How are Grand-Mère wood-fired ovens made?
Building an authentic wood-fired oven is a lot like making a good dish. To succeed, you need the very best ingredients and passionate craftsmen with unique skills.
Here we take a look at some of the facets of Grand-Mère oven making, combining tradition and innovation.
Robust materials for wood-fired ovens that stand the test of time
To build a Grand-Mère wood-fired oven, we use materials produced 100% in France by the best suppliers.
Refractory chamotte, the essential ingredient of all our ovens .
his is a refractory material which stores the heat released by the combustion of the wood before returning it very slowly.
All Grand-Mère ovens are made from 100% refractory chamotte, a clay baked and finely crushed in France. Our workers then mix this chamotte with water and aluminous cement to form a kind of malleable paste: refractory concrete.
Finally, stainless steel fibres are incorporated into the refractory concrete. It is this concrete reinforced with refractory chamotte that gives our ovens their durable non-cracking structure, even if the name suggests otherwise.
After being cast in a mould, the structure of the furnace is finished and then brushed by hand.
Terracotta brick: power and authenticity
Most Grand-Mère ovens are available in 2 versions: brick vault or refractory chamotte vault. If our chamotte ovens are very efficient, the brick-built vaults offer incomparable charm while improving the refractory qualities and longevity of the oven.
We only use bricks manufactured in France from a supplier with an EPV certificate, Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant - Living Craft Enterprise. For a perfect fit each time, we manually cut the bricks before joining them, always by hand!
For impeccable aesthetics, we dress our bricks in a way that is unique to us, reproducing the appearance of the ovens of the past with their beautiful stretcher and header brickwork. In these old ovens, you see the shortest and most attractive side of the brick - the "tip". This exclusive know-how gives our ovens the inimitable appearance and qualities of a traditional brick oven.
Efficient insulators for optimal inertia
To ensure that our ovens remain hot for a long time without heat loss, we mainly use 3 insulators all manufactured in France:
- vermiculite, a light and natural eco-material, close to the mica family.
- perlite, an ecological sand of volcanic origin.
- high temperature mineral wool. 6cm of mineral wool retains heat as well as 60cm of sand !
A unique touch and 100% French production
Since 1979, Grand-Mère ovens have been committed to excellence. But even exceptional materials are nothing without the know-how of our workers.
Traditional artisanal craftsmanship
All our ovens are 100% made in France in our workshops in Vosges, from the production of the chamotte to painting the cover hoods. It was a very demanding decision, but we made it since every operation and every detail matters when you want to create an oven of excellence.
In our workshop in Vosges, a dozen highly devoted workers build about 600 ovens each year. Thus we are able to keep rare and unique know-how alive for the world. For example, we are the only company to manufacture hand-made bricked ovens in kit form. Visitors are often surprised to see that most operations are performed by hand. There are hardly any machines in our workshops!
Four Grand-Mère: " living heritage company"
In 2020, the french state awarded Four Grand-Mère the prestigious label "the living heritage company". This EPV label rewards companies for the high excellence of their production skills and unrivaled Know-How.
For 40 years, Four Grand-Mère has been concerned about quality in terms of the manufacture of its ovens and therefore developed exclusive techniques and know-how in order to achieve its objectives. This explains why it has been awarded this label.
Our unique know-how concerns several products i.e:
- The manually manufacturing of brick ovens made of several pre-assembled parts, easy to assemble
- Lowered vaults, no stonework is required, neither for big ovens in the bakery range
- Rotaring ovens with rotating plates : regular baking without any handling of the pizza
- Wood fired ovens for the food-processing industry
The strength of innovation for ever more efficient ovens
At Four Grand-Mère, we are proud to combine tradition and innovation. Our design office can offer bespoke ovens, adapted to the needs of everyone, including customers who demand more and more from their oven:
lightweight ovens for trucks
wood-gas burning ovens with touch interface
Did you know that Fours Grand-Mère produced a 9-tonne wood-fired oven with a rotating tunnel that can cook up to 1,800 pizzas an hour for a giant in the food industry?
Has this presentation inspired you to take a closer look at our wood-fired ovens? Don't forget to book a visit ! We are happy to welcome private individuals and professionals to our workshop and showroom in Jeanménil, between Saint-Dié-des-Vosges and Épinal.