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Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

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  • Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven


    I have a new purpose moulded off the shelf pizza oven in a house in the south of France, first time of using last weekend was less than successful to say the least. I have since discovered this excellent website & am hoping for some advice which will seem very basic to most of you.
    Firstly does a purpose moulded oven need the same curing process as is discussed at length on various threads ?
    Secondly I was using 3 to 4 logs to build a fire in the centre of the oven and placed another 7 or 8 logs on the fire over the next hour or so & at one stage the temperature reached 180 celsius but then dipped to around 100 and stayed there. Result was I got through a pile of logs & ended up cooking in the house oven. Should I be packing the oven with logs once the fire has taken ?

    Any advice would be welcome on the best wood to source in that area as well .

    Thank you in advance


  • #2
    Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

    If you can, post some pics...in my opinion curing is an important part of the process no matter what kind of oven you use...check out some of the posts in the "Firing your oven" category to get an idea of how big the fire should be to get your oven up to heat...hardwoods are probably the best but you can really burn just about anything...no treated wood though
    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
    "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


    • #3
      Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

      Is it insulated?

      I agree with Dutchoven, we could use some pics.
      My thread:
      My costs:
      My pics:


      • #4
        Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

        Your top temperature, 180c is 356f. That's the temperature you'd bake cookies at, and of course 100 is water boiling temperature. I find it hard to think how you'd keep something as cool as 180c in the presence of a blazing eight log wood fire. How are you measuring your temperatures? Does the carbon burn off the inside of your dome?

        A prefab oven should not be that different than a brick built one. Either, of course, can lack insulation.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

          Well I am just in thought from building a fire in a cast iron stove or fireplace or even a camp fire. You have a cold burning fire. This could very well be caused by wood that is not seasoned peoperly. Wet wood will burn but it doesnt get hot. I had that problem on year roasting a whole hog. I could not get the fire desired. So at 2am I went and borrowed wood from a neighbors house and a blazing we went. Of course I was calling said neighbor at about 6am since I knew he would be up by then and invited him to come and have some pork.
          Moisture in the wood acts like a thermostat. Take a vertical smoker and add a pan of water and you rarely have to worry about it getting to hot.

          What type of wood were you using?
          Was it smoking a lot?
          Did it crack and pop a lot?
          Did you hear a sizzle like bacon frying while fire was burning?
          Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste
          like chicken...

          My 44" oven in progress...