What comes first, the oven or the door? Really, you could go either way on this one, and it won’t make too much of a difference in your ordering process.
If you already have a pizza oven built, that’s awesome! You can probably start using it right away while you wait for the door. First, you will need to get proper measurements of your opening so you can order the appropriate size door. For existing ovens, clients typically need a “custom” size door because we need to build the arch of the door to fit the curvature of the opening. For existing doors, you will need to send us the template for the door.
The next step is to decide if you want a hinged or freestanding door. This is really personal preference. Many of our clients prefer the versatility of the free standing door, while others prefer the ability to have a more decorative, hinged door which they do not have to lift the weight. Keep in mind - if you want a hinged door that sits inside the opening, it will slightly decrease the opening size.
The freestanding doors are easily removable from the opening of the oven for when it is in use. However, they are also suitable for holding in just a little extra heat if needed. When not in use, the door can be placed back into the opening to prevent birds and other small animals from nesting in the oven and to keep debris out. A few of our clients enjoy using their brick ovens as patio fireplaces, the ability to entirely remove the door allows for this function.
A hinged door is best for ovens that were not properly built from the start. The insulated option will assure the oven retains enough heat to thoroughly and quickly cook your food. Hinged doors can also help keep the smoke from exiting the door opening and staining the brick by redirecting it through the chimney. If you don’t experience this issue, your oven was correctly built and retains the right amount of heat without insulation, but you still want a hinged door, you can add a damper to control and provide airflow. However, a damper is not recommended for indoor ovens as it often serves no purpose and is not double walled. If you have an indoor oven, it should already have an adequate flue installed which eliminates the need for a damper.
If you are waiting to build your oven until after you have the door, you will have more design options for your door. You can decide the shape you want, from rectangle, arched, or full radius and you have much more leeway with dimensions. However, you will have to be much more careful when building your oven as the opening must be made to the size of the door. There is less room for mistake in this case. If you are still building your oven, consider the following. A good rule of thumb is to keep the width of the opening larger than the height; this can help avoid smoke issues. Also, if the oven opening is too small, it can be difficult moving food in and out. This is also a good thing to keep in mind when choosing the type of jamb you want. Plan on building the oven and the opening to adequately fit the food you expect to make in the oven. Remember, you are not limited to just pizzas!