History of the Modern Brick Oven
The history of brick ovens and pizza-making is often associated with ancient Romans. But they actually existed much earlier than that. Ancient Egyptian tomb scenes dating back to the Old Kingdom (2600BCE) also showed the usage of brick ovens. The ancient Egyptians knew about the benefits of cooking in wood-burning brick ovens which were made with clay that was collected from the banks of the Nile. Later, the Greeks gave the brick ovens their classic “cupola” or round top that they are still known for today.
In Italy, the oldest known predecessors of modern pizza hailed from Sicily (which was at that time ruled by Greece) where 3,000-year-old flatbread remnants and baking tools were found. The ancient Roman philosopher Cato also mentioned “flat rounds of dough dressed with olive oil, herbs, and honey baked on stones” like those served by the ancient Egyptians. It is believed that the ancient Romans and people in all of its territories, including Naples and the modern-day Campania region, ate pizza as an every-day food. The ruins of Pompeii reveal that pizza was made in brick ovens with various tools and many different toppings and was sold at street stands and in bakeries.
The brick ovens in Naples were made with a distinct center dome ventilation system which increased heat retention, reduced fuel costs while providing even temperature distribution. Brick ovens became popular in the Americas during the colonial era when they were used to cook everything. Nowadays, they are widely used in artisanal bakeries and pizzerias, restaurants, and increasingly as small backyard or residential ovens. Wood-burning brick ovens are certified in many cases for the production of true Neapolitan pizza.
Modern manufacturing, design enhancements, and control interface technology are some of the most significant differentiators between ancient brick ovens and modern ones. Since few natural components offer compressive strength, insulative properties, and imperviousness to high temperatures, modern technology helped develop materials that created the commonly used elements of the previous millennia. Style, size, shape, and other factors, however, often remained the same over the years.
At Marra Forni, we pride ourselves on being the manufacturer “Where artisan craftsmanship intersects with technology and innovation. “ Each Marra Forni Commercial Pizza oven is uniquely handcrafted and built, brick by brick, resulting in the industry’s highest quality, most energy-efficient brick oven cooking solution available. Our wide range of traditional Stone Hearth Oven is recognized worldwide for their quality cooking abilities, efficiency, and versatility of design as well as for the cooking solutions that they offer. We provide customizable options as wood-fired, gas-fired, or a combination of wood and gas.
Customers throughout the world can select and customize their ovens by choosing their own an endless variety of beautiful and premium tile and exterior finish options.
Other available features include a built-in façade, oven facing and stand colors, burner placement, internal lighting, and a host of custom features to truly make the oven unique in itself.
Marra Forni was born out of an expressed need and demand for a domestic source of traditional Neapolitan brick ovens, but built to an American Quality and Durability Standard, and including functions and features that were not available at the time. There was a need to combine the customary brick oven techniques with modern technology to create solutions that fit perfectly into today’s modern culinary landscape. And so the process began of designing the brick oven of the future for our future customers.
Engineered specifically to accommodate the high-volume pizza-making of a true pizzaiolo, The Marra Forni Neapolitan is the most versatile, durable, and an easy-to-use brick oven on the market. The Marra Forni Neapolitan Brick Oven is available as either Gas or Wood Burning. Deciding which type of oven to choose is a dilemma that our clients are often faced with. Truth be told, there are advantages to each type of oven, and our sales team can help guide prospective customers through the process.
Marra Forni Wood-burning Ovens are maintenance-free and are a great option for those who are familiar with wood-burning ovens. Pizzeria having experienced operators and owners are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the authenticity that wood-burning ovens provide. Wood burning ovens create the perfect indoor and outdoor ambiance and are used in authentic Neapolitan pizza-making traditions. In the last few decades, wood-burning ovens have become so popular in the United States, that pizzeria that uses them are sought out for the authenticity, quality, and for the flavor of their pizza.
The original rotating deck oven controlled by a touch-screen control. Lower energy usage, simple digital touch screen controls, and an adjustable rotating cooking surface that replaces the need for skilled labor. The Rotator maximizes production efficiency, food quality, and consistency! Recognized and awarded by NRA’s Kitchen Innovations, the unique and optional pass-thru design feature, known as Due Bocche, also makes the Rotator even more functional for kitchens that seek a way to bridge back of house and front of house operations.
The Marra Forni Rotating deck brick oven comes with the most high-tech standard features currently available on the market. In addition to the rotating deck, the Rotator brick oven is highly customizable with an additional Turbo Burner, Integral Exhaust System, Custom Tile Design, and many more options.
Mobile Food Car
This all-in-one electric food cart is a mini kitchen on wheels, and we are proud to say that it is completely green! The electric cart has the ability to reach speeds of up to 25mph and provides a 48v plug-in rechargeable battery powered by a solar panel that makes it a perfectly sustainable mobile solution for country clubs, colleges, universities, and caterers with business in high-density metropolitan areas without leaving any pollution.
The electric brick oven
Another Kitchen Innovation Award-winner. This powerful electric brick oven creates a new category for itself with cooking temperatures up to 1000℉. Heat is evenly distributed throughout the oven, allowing even cooking and baking without the need to rotate. The proprietary MarraStone bricks produce highly efficient heat absorption, retention, and consistent cooking of pizzas, meats, seafood, vegetables, and bread with incredible energy savings. Marra Forni’s Electric Brick Pizza ovens are perfect for places where wood-fired or gas are not allowed!
Our MS 36-36G oven model is built to accommodate the high-volume pizza-making of a true Pizzaiolo. It features a 36” x 36” static cooking deck manufactured using MarraStone proprietary refractory bricks. An additional 4.5 inches of multi-layered insulation in the dome and 8.5 inches in the deck make these compact ovens real work-horses! The oven features an 18” x 9” front opening with a 6” deep front mantle landing area.
Our Model ELMS 25-20 is a powerful Electric Brick oven and able to cook at temperatures as high as 1000°F. This oven cooks Neapolitan pizzas in as little as 45 seconds with the same results as larger full-size wood or gas ovens. As with all of our ovens, our proprietary MarraStone bricks produce highly efficient heat absorption, retention, and consistent cooking of pizzas, meats, seafood, vegetables, and bread.
This countertop model features a 25” x 20” cooking deck. The oven features a 17.45” opening with a 7” front mantle landing area on the opening. All Marra Forni ovens are approved for use with our direct venting systems that can be custom designed based upon your facility requirements.
5. Mobile Trailers
Marra Forni’s mobile brick oven trailers are ideal for local in-town mobile live-fire catering solutions for weddings, banquets, graduation parties, and more. When you can’t get the customer to the restaurant, take the restaurant to the customer! These utility trailers are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to accommodate different sizes of brick ovens. If you’re to expand your operation and increase revenue, our mobile solutions are ideal. Our newest 4’ x 6’ trailer comes already equipped with a Marra Forni model MS 30-36 gas or wood-fired oven. The trailer offers internal storage that can be used for wood, pizza tools, or other supplies. Available in stainless steel or RAL colors.
We look forward to continuing our tradition of taking the culture of brick ovens into a future of endless possibilities.