Forninox Technology – Stainless-steel and refractory wood-burning ovens.
Continuous improvement through constant investment in research and innovation has been a pillar of Alfa from day one. Forninox™ technology is arguably our jewel in the crown; we patented it ten years ago and since then it has enabled us to manufacture high-octane STAINLESS-steel and refractory wood-fired ovens, combining the advantages of both materials.
Here you can learn about the technology that allowed us to become market leaders. Whether it is commercial pizza ovens or high-performance home ones, whether it is wood-fired, gas-fired or electric, Alfa innovatively mixes steel with refractory materials to deliver top-notch ovens.
The Forninox™ technology
The Forninox™ technology combines the excellent physical and thermal properties of steel and those of refractory bricks, the materials used to manufacture traditional wood-burning ovens.
Alfa ovens, built on Forninox™ technology, reach the same temperature as traditional wood-fired ones but in a much shorter time.
The steel structure is specially designed to withstand thermal and mechanical stress due to the high temperature of the oven. The three-layer ceramic fibre dome insulation allows the temperature to rise quickly and to retain heat longer, thus cutting down fuel consumption.
The base and the inside of the cooking chamber are made with the best refractory materials so that the oven accumulates heat and gradually releases it to deliver perfectly baked dishes.
This innovation made it possible to manufacture high-performing ovens particularly appreciated by pizza chefs who experienced their advantages first-hand.
That’s why today most of our ovens, including the domestic ones, share this technology: to give all pizza buffs the chance to bake a real pizzeria-quality margherita at home. Just remember that there’s no shortage of traditional brick ovens in the wide range of Alfa products.
The Forninox™ patent has lately turned 10, reaching a milestone that highlights the great attention we pay to the design of our STAINLESS-steel wood-fired ovens, to the relentless search for the best materials and to the implementation of continuous innovation with the purpose of producing great cooking machines for home or business use.
Our technology clearly inspired some of our competitors that tried to market similar solutions but that couldn’t come close to offering the very same performances guaranteed by Alfa ovens.
Alfa high-performance ovens are the result of the development of more efficient structures as well as the use of top-quality materials. Let’s go into some more details.
Continuous innovation is the key to Alfa ovens’ success.
The Forninox™ technology is just a step in our path of continuous innovation to keep on producing high-performance STAINLESS-steel wood-burning ovens.
But in Alfa, innovation is not the end but a new beginning.
That’s the reason we have recently backed up the Forninox™ patent with a brand-new process that improves the performance of our ovens: the FlueSystem™ patent that allows air to circulate better inside the cooking chamber.
Alfa ovens are simply the best choice for professional and amateur cooks all over the world because they are first-rate, easy-to-use cooking machines to bake succulent pizzas, among other things.
The advantages of STAINLESS-steel and refractory wood-fired ovens.
Blending stainless-steel and refractories has been a game changer for making highly efficient ovens capable of solving the everyday problems of professional and amateur pizza makers.
In a few words, here are the main benefits of an oven built with Forninox™ technology:
Alfa ovens reach the good temperature to bake Neapolitan pizza in much less time than traditional ones. To explain it in more detail, the time required to raise the oven temperature depends on two factors: the way you manage the fire and the size of the oven. Fire and size being equal, the Forninox™ technology allows you to heat up the oven in a few minutes compared to at least two hours for standard appliances.
In Alfa ovens the temperature not only rises quickly but it is maintained longer thanks to the super combination of STAINLESS-steel and refractories. As a result, they will pay you back handsomely in fuel efficiency whether they be wood-fired, gas-fired, electric or hybrid (wood + gas) ovens.
Due to the quality of the materials and the attention to detail, Alfa ovens are designed to last a long time and guarantee stellar performances along the way without the need of expensive maintenance.
All Alfa ovens built with the Forninox™ technology are available in a mobile version to look great on every occasion.
For example, by moving them to the restaurant terrace where they can turn it into a bit of a hook to pull in customers.
It is always love at first sight when you meet an Alfa oven! The elegant lines, the sheen of the stainless-steel make it a plush piece of furniture to turn your space into a cosy kitchen you’ll want to spend time in.
The double powder coating protects the oven against the bad weather and allows you to use it outdoors year- round. Ideal to add an outdoor kitchen to your home or to put on a cooking show.
Alfa ovens are ready to use. Just put them onto the base and insert the flue. You can choose between built-in or free-standing models to meet your every need.
Quality starts with the materials
We have introduced this innovation to answer the needs of users who want to keep on cooking with a wood-fired oven but in a more convenient and faster way and we achieved this by greatly reducing the heating-up time and the overall fuel consumption compared to traditional ovens. Combining two high heat capacity materials, namely stainless-steel and refractory brick, just did the trick.
The Alfa firebrick
Alfa has manufactured traditional wood-burning ovens since the 70s using refractory materials produced in-house. The experience and skills gained over many years of R&D have been put to good use to deliver high-performing, solid and long-lasting wood-fired ovens that please lovers of traditional cooking with a penchant for modern rustic style.
The traditional wood-burning oven must be lit and tended to at least two hours before cooking so that a bed of red-hot embers will heat up the cooking chamber and the floor, more effectively than the flame could do.
This process occurs because the refractory material is a very good thermal insulator which absorbs heat gradually and slowly. This slowness could be considered a disadvantage but when all is said and done, instead it allows to maintain a temperature around 500°C for a long time to bake for instance a genuine Neapolitan pizza in 60-90 seconds. The heat is accumulated and released little by little which means that larger ovens can bake hundreds of pizzas in a few hours by adding some pieces of wood to the fire in the meantime.
Alfa’s refractories are among the best on the market because they contain high amounts of alumina (aluminium oxide), a substance that stands out for its good insulating capability, low electrical conductivity and high resistance to acids.
Furthermore, for Alfa ovens built on Forninox™ technology, a layer of Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) is added in order to enhance the insulating capability, the energy efficiency and to stabilize temperatures to guarantee a more precise cooking.
The steel in Alfa’s wood-fired ovens.
As we mentioned before, Alfa’s breakthrough innovation is the Forninox™ technology that consists in using the stainless-steel along with the refractories.
Steel is not suitable for the manufacturing of wood-burning ovens because it can’t withstand the thermal strains to which these appliances are subject. Back in the day, gas-fired ovens hardly reached 250-300°C so that wasn’t a problem at all, but nowadays appliances can easily hit 500°C and steel could be deformed or even pierced with all ensuing consequences.
So, Alfa came up with the idea to combine different types of steel and refractory materials to make the oven structure and dome.
As a result, the most used steel to manufacture the external parts is type 304 also known as 18/10 stainless-steel, mainly used for building commercial kitchen because it’s easy to clean and highly rust-resistant.
Then, it is blended with grade 253 stainless-steel that can withstand temperatures above 1 100°C to coat the inside of the dome, that is the part that comes in contact with the cooking chamber, to enhance the overall insulating capability.
To make the combustion chamber of the household ovens, we prefer using type 441 stainless-steel that contains titanium to increase sturdiness and longevity.
Steel also has the non-negligible quality of lightness, that has enabled us to produce high-performing, easy to move and robust wood-burning ovens.
The product that best exemplifies these characteristics is undoubtedly the ONE oven that weighs only 50 kg.
This home wood or gas-fired oven can reach 500° in just 15 minutes and perfectly fits the needs of foodies even when space is in short supply.