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Oven not getting hot enough ? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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.

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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Oven not getting hot enough ?

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  • Oven not getting hot enough ?

    Hi My husband Matt built this oven last year, we have had a few runs at cooking pizza but up to now none have been really successful. The main problem seems to be that in order to keep the oven hot enough to cook the pizza it has to be stoked really high and it then burns the top but the bottom of the pizza doesn't cook properly.

    If the fire dies down the retained heat seems to settle at 300c any ideas where we are going wrong?

    Here's a pic

    Matt has replaced the floor with terracotta tiles which has helped to move the pizza further away from the fire but it still stays at 300c

    Would lowering the opening arch help?

    Many Thanks x

  • #2
    Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

    Go to the Forno Bravo Store and order (download) the Pompei Plans, They are free... Read thru them, We cant see alot of how you built your oven and materials etc, reading the plans will guide you and let you know the areas where you are in trouble. But your biggest answer I see,, Your chimney should be more to the front,, What if anything dod you use for insulation ? and is that Firebrick on the floor or cement ?

    One suggestion, Try running the oven with the chimney blocked off and use the door as a chimney.. May help you retain enough heat to get the temp a little higher,,

    Look thru the plans,,

    Good luck and post any other pics you have of building it,,, someone here should be able to help


    • #3
      Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

      Based on the photo, I have these comments:
      1) this is a small oven, maybe 24" for the inside diameter? The entry (opening) appears to be a bit large the oven size. I know you need room to work, but it adds the heat loss. This is a problem with building a small oven, you have to scale all aspects accordingly.

      2) From the overal thickness it does not look like you have much insulation in the dome, what about under the hearth? As we tell everyone - INSULATE, INSULATE, INSULATE

      3) your flue and chimney appears to be nearly in the center of the dome, a BIG no no for getting an oven up to temp and holding that temp. Besides a lack of insulation, this is probably the greatest loss of heat. As mentioned, it needs to be positioned in the entry area, not the dome.

      Mark's suggestion to download the pompeii plans is spot on. I would compare what is recommended in the plans with what you have actually built. Good luck



      • #4
        Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

        Ummm... If the oven is burning the top of your pizza and the bottom is under baked, I would consider losing the metal pan. You spend a considerable amount of time building the heat throughout the oven (two Mississippi) and then you insulate the bottom by introducing a cold metal pan between the floor and the pizza. The oven is doing its job by baking the top (exposed portion of the pizza). Hades himself could not inflict enough heat through the pan in time to evenly bake the pizza.
        Change one thing at a time. Try that and report back.

        Good luck.


        • #5
          Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

          PP, good catch. I guess some of us tend to instantly lean towards the construction side.
          I've never considered using a pan for pizza in my oven...guess I tend to ignore references to it.



          • #6
            Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

            Thanks for the replies peeps we have removed the chimney and put it nearer the front and made the hole smaller, just going to cure it now, will let you know

            Many Thanks and lets hope it works we have a pizza party tomorrow for my yo9ungest lads 18th


            • #7
              Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

              Hey tatoo,
              I often start my pizzas in a pan and move to the brick after it firms up. It makes it easier to have 4 or 5 pizzas ready to cook and somplace to cook them when they're finished,,, I know you dont have much room, but can you stack a half brick on the sides to keep your fire going when you cook.. It will help keep the dome hotter, which helps recharge the floor more quickly.. and keep your floor covered with coals till the last minute to get it hotter


              • #8
                Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

                good advice all around,
                I find, with sufficient dome insulation, when the dome turns "white" after a blazing fire, i wait and let the heat radiate down to the floor some more as well as spread the embers across the entire cooking surface. Take it's temp and start cooking
                Great pizza, a cold beer,a great cigar and great friends...my idea of a great time