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Curing strategy - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Curing strategy

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  • Curing strategy

    We've been talking with the producer of the Modena ovens, and I want to open a discussion on modifying our recommended curing strategy. Their recommendation is to build a series of low and growing fires, and for keeping them going all day at the slower temperatures. The theory is that you are baking the moisture out slowly and consistently. The idea is to keep the low fires going all day, and close the door before you go to bed, and start again the next day.

    The recommendation is this:

    Day 1; 300ºF
    Day 2; 350ºF
    Day 3; 500ºF
    Day 4; 600ºF
    Day 5; 700ºF

    It can be tricky and laborious keeping a fire burning, not going out, and not going over the 300ºF and 350ºF, but it makes sense. There is a chance this might minimize cracking a little if you do it right. It is still absolutely critical to not get the oven too hot in the early days.

    Before we make the standard procedure for everyone, I wanted to throw it open to conversation.

    What do you think?
    James
    What do you
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Re: Curing strategy

    James,

    I had my WFO built by a pro (did not have the time, no tools, and not much talent to do it myself) using the Pompeii design. He came over today and we lit the first fire. Although he did not specify the daily temperature goals, he did recommend that we start with a small fire and keep it burning all day (if possible). The next day build a little bigger fire and keep it burning all day, etc. for the next 7 days. The gist of his comments were keeping the fires buring throughout a longer period of time would give us a better cure/drying....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Curing strategy

      We can take that as a yes. :-)

      I am guessing it was Keith. Hope your oven is working great.
      James
      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Curing strategy

        James, I'll give it a shot once my oven is complete. It does make sense to maintain the temp for longer periods. I would even think that those in curing stages right now can move to longer periods. What if several days go between cures, just go to next temp level once able for the day? Was that brought up?
        An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

        Acoma's Tuscan:
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Curing strategy

          This will be an interesting thread to follow, I'm guessing I'm at the halfway point of the dome. I know I needed to research threads on peoples experience on curing and this approach may be fine. By the way I've got an IR gun for Christmas and was wondering is it the dome temp. or floor temp or even the air temp this is the focus? I've got a 500 degree F oven temp gauge I'll also use.
          I also would like input on having insulation on or off.
          I don't ask much do I?
          RCLake

          "It's time to go Vertical"
          Oven Thread

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Curing strategy

            I agree that the standard early fires of 100 and 200 degrees are probably not that effective at drying out the dome. The thing will barely get warm on the inside after an hour of small fires. Your suggested burn schedule makes sense for that reason.

            The all day burns sound problematic to me. I don't have a job, other than normal round-the-house stuff, and I'm not sure that I could do the suggested burn schedule effectively to that degree of accuracy over the course of a whole day (or days and days).

            I'm wondering if there's a common household device that got hot enough to maintain the temps over long periods of time (like a hotplate?). Something that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

            George
            GJBingham
            -----------------------------------
            Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

            -

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Curing strategy

              RC, this would likely be air temp. The goal is to have heat dry out moisture from first point of contact, which is internal face. Then the moisture is driven out with increased temps, which is deeper within the brick, and backside of it, as well as the cladding. This goal is to slowly drive out, and dry out the moisture. If you go to high at first, the brick and morter crack due to moisture present. Make sense?
              An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

              Acoma's Tuscan:
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Curing strategy

                James,

                That would be "yes" and "yes". Keith and crew did a great job constructing our outdoor kitchen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Curing strategy

                  For some of the earlier lower temperature burns here is a thought. We could get a steady flame from one of those weed burners that the "pyro" guys were using for fire starters a few months ago. A 5-gallon LPG tank and the burner from a turkey deep fryer should do it for most folks.

                  My $.02

                  Guerito

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Curing strategy

                    After spending so much time building the oven, I found the most difficult bit about curing was just lighting a small fire, letting it go out, and not doing anything else with the oven for the rest of the day...

                    So from that point of view, messing around with a small fire all day long would have been great! So I'd definitely give it try if was doing it over...
                    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Curing strategy

                      I use one of those gas rings with a long braided metal hose attached to a 9Kg LPG gas bottle, set it at 1/2 throttle and let it burn all night. It doesn't go over 200 C which is safe. We use the procedure to dry out clay work in our kiln prior to biscuit firing to avoid steam explosions. Gas flame is the best for eliminating water. I then light a wood fire and keep it gentle by using heat beads. Build up slowly until all the damp patches on the outside stucco are gone then build up to 400 C. Hope this helps.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Curing strategy

                        Originally posted by Acoma View Post
                        RC, this would likely be air temp. The goal is to have heat dry out moisture from first point of contact, which is internal face. Then the moisture is driven out with increased temps, which is deeper within the brick, and backside of it, as well as the cladding. This goal is to slowly drive out, and dry out the moisture. If you go to high at first, the brick and morter crack due to moisture present. Make sense?
                        The concept makes sense and I understand the concept but I'm still confused about what temperature to be measuring. Day two and my floor is 250-300, dome 400+ but air at 160(could be a bad gauge, I'll put it in the oven to check later today).

                        So I'm shooting to have the dome 350-400 for today.
                        RCLake

                        "It's time to go Vertical"
                        Oven Thread

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Curing strategy

                          RC, I was wondering that too. Are we to do the curing temps, gauged on air temp within the oven? I would think so based on the concept of ovens built before without the ideas of thermocouples. Hopefully James, DMUN, RT, Ken, or others with a clear answer will tell us.
                          An excellent pizza is shared with the ones you love!

                          Acoma's Tuscan:
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/a...scan-2862.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Curing strategy

                            Either air temperature inside the oven, or the average temperature of the inside of the dome. You can test it with your hand or an infrared thermometer.

                            It is definitely not the temperature of your thermocouples, as those are set deeper in your dome and/or floor -- and if the thermocouple hits 350ºF, the inside of your oven will be a lot hotter than that; which would be bad.

                            It's really important to be patient and not go too hot inside the oven. Very important.

                            James
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Curing strategy

                              Do you remember Ghostbusters? Don't cross the beams. That would be bad. :-)
                              James
                              Pizza Ovens
                              Outdoor Fireplaces

                              Comment

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