is not covered and it has rained a lot since I finished building it. I will certainly cover it going forward and hopefully that will help!

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