In 1989 Andrea Mugnaini partnered with Italian manufacturer Refrattari Valoriani to import their pizza ovens into the United States. Today Mugnaini manufactures most components of their ovens in the USA, but still imports the Valoriani core oven, which they believe to be best in class for performance and longevity.
Valoriani ovens, (shown left), have a low vaulted dome with expansion joints to direct the flame evenly across the dome and allow it to expand and contract with less stress. The design of the internal venturi exhaust flue is meant to facilitate active damping of the live fire by using the oven door as a damper to lock down a temperature range without putting the fire out or building up smoke. Mugnaini wraps the Valoriani ovens with an insulated skin then places them on a thick refractory tray to enhance heat characteristics.
Mugnaini's catalog encompasses a wide variety of residential and commercial ovens as well as related accessories. Andrea Mugnaini is a teacher and pizza oven evangelist who regularly conducts classes to demystify this ancient art at her facility in Headsburg, CA.
Mugnaini's Medio 110 Barrel Outdoor Oven is an imported Italian Valoriani refractory oven wrapped in insulation and a stucco finish that may be colored and/or decorated. The Medio 110 Barrel is one of Mugnaini's most popular freestanding residential ovens. It rests on a thick refractory tray and painted metal stand with a wood storage shelf at the bottom. At 2800 pounds with 1520 square inches of oven floor, Mugnaini considers it lightweight but large.
Heavy refractory ovens take some time to heat up and cool down. Mugnaini feels the Valoriani core oven design allows for superior heat control, particularly when damping down the fire with the painted steel door to hold temps: a process that can sometimes kill the heat and/or produce heavy smoke.
Medio Barrel comes with a brass floor brush, wood pizza peel, stainless steel pizza peel and branded IR thermometer for monitoring floor and oven temps. Muganaini wisely doesn't include an inaccurate bi-metal heat indicator stuck in the dome away from the cook surface.
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