After commercially baking in a large Alan Scott wood-fired oven for a few years, a few things became apparent to me. First, you can’t beat the bake quality of a well-engineered wood-fired brick oven. The combination of convection, conductive, and radiant heat makes for an ideal environment for many styles of baking. Second, to state the obvious, a brick oven is heavy and inherently immobile.
I set out to build an oven that could have all the benefits of a well-designed brick oven yet still be portable. Research brought me to William Davenport and Turtle Rock Masonry in VT. William had built a series of mobile ovens, but was no longer building them at that time. With his permission, I adapted his design, made a few changes, and with the help of Lehner Masonry of West Falls, NY, built the oven pictured below.
Not pictured above are the layers of rock wool insulation and a foil-backed thermal blanket that cover the vaulted brick arch, applied before the steel housing was attached.
After four years and 400 miles, there are a few cracks in the firebrick, but overall it’s holding up very well. It still bakes an amazing loaf of bread, bagels, and pizza. Weighing in at close to 6,000lbs, it tows quite nicely — when I’m not in a hurry.