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Naples Pizza Ovens

Naples pizza ovens are their own sub-category under Commercial Pizza Oven. These ovens are synonymous with the Pizza Napoletana they are famous for producing at the well-know pizzerias in Naples and throughout Italy and the rest of the world. You can recognize a Naples pizza oven by its distinctive dome shape with the chimney set in the center of exterior dome. The dome shape itself is an elliptical arch set on top of vertical walls. Naples ovens are typically finished with small tiles, sometimes in elaborate patterns, and often displaying the name of the pizzeria.

Naples ovens are handmade in Naples by well-known producers, such as Stefano Ferrara, Acunto, Manna Forni, and Forno di Vicino, and others. You can often see the name of the producer in the cast-iron facade the defines the oven opening, landing and vent. The ovens typically range in size from 48-56″ inches, and they are capable of holding massive amounts of heat and producing vast numbers of 60-90 second pizzas. The speed that they make pizzas is one of the reasons you won’t see huge Naples ovens.

90% of Naples ovens use Biscotto stones for the oven floor, made just around the corner in Sorrento, Italy on the Gulf of Naples. Biscotto stones are made with clay and volcanic pumice and ash from nearby Mount Vesuvius, making them very porous and capable of holding the very high 900ºF temperatures required to make Pizza Napoletana. The surface of a Biscotto stone is rough and the material has a very low heat transfer rate, which allows it bake pizzas at high temperatures without burning the pizza bottom.

Naples ovens feature a very low dome, about 65% the radius of the oven floor—far lower and more aggressive than a pizza oven with a hemispherical dome that has a height of 100% of the floor radius. Because the shape of the dome is an ellipse, a shape the contains two focal points, the oven design is more efficient at making pizza. The vent of a Napes oven runs back over the oven dome, helping keep it hot, before turning upward at the center of the exterior dome. Traditional pizza oven vents run vertically upward from the vent set directly over the oven door.

Often you will see mainstream precast pizza oven kit producers, such as Forno Bravo, Valoriani/Mugnaini and Alfa Forni build assembled ovens that look like a Naples oven. These producers build a channel to connect their exterior vent back over the dome, and then tile their facade to mimic the cast iron facade and vent of a true Naples-made oven.

There are a few US companies that make true brick pizza ovens that based on the Naples design, including Forno Piombo, Forno Classico, and Marra Forni.