Mattone Barile Grande Prevailing Wind and Orientation

I’m in the early planning stages of my landscape plan for rear yard. I want to include the buildout of a Mattone Barile Grande in it. The most suitable suite for it is in an area where the wind commonly travels in a direction that would be blowing into the backside of the oven. Winds are typically breezy at 3-6 mph. The oven would be situated behind a fence with ample shrubbery to mitigate greater wind velocity in the unsheltered areas of the yard. And the oven would be placed four feet from a completely open, but covered patio with a ceiling height of about 9 feet.

The Big Question: With what I just described, how concerned should I be about winds blowing into the backside of the oven and the possibility of it creating a vacuum inside the oven and causing smoke to blow out of the front door. I would hate to have the front side be blemished over time from smoke bellowing out the front door. And I’d hate to have smoke travel into the covered patio area. Any comments, experience and wisdom shared would be greatly appreciated.

Hello, William, and welcome to the BrickWood forums!

The advice about oven orientation used to be that the oven door should be placed facing the prevailing winds for your area.

Over time, @BrickWood pulled back that advice because wind direction is only one factor in what happens to smoke. For what it’s worth, my oven faces West, which arguably is the prevailing wind direction in my area (and I can validate that with records from our rooftop weather station).

What I find is that smoke will come out the front while you’re starting a fire, pretty much no matter what you do. But keep reading…

The two most important factors for your situation are:

  1. Closing the front of the oven. See the directions near the end of the Mattone Barile instructions for how to do that. I’m now convinced that even a small closure, just enough to close off the top of the arch, would benefit any Mattone Barile, even if you want to have a lot of access space at the door. Otherwise, smoke will naturally go out the front and bypass the chimney opening just behind the door.
  2. Ensuring you install the chimney vent/spark arrestor kit as specified. That’s going to be especially important with being so close to the covered patio. The closed front will help channel smoke up through the chimney. I’d think about adding an extension pipe as well to get your exit point higher up, and to promote a better draw through the chimney.

I don’t think you’ll be able to keep smoke totally out of the patio area, but my experience is that a hot burning flame doesn’t smoke very much anyway.

These are initial thoughts and I’m sure others will want to chime in.

Best of luck, and let’s keep a conversation going!

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William,

Havent been on the forum in a while but saw your post and thought I would put in my two cents. I started my oven two years ago last week and followed the directions to a tee. The oven is a gathering spot and we figured we have made over two hundred pizzas to date feeding family and friends. It has been a true joy from the first shovel digging the foundation to the present.
I followed the notion that the door should face the wind and glad I did as it helps with the fire up. With that said your oven is going to get dark above the door no matter what. Thinking about draw I added two additional courses of brick to the chimney and closed off the arch following the plans. Most all of the smoke is at fire up with little smoke with well-seasoned wood once the fire is going. I also added the damper to keep heat in. Works like a charm. We call our oven the beast.
Best of luck with your build,

Tom

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I want to first express a great-full thank you to you guys for responding to my earlier questions and concerns. Your comments were clear and spot on with helping me move forward with including a pizza oven in my yard design plans. I was so happy after reading your comments. However, I’m still in need of some help, but with something different. It concerns the oven’s stove pipe length. First, let me tell you some of facts about my project. Due to the limitations of the size of my yard, the fact that my lot is pie shaped and that there’s a strong commitment to a few other fun features in the yard plan, the best location for the oven is in close proximity to an open covered patio. The oven will be set 5 ft. from the perimeter line (the width side) of the structure’s footprint. The nearest part of the structure would be much further than that as that would be a facia board. The size of covered structure is 12 ft. x 16 ft. and it will have a “hip styled roof”. This ceiling will be flat at about 9 ft in height (perhaps a little higher). I’m not sure what the height at the roof’s peak from the patio floor will be, but I’m guessing it’ll be about 10 1/2 ft. I don’t know what the pitch ranges could be for this application. The oven will be centered off the roof’s ridge line, again 5 ft. set from from the footprint perimeter line. I believe all this information is needed to address my SECOND BIG QUESTION: How concerned should I be about the stove pipe height? Does it need to be higher than the roof peak? I’ll likely have a metal roof installed for fire safety reasons. But I’m having difficulty wrapping my brain around whether the flue will have enough draw if it’s below the the peak or even the ceiling height line for that matter. What effect does the stove pipe length play with the risk of smoke blowing into the covered area? Will a tall chimney likely be required to carry a long stove pipe - Might that mean a much larger oven base to proportionately support a taller oven structure? I didn’t see many pics of stoves with tall chimneys/stove pipes. Could a stoutly ceiling fan mitigate some the smoke risks mentioned? And if all of these questions aren’t enough, the biggest one is central to the project’s cost - thinking about everything that might be involved with a longer stove pipe, what might the added cost range be? Please believe me when I tell you your comments are greatly appreciated and I would hope to return the favor to you as well.

Bill

We’re glad to help, Bill, and I know there’s others on this forum who have built under the kinds of space constraints you mention.

For your specific questions about placing the cap of your chimney above a roof line—this has all been invented before, with wood-burning stoves. My 92 year old mom in the North Country, for example, heats primarily with a wood-burner in her front room. The pipe goes up through a standard asphalt-shingle roof and there has never been a problem with it. The caveat, though, is that such pipes must be maintained regularly to avoid the possibility of a chimney fire.

You are unlikely ever to fire your oven often enough to run into the need for annual maintenance of a stove pipe.

If it were me, I’d consult with a local wood stove dealer who can tell you both what your local fire codes have to say about stove chimneys, and (provided you bring along the instructions!) can set you up with a double-walled venting system that will take your smoke up from the oven and safely through your roof structure.

I would not try to jury-rig or cobble a system together from parts you obtain on the Web. You need someone who has years of experience with your specific kind of application. You want, not only the structure to be safe, but you, your family, and your guests to be safe as well.

Keep us posted, Bill!