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  • seashells for retaining heat in oven

    May everyone have a prosperous new year,,,,

    Has anyone heard of using clam shells and or oyster shells for retaining heat in oven to maintain a stable temp. ????? somewhere I read about placing shells after firing the oven to maintain heat, something about the shell heating up and staying hot to keep heat stable. I believe they are used in indoor cast iron stoves to keep it hot, without using so much wood,, anyone heard of this???????? :rolleyes


    Phil

  • #2
    Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

    Don't know about sea shells...

    The (free) plans here at fornobravo incorporate mass in the construction in a way that is designed to rapidly absorb & hold the heat. We use firebricks.

    Go to the Fornobravo store (top right corner of this page). Then, click on ebooks and CD's well down in the left column.

    When you get there, pretend to 'buy' the plans (they are free). Put them in your cart, and proceed to buy them.

    Follow the instructions, download the oven plans and study them at length....That is the secret to success.
    Last edited by Lburou; 12-30-2010, 09:11 AM.
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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    • #3
      Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

      don't missunderstant me what I mean is, to maintain heat in an oven while cooking in a pizza oven,instead of having to add wood to maintain high heat, I already have a brick oven built from forno bravo plans, and it works great thank you, just trying to find alternate fuel sources.

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      • #4
        Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

        If they absorb and release heat I do not see why they would not work. You could get the same result by stacking fire brick in the oven. I do not have a clue about sea shells although it is an interesting idea.

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        • #5
          Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

          Originally posted by MAVANO View Post
          don't missunderstant me what I mean is, to maintain heat in an oven while cooking in a pizza oven,instead of having to add wood to maintain high heat, I already have a brick oven built from forno bravo plans, and it works great thank you, just trying to find alternate fuel sources.
          Glad to hear it

          Still, it sounds pretty far out there, unless all you have is sea shells....Then, it would make sense.
          Lee B.
          DFW area, Texas, USA

          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
          Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
          An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

            I can't believe they would do much. There is not much mass to a sea shell, I think they would be prone to heating up quickly and getting very hot, but would release the heat just as quickly. Unless you were to stack a very large quantity within your oven I don't see how they would retain much; might as well throw in the extra firebricks.
            You have to remember, the primary heat loss while cooking pizza is through the entry, you are not using a door. Like everything there are trade offs. If you want the best pizza, cook with the door off, and keep a small fire off to one side or in the back. The fire not only keeps the temp in the butter zone, but it also creates that rolling radiant heat that cooks the top of the pizza at roughly the same rate as the bottom. Simply adding another heat sink is not going replace the heat loss out of the entry, nor will it give that rolling radiant effect. Whether you are using wood, gas, coal, whatever, due to the heat loss you are going to have to replenish the fuel/heat source (fire) to stay where you want to be.
            Retained heat cooking with no fire and the door closed is another matter.........

            If you have the shells, what the hey, give it a try; just don't expect to drastically cut your wood consumption.

            RT

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            • #7
              Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

              I have heard of people putting in a couple of car axles, this is the same principle. Use something really dense to store more heat. The trouble is that it takes up cooking space, probably easier to maintain a fire on the side which also gives you an oven light. i prefer to leave the axles in my car where they are more useful.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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              • #8
                Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                Put them back in the ocean.

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                • #9
                  Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                  What, the axles?
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                  • #10
                    Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                    It sounds like the shells would act as an insulator the same way ashes do. I think it was Windage that described putting ashes around the inside perimeter of the oven floor to slow down heat loss in his giant oven. The shells will certainly NOT add any energy to the oven. There is nothing to burn. Sea shells have been used for many different purposes over the years. Thomas Jefferson used them for path-ways at his home in Virginia, Monticello. They have an illuminating property that sort of glows in the moon-light. And of course, tennis courts. Bugeetees is what we call it here in RP. Crushed sea shells have been used for decades as a tennis playing surface. It's much like European red clay. But as an energy source, forget it.
                    Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443

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                    • #11
                      Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                      My late father-in-law, an MIT grad and heat-transfer specialist kept on telling me - you can't get heat out of anything unless you put the heat in first. If you want increased residual heat, engineer more thermal mass into your dome and floor.

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                      • #12
                        Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                        Exactly, you have to have a heat source for a certain period of time. Once you have achieved your goal temp and the mass is saturated, you can then work off of that heat. More mass means a longer cooking time (provided you have also followed the mantra - insulate, Insulate, INSULATE).
                        As for using less fuel (wood in this case), I don't see how that is possible. As I mentioned before, pizza is cooked in the most inefficient manor - no door, great heat loss, but the result is the best pizza. If you are going to do pizza without fire or at least coals, you might as well buy a $50 pizza stone and use your gas or electic oven.

                        Roasting or baking is the most efficient with an insulated door in place, no fire. More mass is beneficial and leads to longer bakes, BUT, you have to have fire long enough to saturate the mass. More mass to saturate = more fuel. You would not be adding more wood during the baking process as the original post suggests, the fire and coals would be removed for baking.

                        Personally, I don't think my wood consumption is excessive. Once up to pizza temp I only use 1 log or split (roughly 2 1/2" diameter) for every 2 pizzas. That is on a slow night where I am socializing (eating and drinking too) in between building the pies. If we go for producton it is 4 or 5 pizzas per each additional log.

                        RT

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                        • #13
                          Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                          ok ok ok---- just a thought I had,(mind fart excuse me) with all these left over clams and oyster (Christmass dinner) shells its a shame that all these shells will go to the garbage hill, got to be a good use for them,,,, too much vino rosso )))

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                          • #14
                            Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                            Like I said in my first post, it is worth a try. The masses may be wrong. Since you have them and they are headed to the trash anyway, go for it. I do have one suggestion, seems appropriate to try a seafood pizza for your test.

                            RT

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                            • #15
                              Re: seashells for retaining heat in oven

                              Thanks for the replies to all
                              Pizza in the WFO!!!!! its too cold I would love it but the thought of the wet and cold outdoors,,, not my favorite thing,,I would love it if only a little warmer,
                              seafood is not favorable in the summer but I will give it a shot one summer day.
                              As for the shells, I was thinking of more for bread baking to keep more heat in the oven longer without saturating the mass so much, just thinking out loud

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