Adding a wood fired pizza oven to your indoor kitchen?
While a residential pizza oven is a great addition for enjoying traditional cooking, you should be aware of additional considerations when installing indoors.
Every indoor pizza oven installation will be different depending on your residence structure and your geographical location so make sure that your installation complies with your local building codes. The first step when considering purchasing an indoor pizza oven is to determine if there are any certifications needed for the pizza oven.
We recommend contacting your local building department or inspector for requirements specific to your area before purchasing or installing your new oven. Your local inspector will be comparing your installation to your manufacturer's specification guidelines so if your oven does not come with any specifications, you may not be able to install in your home.
With that said, below are some standard guidelines and best practices when installing an indoor wood fired pizza oven.
When installing an oven indoors, it is essential to maintain appropriate clearances away from any combustible materials. A major cause of oven-related fires is a failure to maintain required clearances to combustible material.
Just to give you a generic reference, safe clearances for your wood-fired oven are often recommended as follows:
1. Provide at least 30" to each side, and 36" in front of the door opening.
2. Provide 18" top clearance from the top of the oven to combustible building materials.
3. Provide 10" clearance from the back of the oven to combustible building materials.
4. Provide 30" bottom clearance from the bottom of the oven to combustible building materials.
5. Install only non-combustible facade materials 6 inches to either side of and above the doorway. Generally, non-combustible cement board is used as facing material while standard drywall and sheetrock are considered a combustible and should not be used.
6. Provide non-combustible floor surface extending 36 inches in front of, and 30 inches to either side of, the door. As with any cooking equipment, we suggest choosing appropriate surfaces in front of the oven to protect the floor from potential damage from hot, heavy items that may be removed from the cooking chamber.
7. Build any non-combustible mantel above your wood fired oven using non-combustible materials.
Although these may be typical recommendations, it’s your responsibility to ensure your installation meets any building regulations and any manufacturer’s recommendations outlined in the manufacturer’s installation manual.
Ventilation With Range Hoods
Excellent ventilation for your pizza oven is a priority. A powerful range hood can ensure that your kitchen won't be consumed by smoke, strong odors, or soot covering your walls, ceiling, and cabinets.
To find the best range hood, all you need to do is follow these six tips and you’ll be well on your way to a clean and fresh kitchen.
1. Look for a ducted range hood.
It’s essential to consider ducted range hoods to accompany your pizza oven, not ductless. Ducted hoods move all the smoke and contaminants out of your cooking space, ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment. When installing ducted range hoods, also think about integrating safety measures such as the Milcor ATR Fire Resistant Steel Access Door. This access door provides secure and easy access to essential components while ensuring the fire-resistant integrity of your kitchen, which is crucial when dealing with high-temperature appliances like pizza ovens.
In contrast, a ductless hood merely moves the air through charcoal filters and recirculates it back into the kitchen. This cleans the air a little bit and neutralizes some odors. But, you’re dealing with a pizza oven that’s often running at 500º or more. So, you’ll want a hood that completely evacuates the smoke.
2. Consider a hood with at least 1200+ CFM.
Because you’re dealing with a high-powered pizza oven, you’ll need a hood to match that power. That means a high CFM or cubic feet per minute. This measures the amount of air your hood moves in one minute.
To vent all the smoke and contaminants produced by your pizza oven, you’ll want a hood that pulls at least 1200 CFM of air.
3. Consider a hood with stainless steel baffle filters.
Stainless steel baffle filters are some of the most efficient filters on the market at capturing grease and dirt from your kitchen air.
If you’re cooking pizzas, heavy smoke will be moving through your hood. That means the grease will build up quickly. You’ll want filters that can handle it.
Stainless steel baffle filters will catch more grease than mesh filters. Not to mention that they’re dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning.
4. Size the hood between 12 and 24 inches larger than your pizza oven.
You might be thinking: why can’t I just buy a hood that is the same size as my pizza oven? Well, a hood that size won’t provide enough coverage of your cooktop. A lot of smoke will escape past the hood and remain in your kitchen.
But, a hood between 12 and 24 inches larger than your pizza oven is more than enough coverage to capture all the heavy smoke.
For example, if you have a 36” pizza oven, consider a 48” to 60” range hood.
Depending on your setup, the hood may have to vent smoke from a kitchen range and your pizza oven. So, the larger the hood, the better!
5. Make sure that your duct is large enough to move all the greasy air and smoke out of your outdoor kitchen.
Finding a powerful hood is important, but if your duct is too small, the power won’t matter.
In other words, the range hood can pull a heavy amount of air. But, if all that air can’t fit through the duct, then your hood won’t run efficiently. This can also lead to unwanted grease buildup which reduces the life of your hood in the long run.
To ensure your hood runs as long as possible, follow the duct sizing chart above.
Note: You can use a larger duct than the CFM requires – in fact, it’s recommended. But just make sure that you don’t end up with a duct that is too small.
6. Look for a hood built with durable stainless steel that can withstand heavy smoke and heat.
The last thing to consider is the type of stainless steel. Some hoods are built with a more durable, weather-resistant stainless steel material that’s specifically designed for outdoor use.
For example, Proline Range Hoods sells hoods in a durable 304 stainless steel (SS) built for outdoor use. But, you can use 304 SS indoors too. In fact, when you’re cooking with a pizza oven that runs at 500+º, you might consider buying a hood in 304 SS to last longer.
Chimney Flue Clearances
The chimney flue gets extremely hot when in use. If you aren't using a range hood, most inside installations require a UL-certified steel double wall chimney system like those made by Duratech. You should never use any combustible materials near the oven’s flue stack.
A typical recommendation is a minimum 6 inches of air space between the flue or anchor plate and any combustible material. Again, contact your local HVAC company for details, buy only products rated for this use, and check your local building department for local building codes.
Carbon Monoxide Concerns
Venting a wood fired pizza oven is extremely important. Carbon Monoxide is produced when fossil fuels (wood, gas, etc) burn without a good supply of air. If that happens in a room without adequate ventilation, dangerous levels of CO2 can build up. This is why having enough oxygen available for the fire and properly venting your wood-fired oven is so important.
Telltale signs of carbon monoxide emissions may include “black sooty marks” on the wall around stoves, heaters or fires, in addition to smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues and ventilation.
It is always advisable to have someone familiar with gas/wood appliances to go through the installation of your oven to be sure there will be enough oxygen supply and proper venting. To monitor carbon monoxide levels, it is always a good idea to have an audible carbon monoxide detector anywhere a wood-burning appliance is used.
Pizza Oven Stand / Wall Enclosure
It is usually recommended that you construct the supporting stand from metal for interior use. Following all local codes and manufacturer’s guidelines, build the oven wall enclosure of your choice using metal studs and non-combustible wallboard.
As an extra precaution, some installers cover the oven with a fire blanket or use pourable insulation such as "certified asbestos free" vermiculite or perlite to fill any void space not requiring airspace.
Indoor Pizza Oven Installation Summary
To summarize, having a pizza oven is a great addition to your kitchen as long as you have it installed safely and conform to your local building codes.
When cooking with a pizza oven, having a range hood will constantly vent out the oven's smoke. Follow these six tips and your hood will have no problem dealing with the smoke and heat of your pizza oven.
- Look for a ducted range hood.
- Consider a hood with at least 1200+ CFM.
- Consider a hood with stainless steel baffle filters.
- Size the hood between 12 and 24 inches larger than your pizza oven.
- Make sure that your duct is large enough to move all the greasy air and smoke out of your outdoor kitchen.
- Look for a hood built with durable stainless steel.
Note: You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve bought a hood that doesn’t have enough power, durability, or coverage over your cooktop to keep your kitchen air clean and fresh.
If you’re concerned about buying a hood that’s fit to handle your pizza oven, consider a hood with more power, a larger duct, and more coverage over your cooktop. For example, go with a hood that meets the upper end of the requirements:
- 2000 CFM
- 24 inches larger than your pizza oven
Use ducting one size larger than recommended in our chart below
Or, if you aren’t too concerned about the smoke, you can find a hood with the minimum requirements:
- 1200 CFM
- 12 inches larger than your pizza oven
- Match the duct size to your CFM based on the chart
Just make sure first and foremost that your hood ducts to the outside. A ductless hood simply won’t have enough power to vent all the smoke and fumes from your kitchen area.
Stainless steel baffle filters aren’t imperative, but they are efficient at capturing heavy grease in baffles as the greasy air travels outside of your home.
Most important, communicate with your local building department to find out all requirements specific to your area before purchasing or installing your new oven. We have a great selection of certified indoor pizza ovens when you are ready!