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What steps to take with unused oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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What steps to take with unused oven

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  • What steps to take with unused oven

    I am looking for a bit of input regarding the firing of an oven that has never been used (to my knowledge). The situation is, through my portable wood fired oven business, I have been contacted by some people to come to their house and teach them how to cook in their wood fired oven. Their house was a model when they bought it 3 years ago and it has an oven in the backyard which I am checking out tomorrow. They say they have never fired it up because they don't know a thing about cooking in it. I have no idea if who ever built is ever cured or did anything to it. I am assuming it is going to be a casted oven similar to a Forno Bravo. I guess my question is, assuming it has never been fired, what steps would you consider when building the first fire in it. I am sure it has cured after 3 years in the Sacramento heat, but would you still go slowly with it and if so..for how long..a few days..a week?
    thanks

  • #2
    Re: What steps to take with unused oven

    Dude - go nuclear! I know full well of the Sac heat. The oven is cured.. It would be like me firing after winter, not a problem. (plus, you don't own it )
    Check out my pictures here:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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    • #3
      Re: What steps to take with unused oven

      The go-slow plan is to drive water out of the oven. If the oven is covered, and seems dry, you're good to go.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: What steps to take with unused oven

        thanks to both of you..and I like the "you don't own it" comment Les!

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        • #5
          Re: What steps to take with unused oven

          If the oven has been closed, check for mould or other moisture evidence such as moss or other.
          If clean, then as dmun says, all systems go but to be on the safe side, slowler than full on!

          Rastys
          If you don't succeed the first time, try again and again until you get it right!

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          • #6
            Re: What steps to take with unused oven

            I'd say slower....
            My oven was used extensively in a restaurant but sat unused for quite awhile.
            I started with a small fire but got anxious and spalled the floor underneath the fire bed. LOUD explosive noise!
            The floor is 4" thick and the spalling is negligible. Still, I should have known better.
            DMUN is spot on. Moisture is your enemy here.

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            • #7
              Re: What steps to take with unused oven

              Yes, unless you're really in a hurry for some reason, do a number of progressive fires (you're being paid right?). Even if it was cured initially, dormant masonry outside is going to generate dampness and a slower reheat is better. After you get it up a little bit you could roast in it, then bake and later go to pizza. Three lessons with progressive heat maybe.....

              Start a small fire initially and have the owner keep it smoldering for a day or two....hopefully they have that skill
              sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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              • #8
                Re: What steps to take with unused oven

                I went and looked at the oven and it is almost a cross between a barrel style and a pompeii. It is made of firebrick, but more of a oblong with a rounded back and straight side walls and a flat or straight front of the oven. The other strange thing is that the vent/chimney is inside the dome towards the front of the oven, the chimney is only about a 6" opening so I am not sure how well it will draw, but I am sure it is going to loose a lot of heat. I would say the dome height is in the 20-24" inch. I told the family to built a few fires in it over the next few nights and maybe do some s'mores or something fun in the oven to get them use to making fires and also so I can get them to report back on how it fired.

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                • #9
                  Re: What steps to take with unused oven

                  Originally posted by telehort View Post
                  it is almost a cross between a barrel style and a pompeii..
                  We need pictures! Sounds like a morph between two worlds. I know squat about WFO'S but this is interesting.

                  Les...
                  Check out my pictures here:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                  If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What steps to take with unused oven

                    A vent in the oven chamber is always a problem. I'd wonder if the builder knew to insulate if s/he didn't know where to put the vent.
                    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What steps to take with unused oven

                      That is a really good point. Unfortunately the exterior is very nice and finished so there isn't anyway to "disassemble" any part of it to look into the interior for insulation.
                      If I can get pictures of it I will.

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