Posted on

Featured Oven- James’ Mezzo 76

Thanks to James for sharing his finished oven design with us! James has had his Mezzo 76 since 2014, but in its core, uninsulated form. After visiting a wood fired cooking course, he was briefed on the benefits of insulating your oven. This included the ability to hold heat for longer, keeping the core oven protected from the elements, and designing the exterior to get the finish you desire.

“In terms of inspiration, I came away from a wood fired oven cooking course and realised that I needed the extra heat retention to take things to the next level.”

The oven was constructed on a concrete worktop with wood running around the exterior and wooden legs. Using the insulation board and at least 150mm of concrete under the oven meant that James could safely place it on wood, without worrying about the danger of heat transferring to the structure .

“The oven sits on a concrete base, housed in timber, with the oven cladded in reclaimed bricks from a section of wall we removed during some building works we had at our house.”

James put these reclaimed bricks to good use for his final design. To achieve this look, he took his Mezzo 76 (bought from us seven years ago!) and purchased the insulation kit upgrade. Insulating the dome meant that the oven could be safely encased in brick. Furthermore, insulating the floor meant that he could put his oven on top of concrete, with a wooden and concrete base underneath.

On insulating his oven, James said “I’m really pleased with the end result – not just for how it looks, but it’s been a game changer as far as the cooking goes. Wish I’d done it sooner!”

Once he’d insulated his oven, he was then free to clad it in brickwork, he chopped the bricks down to size and fit the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, until it all came together for the final design. 

Regarding the build process- “In some ways, the oven designed itself as I had a load of beautiful old world bricks left over from a renovation project on the house, so I thought I’d put them to good use. I used the insulation wool and silicate board from SBOC, referring to some of your guides for taking on a project like this. Once insulated top and bottom, I set to work on carefully bricking the oven. I didn’t quite know exactly how I’d tackle some of the junctions when I started, but just kind of made it up as I went, chopping bricks to fit.” 

As you can see making it up as he went, worked really well for James as he has come out the other side with a bespoke rustic feel oven with custom archway and brick effect. Overall, this has lead to better heat retention, fuel consumption and longevity of his wood fired oven.

Want to have your oven feature next? Get in touch with to share your design