For the past 10 years, we have been custom designing copper turnkey wood fired ovens. They are entirely handcrafted by our experienced team of ovenbuilders. The copper domes are designed by a world-class sculptor, and are signed by the sculptor to the new owner guaranteeing their quality and authenticity.
These highly unique, custom designed ovens have become our signature series. This series started out as a mobile display unit built on a trailer. Maine Wood Heat traveled around with this display oven to showcase the Le Panyol oven cores at festivals and special events. The copper oven concept turned heads and started to gain attention. Rather than just selling the oven cores, people wanted to buy the entire mobile unit. The demand grew, and soon our ovenbuilders were not only designing more sophisticated ovens on trailers, but also freestanding copper ovens with custom steel stands for both amateur and professional bakers.
Three years ago, we had a few copper turnkey orders a year. Now we are designing a few copper turnkey ovens a month, and are consistently backordered at least three months in advance. We are very proud of this copper series, and our team of ovenbuilders who will be continuing to refine and create new custom designs for our clients to better represent their own unique brands.
Maine Wood Heat has been in business for over 35 years, and has seen the art of wood fired baking take hold here in this country and around the world, from rustic hand built backyard clay ovens to elegant wood fired pizzerias and bakeries sprouting up on busy city streets. With the increase in demand and attractive qualities of our copper oven, we are now noticing somewhat similar copper wood fired ovens being designed by other manufacturers.
We are, of course, flattered that other ovenbuilders admire our design and are replicating the concept. However, we recently had a customer point out a photo of a copper oven they saw, and figured because it was copper, it was designed by our company. Due to this trend, we thought it would be helpful for anyone interested in a Le Panyol copper oven, to know how to distinguish between our original design concept versus the growing number of similar models being released on the market.
One way to tell the original copper oven from the rest is by the Le Panyol seal on the front of the oven. Each oven is also signed by the copper artist with the date the oven was made, and usually features a special insignia requested by the client. By just comparing our copper ovens by eye with other brands, differences in the craftsmanship are clear. The copper ovens are distinguishable by the handcut segments welded together, every joint lined with a melody of colors that shine differently in each shade of light. Our copper artist has over 40 years experience designing innovative and whimsical copper sculptures and selects the finest quality material. He designs the copper domes in a way that allows our clients to care for or polish anyway they want – whether they prefer the rustic weathered look, or a sleek elegant shine.
Our copper domes are always safe to touch even when the oven is fully fired due to the insulative oven core material, proving the copper shell is just one component of this advanced signature design.
The Le Panyol core hidden beneath the copper shell functions much differently than other oven cores on the market and is the heart and soul of the turnkey concept. It’s beautiful inside and out. We chose Le Panyol ovens because we found them to be the most natural and efficient material available for wood fired cooking and baking. The core material, Terre Blanche, is found only in France and is mined from a single quarry. Nothing is added to the material, and nothing is taken away. The material naturally absorbs and retains heat longer, and can get up to temperature faster than other commonly known core material like firebrick, terra cotta, or cold cast refractory.
In addition to the unique semi-insulative, fastest ready-to-serve food, qualities of the Terre Blanche Le Panyol oven cores, beneath our sculpted copper domes we also carefully fit four inches of the highest quality non-toxic high temperature fiberglass insulation blanket. After more than a decade of mobile oven construction we have also learned many tricks about trailer design and internal stabilization and reinforcement of our core materials. Our mobile ovens are outfitted with the best springs for the purpose and typically have a turntable plate under the oven so that the oven can be rotated to any of the four faces. Many of our oven trailers have removable tongues for economy of space and for public safety and for aesthetic presentation purposes when our clients want to show their oven as skirted “float” rather than a trailer.
Underneath our hand-sculpted domes we take special pains to create an effective proprietary skeleton which guarantees that our oven components do not shift from their original position under normal use of the oven and trailer. Inside and outside of our copper oven series, fine craftsmanship, fuel efficiency, food safety and good fun and satisfaction and long oven life to the end user are our clear goals.
It’s great to see other ovenbuilders experimenting with different metals and materials, which raises the bar and invites new ways of thinking about oven design. If you are captivated with the copper oven concept, be sure to examine the craftsmanship of the oven, and also ask about the core components, the material, and the efficiency. If you decide to go with the original copper oven, you can only find it here at Maine Wood Heat Company.