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Precast Pizza Oven Kits

The precast pizza oven kit was originally developed in Italy by Valoriani, located in Regello, Tuscany, Italy. The company was founded in 1890 as a furnace company, and they started making pizza oven kits in the 1960s. That’s a lot of history. In the US, Mugnaini, based in California, starting importing Valoriani ovens under the Mugnaini name in 1989. One criticism of Mugnaini was that the Valoriani ovens were very expensive in the US–much more expensive than the same items in Italy.

At about the same time, Earthstone Ovens became the US distributor for Ephrem, a pizza oven manufacture located in the South of France, and Bread Stone Ovens began importing ovens from Four Grand Mere (Grandmother’s oven) located in Eastern France near the German border.

Forno Bravo starting importing precast pizza oven kits from Alfa Caminetti (now Alfa Forni), located south of Rome, in 2003. After a few years of operating as an importer, Forno Bravo began producing its own precast pizza oven kits manufactured in its own facility in California. There were a few other companies importing precast pizza oven kits from smaller Italian producers, including Wildwood Ovens, Fogazzo, and Los Angeles Oven Works, and a whole host of small US company began producing precast oven kits in the US, including Chicago Brick Ovens (IL), CaliForno (FL), Forno Piombo (CA) and Dome Ovens (FL). And of course there are precast oven kits imported from China.

Precast oven kits typically come in standard size increments, ranging from 24″ to 48″, with models every 4-6″ or so. For example, Forno Bravo has residential ovens that are 24″, 28″, 32″, 36″, 40″ and 44″ rounds. Dome thickness is typically about 2″, though some small models can be 1.5″. The cooking floor is typically firebrick in various dimensions, usually 2″ thick, though some smaller models can be 1.5″. Floor tiles sizes range from standard 4.5×9″ firebricks to 12×12″ and 18×18″ floor tiles. As of the time writing this article, Biscotto di Sorrento is the only company offering Biscotto Stones as an option for DIY oven builders.

Be aware that not all kits offer the same installation accessories. Some kits don’t offer any insulation, while others only offer a small amount, saying you should use vermiculite for the rest. Many kits do not provide a chimney system.

One criticism of precast pizza oven kits is that they are expensive to purchase and ship. Forno Bravo ovens are high quality and their kits provide everything you need to build the oven core, and a 36″ kits costs roughly $3,500 and an additional $500 to ship. A premium Mugnaini Primo 39″ oven kit costs $7,000, plus shipping.

A second criticism of precast pizza oven kits is that they are difficult to install. The buyer needs to build a masonry stand, assemble the oven and then build a waterproof, decorative masonry enclosure. It’s a project that requires a certain level of skill and time, or a relatively high budget to hire a qualified contractor.

Of course precast pizza oven kits are less expensive, when compared with the cost of a fully assembled refractory pizza oven, which can cost $10,000-$15,000, plus expensive and complicated shipping.

If you want a real brick oven, handmade using discrete bricks, read our articles on Brick Oven Kits, Mid-Size Refractory Ovens and Full-Size Residential Brick Ovens.