Thanks for a very interesting discussion. Fatguy, I read your "best pizza in NY" and your "best hamburger of New York" articles. Both were out of this world. I would like to chime in on this discussion. Forgive me if I misunderstood some statements , my speed reading is not down pat as of yet. 1. Those homemade bakeovens websites are excellent. The ovens you can build using plans from various people such as allen scott are fantastic-------BREAD OVENS. These ovens have HUGE mass. They are intended to bake simpy with retained heat in it's thick masonry walls and floo. These ovens are capable of retaining so much heat that you can acutally cook bread on monday and a slow cooked pot roast on Wed. They are not meant for pizza, but are perfectly capable of doing so. (pizza ovens do not need such mass, b/c the fire is constintly going. I have built two of these beauts myself. Lot's of fun. 2. Italian pizzas and American pizzas are two different animals. The wood fired ovens of Italy are great for the small, sparsely topped creations of the Italian pizzaiolo, where dining is much, much more relaxed and laid back. The diners are in much less of a hurry. Therefore the limited pizza space in a forno di legno is acceptable. Pizza in the good old USA is a much larger, heavier beast. Americans, rightly or wrongly look for more toppings, more evenly spread about the pizza and sizes of up to 25". A wood oven simply can't handle enough of these monsters. The opening is ,in many cases , to narrow to handle a bunch of Yankee 'zas. Most average sized pizza joints in the usa have 4 deck ovens which can hold 16-24 large(18") pies. These get filled on a busy night of service. Most wood fired ovens, even the largest cannot handle this many pizzas. Don't forget, most pizzerias do at least 40% takeout so even if the place is packed, the ovens are cranking out even more pizzas than the dining room can fit! Pizza in Italy is strictly eaten at the pizzeria. Pizza eaten at home is generally BAKED at home. I agree with FG on this. A gas fired DECK oven is the all around best for American style pizza. While the pizzerias on wooster street in new haven use coal (a lot of pizza places are converted bakeries, and most bakeries used coal at the turn of the century), a rival New Haven landmark uses an OIL fired oven!! Diffferent fuel sources but all use the same principle as the deck oven.