What should I choose if I want both an oven and a grill?

Hello everyone!

This is my first post, and I’ve been digging into this place and online trying to figure out the best option/what I want to do.

I’m basically trying to decide what I want to do. I’ve been looking at the Mattone Cupola and Barile, as well as the Brickwood box.

Ambitious plan for my backyard: I’d like to setup a oven, such as a Mattone Cupola or a Barile, as well as a fire grill, and a fireplace.

Least ambitious is at least getting an oven setup.

The question is what route to take? From my readings it looks like the concrete pour such a cupola provides a quicker burn, as in ready to cook quicker? Is that right?

I’d like to say this will be used for quite a few things, not just pizza. I’d like to do pizza, bread, as well as some meats here and there. So I want that kept in mind when I decide what oven route to go with.

Next thought is the grill, I’ve been looking at the Brickwood box, which looks absolutely amazing! Some people may ask why even do a separate oven if I’m already wanting to do a box. I just feel like I’ll have more room in the oven, not to mention it’s very much a center piece with everything.

I’m just looking for the grill function, so I wouldn’t get the lower oven if I did them both.

I’m just torn on the better route to take

Thoughts/opinions are appreciated!

PS, hope this is OK in this section? Feel free to move if necessary.

Thanks!

Welcome to the Brickwood forums, Chase! What a great question for a first post.

You have options, for sure, and you have a number of different things you want to do. And you want it all to look good.

Each design you mentioned has some merits. I steered away from the Cupolas because they seem a bit less versatile for big bakes. The Barile designs will do much of what you want, but you have to add more insulation and be a little more careful with heat management to bake bread and similar goods. It absolutely will work, though.

I suspect that @BrickWood himself may have some helpful information to share with you about grilling options. I’m flagging him on this message.

Good luck with your decision-making, and I hope that owners of the different designs will speak up for the merits of their builds.

Yeah, there is sooo much to learn when it comes to cooking in this type of environment, and unfortunately most of the information is focused around pizza.

Not that there is anything wrong with pizza at all, I’m sure it’s amazing, it’s just if I’m going to drop some money on something like this I’d like it to be as versatile as possible.

When I originally started looking into this I was just after the a pizza box, but as I started looking more and trying to imagine a setup in my backyard, I’d more like to turn my backyard environment as a whole into something that will have many uses for all different things.

That is where I started expanding into the idea of a fireplace, and the wood based grill.

I still have some work to do on my backyard before I’m ready for all this, but with so much to learn I decided to get started.

Already read the document on the brickwood box, which I noticed was inaccurate in its page references on not having a stove in it. Another reason I’m on this forum lol.

Ugh, I’m not sure why the word stove came into my head. I meant oven. I was reading through the document, and it says for non oven box got to page 150, but there is no page 150…

At this point the big consideration is trying to decide which brickwood oven to go with and the merits between each one.

Here is our new Fire Pit Grill

It’s not on the store yet - but it’s SWEET!

Super easy to build… Inexpensive / common materials from HD / Lowes.

I like it!! Now I would need to decide which would better serve my needs as far as the grill goes.

What are your thoughts on my questions on the oven?

Finished my oven a couple of weeks ago. The number of recipe books available is almost overwhelming, as well as dozens of websites, blogs, YouTube channels, etc. I’ve made some awesome pizzas, sure, but also baked bread, made cookies, and grilled steak. Your versatility is up to you. Enjoy!

That’s what happens. I started out thinking about a simple pizza oven, too. I was frustrated with my indoor oven, which can be set to 550°F and accommodate a pizza steel, but takes over 10 minutes to turn out a Neapolitan-style pie. (And a really good one, I’m told. :slight_smile: )

Once I realized what was possible, I moved from a small cupola to the Barile Grande as our main oven. We are also planning to build the grill that @Brickwood mentions above, and a Brickwood Box (without the oven—the plan definitely exists even if page 150 doesn’t!) is not out of the question for us.

I’d encourage you to look at the galleries. Everyone who has contributed photos is justifiably proud of their builds, and there are a few who have used these designs as a starting point for an integrated patio setup. You can modify the externals on these ovens pretty much however you can imagine them. My understanding is that there are even some stone masons who buy these kits and build backyard dreamscapes for their clients.

The one requirement to keep in mind is that you can do almost anything to the externals. But (whether it’s you or a contractor-mason doing the work), you must follow the design specs for the interiors. They are designed to be built by first-time “Jane and Johnny Homeowner” DIY’ers like most of us here, and they are very forgiving—but if the oven won’t heat up, won’t hold its heat, or the hearth cracks, it’s most likely because the instructions were not followed.

I’m really curious to know what you decide, Chase, and you should know there’s a lot of good folks here who went through that same decision-making process.

And…there’s blogs and Pinterest boards that will educate you about the kinds of cookware, utensils, and racks you need for wood-fired cooking. It turns out that it’s not so very different from indoor kitchen cooking.

A Tuscan grill, hotel pans, some cast iron (maybe), and a few long-handled heavy duty utensils will help. Bread can be baked directly on the hearth, or in ordinary loaf pans because the heat is lower.

@maddox10, I salute you for making cookies! That calls for careful attention to the baking process (so you don’t end up with Butterscorch!).

If you don’t mind me asking what ended up making you switch from the small cupola to Barile Grande?

Not at all. One small factor: I’ve roasted our thanksgiving turkey :turkey: in the gas grill for years. So I wanted an oven that could handle it. That would likely take me to a Barile.

But then when our adult kids heard about this they said “Oh, yeah? Well, how about a Turducken?”* I don’t imagine it’s much larger than the plain turkey. But when I started to think, hmm, side dishes! then I thought “Why limit myself?”

And that’s really the question. We have the space, and the material cost is just a fraction more for the Grande. When I asked myself if I would regret having too small an oven some day, I had to be honest and say, “Yes!”

Like many home construction projects, this is getting built once, and I don’t want to regret a lack of capacity down the road.

Hope this helps!

*Turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. Really.

That is very helpful, something I was considering as well, thanks very much for all of your responses!

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I highly recommend getting some cast iron for your oven. Lodge is my brand of choice, American Made!
I make an amazing chicken in my dutch oven, to go along with the chicken I also make a peach cobbler in my 12" skillet that is unbeatable.
My wife found a deep dish pizza recipe on line that is made in a 12" skillet. I’ve made it 3 times, twice it turned out good and once it turned out superb. It takes a little bit of concentration while cooking, but adds a whole new level to the menu.
The part I like best about cast iron is it heats evenly and cooks slowly, if you want it to.
Fall is the perfect time for a chicken, potatoes, carrots, onion, rosemary and lemon in a cast iron dutch oven placed in the “pizza” oven, kick back and relax for 3 hours while enjoying your favorite fall beverage.
You can’t beat it.

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Thanks! I love cast iron, I use it on my stove inside all the time, (Lodge as well) looks like when this is done I’ll have another purpose for them as well!

I was reading a pizza recipe the other day making a Chicago style pizza using a large cast iron skillet, looked delish!

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I too am in the planing stage and have done lots and lots of “research” b y the meaning looking at countless pictures and settled on something like this:

in broad terms. I will modify the overall looks and the grill but as a general idea this is what I intend to build. Like you I also wish for that multi purpose setup.

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That is very similar to what I’m thinking! I would prefer to have a fireplace in there as well just for when I just want a fire.

I assume that grill has an opening in the back to load fire/clean it out?

That is very similar to my thoughts except I’d like to do white stones as it will go with my overall backyard better.

Thanks for the image you found there though I’ve been trying to find something to show what I’m thinking… My only thing now would be to decide if adding an actual fireplace would be too much.

I too considered the fireplace then I decided against it. For me a firepit will work better as more can sit around it and make smores.
I do not know about the opening in the back but I do not believe it is necessary. Once the fire and embers dies out it can reasonably easily be swept up on a metal dust pan, just in case.
The aesthetics and final dimensions and proportions are a matter of personal choice. I too will modify mine to suit.
I will build the grill myself and add an attachment for hanging a pot and being able to raise or lower it so we can make some real goulash.

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Ahem…

Sadly, at this point that document only works if we want to do the oven inside there. It doesn’t have the pages yet to build it without the oven.

Ah… I was reading this as “an oven and grill”. The BrickWood Box offers the Lower Oven (we shipped one to Eureka, CA today). You need the Lower Oven package in order to bake bread, pizza and more.

I was in the process of creating the BrickWood Box W/OUT the Lower Oven - but I needed to do a hard stop on that and divert my full attention to a different BrickWood Ovens project (which will be revealed later).

But… I did get the drawings done before the hard stop!


NOTES:

  1. Instead of building the hearth slab out of expensive Castable Refractory, you can use standard concrete mix. HUGE money saver! Also… fill the cores w/ concrete mix… not insulation material (as you have nothing to insulate / no lower oven).

  2. I don’t have the full measurements drawn out yet, but the layout pattern is shown below -

  3. The BrickWood Box w/out Smoker Materials List in our Installation Manual is correct & ready to go!


BOTTOM ROW -

START OF SECOND / TOP ROW -

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