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Using the Oven in Winter - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Using the Oven in Winter

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  • Using the Oven in Winter

    Hello All:

    I finished my oven in August and when someone asked me, "so, are you going to use this thing all winter," of course I said "yes."

    It's snowing like crazy outside and my wife took a photo of me in front of my oven (the fire just down from plasma) with a pot roast about to go in.

    But let me ask: is there any danger in cracking a cold, cold oven with a fire? Any other things we should worry about with regards to using one's oven in the snow?


  • #2
    Re: Using the Oven in Winter

    I'm not really sure and would also be interested in the answer because we have cold winters too and, like you, I'd like to use my oven all year round.

    What makes sense to me though is to take it a bit easy in bringing the oven up to full heat so there isn't a huge temperature shock when it's still really cold. I know some people on the forum have mentioned using a heater to warm the oven a bit before firing - that might be good too.

    Hopefully, some of the more experienced oven users will offer some advice here ...



    • #3
      Re: Using the Oven in Winter

      is there any danger in cracking a cold, cold oven with a fire? Any other things we should worry about with regards to using one's oven in the snow?
      Lets say that in the summer, unfired oven temp gets up to 40C (104F); in winter, down to -20C (-4F). That's only a 60 degree spread.

      When we fire the ovens, we bring them up to around 480C.

      This means that in the summer we increase the temp of the oven by 440 degrees. In the winter we increase by 500 degrees.

      My thinking is that the oven won't notice the difference.
      Is my logic sound or am I full of it (as usual)?
      Ken H. - Kentucky
      42" Pompeii

      Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

      Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
      Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album


      • #4
        Re: Using the Oven in Winter

        Through our interaction about cold temps and bringing the heat up, it has been said to go with the paper/ kindling until flue and dome start to heat up, then progress at reasonable pace to desired temp for foods, pizza, etc. If the moisture has been driven out from curing, and numerous uses, it should become less of a concern than if you just finished building and the initial cure.
        An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

        Acoma's Tuscan:


        • #5
          Re: Using the Oven in Winter

          Ken, I believe your logic to be sound; at least based on what I read in several posts early on in my build.

          It makes sense, what seems like a huge temp swing to our skin, isn't much in the oven world.
          CanuckJim probably has fired his oven more in the cold than anyone and I'm pretty cetain he has mentioned there have been no ill effects.



          • #6
            Re: Using the Oven in Winter


            You are correct, and the differential in winter/summer heats is right on. The difference, in WFO terms, is minimal. My only mantra for winter fires is to start a bit more slowly. Then again, that depends on your baking schedule and how often the oven has been fired. Once the oven is cured, it's remarkably resistant to "shock." I think shock refers more to us than our ovens.

            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827