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Fire on the side; not the back - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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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:
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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.

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Fire on the side; not the back

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  • Fire on the side; not the back

    If you will be baking with a live fire (as you would when making pizza or other high heat dishes), you should push the fire to the side of the oven, not to the back. There are two good reasons for this.

    First, you can see the side of the pizza (or whatever you are cooking) and be ready to turn it when brown. It’s harder to do that when the fire is in the back.

    Second, your oven will cook better. Wood-fired ovens work by breathing in cold air through the lower part of the oven opening, heating it and circulating it around the oven dome, and then exhausting it out the top of the opening. By putting the fire in the back, you are giving the cold air a longer path before it hits the heat source, which is both cooler, and less likely to create a nice circular convection pattern.

    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Re: Fire on the side; not the back

    A quick question. Has anyone out there built the fire on a metal pan and used that to contain the ashes and to move the fire around from starting in the center and then to the side? I used a 9 x 13 to build a small fire in for curing adn it worked really well, and since I did not yet have a oven brush, avoided a mess trying to clean out the ashes....made me wonder if I could do the same for baking?


    • #3
      Re: Fire on the side; not the back

      Being a relative newbie myself, I can't comment with any authority......however, it sounds brilliant to me!


      • #4
        Re: Fire on the side; not the back

        Some claim that the ash is what makes the pizza unique.
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        If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


        • #5
          Re: Fire on the side; not the back

          Sounds like a plan. Today I will try it - fire on the right side pizza on left. Instead of fire in the back as I have been doing for years. I lighted the fire this morning for pizza at noon and breads at two. -- back to work.


          • #6
            Re: Fire on the side; not the back

            Thanks for the hint. I tried the fire on the right side. It took a bit of practice to get used to it. It sure did work well. Made the fire the usual way lined the entire perimeter with one layer of elbow to wrist sized wood, a three level rick in the center with kindling under bottom layer. Once the bricks turned white again, moved the fire to the right side. Then I baked up five pizza before spreading out the fire to prep for a bread bake. All went well.


            • #7
              Re: Fire on the side; not the back

              James, this was recommended to us by the manufacturers of the WFO, and to alternate the sides every time you fired it up to get even burning.
              Where can I find logs? I need more!
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