An 800-degree wood-fired oven gets a New England makeover.
Ultimately, it’s all about function. Nothing cooks like a wood-fired oven. Eight hundred degrees of radiant heat and the penetrating power of wood smoke leave a flavorful mark. But take a look at a Maine Wood Heat Oven and the look is just as impressive: a gleaming copper dome designed by a Maine craftsman sits atop an oven core made of highly reflective white clay. which is found only in Orange, France. “We’ve created a new identity for the traditional Parisian-style bread oven,” says Scott Barden, co-owner of second-generation family company Manwood Heat.
Founded in 1976 by Barden’s parents as a traveling business installing ceramic-masonry heaters, integral to Yankee frugality and self-reliance, Maine Wood Heat has its shop in central Maine. has developed to focus on making wood-fired ovens. of Skowhegan, home to a thriving artist community. The company’s signature products are handmade ovens with copper or steel caps for homes and restaurants. Each built-to-order oven can take up to 25 shop hours for the interior masonry section and three times that for the exterior metalwork.
“The weathered copper facade came from my father’s initial idea,” Barden says. The idea was to get family friend and local metal sculptor Barry Norling to create a template for a copper oven cap. Norling, known locally for his creative copper weather vanes, a staple of New England colonial architecture, still makes most of the company’s copper caps, and signs each one.
At the heart of every Man, the Wood Heat oven is a ceramic core supplied by 174-year-old French oven manufacturer Le Pinault. For maximum cooking, each cover is made from Terre Blanche de Large, a fast-heating white clay that is safe to eat at high temperatures. Kitchen or outdoor ovens are available in different sizes. The most common residential oven is about 33 inches in diameter and costs $14,500, including shipping. What you get: A piece of art that makes 50 pizzas an hour and maintains usable cooking temperatures for days after the last coals are removed.
For Barden, who now focuses mostly on hat design, inspiration is everywhere. Recently, while driving through Midwestern fields, a corn silo gave him the idea to marry fired antique tile and aged steel. At this point it’s just a fantasy: he wants to build it because it’s beautiful. But with the right assembly, he also hopes that it can cook.
Anatomy of a wood-fired oven.
Wood-fired ovens rely on a balance of stored, reflected, and circulating heat to cook food at intense temperatures, directly and indirectly, with live fires or heat that builds up days after the coals are removed. Remains.
1. Pan: 6 inches of mixed material insulation.
2. Flooring: Fired tiles made of food-safe, reflective white clay.
3. Ceramic dome: supplied by Le Panel and made from the same clay as the floor tiles.
4. Dome Cover: A blanket of ceramic wool insulation to trap heat.
5. Cast Iron Firing Door: Regulates combustion and airflow.
6. Metal cap: copper or steel. For sight.
7. Chimney: Copper or steel. If it’s near anything flammable, the insulated pipe is safer.