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Cook on the Floor - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Cook on the Floor

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  • Cook on the Floor

    I am just finishing curing my oven and was just wondering if people cook on their oven floor or if they cook on top of something like alum foil or something. I guess I assumed I would cook on the floor, but there are obviously ashes all over the floor from the fire, and I am assuming you don't cook on top of the ashes....or do you? What is the best technique for bread and pizza?


  • #2
    Re: Cook on the Floor

    I'm far from being an expert on this (and hopefully some of the experts will chime in), but you are assuming correctly - pizza and bread cook on the floor. The ash gets swept away from the cooking area prior to cooking. If you have not done so already, download the e-books that James makes available on this site. They are really good. They show the tools - shovel and brush - that can be used.

    EDIT: See section 3 of the e-book: Wood-fired Cooking.

    The Forno Bravo site recommends and sells a brass brush for cleaning the ash off the floor prior to putting food in the oven. My local pro cookware shop offers a fiber brush. That seems like it would burn up over time so it might not be a great long term investment. I noticed in a crematory supply company that they offered a stainless steel brush. That might be too abrasive.

    I've heard that some people use parchment paper to transfer pizza/bread into oven but I don't. Cornmeal or semolina rubbed on the peel has been enough to keep my bread from sticking.

    My old grandmother often said "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die" so I wouldn't worry about a bit of ash!
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 07-16-2007, 10:52 AM. Reason: more detail added


    • #3
      Re: Cook on the Floor

      I use a piece of copper water pipe a couple of feet long to blow the ash away from the centre of the floor prior to cooking my fist pizza- works a treat but be careful not to suck. That would really suck !
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


      • #4
        Re: Cook on the Floor

        I like the copper pipe idea.

        Somewhere in the forum it was suggested to use a damp towel on the end of the peel to give the hearth a wipedown after brushing - It works great for me.

        So far, I've have to do it only once per firing - as we have only done about 4 pizzas per firing so far.

        My oven progress -


        • #5
          Re: Cook on the Floor

          Go on get a bit of grits into you.
          I have mentiioned on other replies that when sampling some traditional damper cooked by aboriginals in outback Australia, they mix the flour and water only to make their damper dogh and cook it in the hot white ash of the fire only, no foil, pan or anything. Basically dig shallow hole, put in the 1" thick dogh and cover it with more ash. Lwave for 10 minutes, turn over and cover for another 5 minutes. They then broke of a small twitch of gum leaves from a tree and briushed the hot damper and eat it without grit/dirt/ash.
          I simply push back the coals and sweep the floor with an old bristled banister brush. The newer nylon bristles don't like the heat.
          If you prefer (as my wife did first few times) use a foil or oven bake paper under you pizza or breads.
          Just get in and try the options you will soon establish what suits you.

          Good cooking.

          Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

          The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

          Neillís Pompeiii #1
          Neillís kitchen underway


          • #6
            Re: Cook on the Floor

            Go for the grit. One of the fun parts about these ovens is that you really come in contact with your food, the heat source, the cooking floor, etc. It's great.

            Having a brass brush really is a good idea. You get the floor clean, without scratching it. I'm not a big fan of the damp cloth. I think that works better for bread, where you don't need high heat. My thinking is that you've worked hard getting the floor hot, and you will have to work a little more to keep it hot, so you should avoid taking heat back out.
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