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Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

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  • Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

    I'm reading a lot of posts as a newbie and see that term 'Clear dome' fairly often. I'm planning ahead for monitoring the temperature in the oven....Is this clear dome really all the indicator I need for cooking pizza?

    Please help me understand....

    How do YOU use the clear dome signal as it relates to your oven?

    What temperature does the clear dome appear in your oven?

    Just filling another gap in my education, thanks for playing professor and tutoring me on this small point
    Last edited by Lburou; 12-21-2010, 12:38 PM.
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

  • #2
    Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

    No problem: Clearing the Dome:
    This happens when the fire gets to around 800-875 degrees. At that temp (sustained for about 10 minutes) the black soot gets "seared off" and your dome, which has been blackened on the inside since you started the smaller, sootier fires, becomes totally (and I mean absolutely) clear (cleaned of soot, no longer blackened, the pure buff-coloured brick you had when you 1st finished your oven).

    This is the "official" pizza temp. Often, you will see the area near the logs "clear" 1st but after about 30-40 minutes, the entire ovens soot is seared off. You DON'T want to make an instant inferno with flames going up the flu but you want to reach the 900 degree mark over about 45 minutes to an hour of firing.

    I love this temp in my oven, I get to see my brick work again, warts and all : (the sloppy joints, the improperly lined up joint, the small crack ) but it is and oddly exciting phenomenon.
    "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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    • #3
      Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

      Found some pics:
      Not cleared dome. I was roasting chicken so the temps are around 300-400 degrees. You do see some "clearing" down low, about the 1st 1-2" of brick since the logs and flames were concentrated there.


      This is a much hotter oven: it's around 900 degrees, so now all the black is gone and the dome is 'cleared', or cleaned. The bricks have absorbed all the heat and it's a much hotter oven than the pic above where you actually SEE flames.


      Hope this helps,
      Dino
      "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

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      • #4
        Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

        I think Dino's said it very well.


        The real question is 'why do you put so much in 'bold' type? Somehow that signifier is getting into a lot of your posts.
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        • #5
          Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

          Originally posted by Tman1 View Post
          I think Dino's said it very well.

          The real question is 'why do you put so much in 'bold' type? Somehow that signifier is getting into a lot of your posts.
          Yes, he did offer something useful, Thanks Dino, you illustrated the answer very well!

          It is easier for me to read, that is all. I forget that most here are not as old as I....You probably see better, sorry if if offends your sensibilities. I'll get my glasses whenever I can, have you ever tried to read these threads on a netbook? Whew!

          I'm wondering how the different sized oven temperatures vary as the dome comes clear? Perhaps monitoring the temp is not as big a deal as it once seemed.
          Last edited by Lburou; 12-20-2010, 06:27 PM.
          Lee B.
          DFW area, Texas, USA

          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
          Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
          An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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          • #6
            Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

            I have to admit, I have pretty good eyesight for my age. I wasn't offended, just noticing. It's my understanding that in online forum etiquette, bold is for emphasis, and capitalization is considered yelling. Hence, you don't see an entire post as capitals. I think it's harder to read myself when it's all in capitals). So, you've stated your older and your eyesight isn't what it used to be, you may want to increase the font size on your computer when reading forums as I would think this will help even more than the bold. I have an Apple computer myself, and it's located under the 'view' link at the top of the toolbar as 'zoom in'. I'm not sure how it's done on a Windows machine. This would apply to almost all the websites you visit making it more palatable on your eyes.

            Further on the temps without a thermometer, I've also read you can throw some flour on the deck to determine readiness by counting how long it takes to burn off. Now, if I could just find the thread with that in there.
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            • #7
              Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

              Lburou, just go down to HarborFreight and get yourself one of those fancy $25 laser temp guns and you'll be all set. Then you can throw it in the drawer like I do because you really dont need it. When your fire burns down and the dome clears out you'll be good to go. Once you build a few fires you'll have it down without checking as you'll be putting in about the same Btu's each time. I do shoot the floor if I'm making a lot of pizza's because it will cool down over time, which just makes it take a little longer to cook. I leave a stack of hot coles on the side so I can rake them back over the floor for a few minutes if I have extended cooking time with a big group.

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              • #8
                Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                Originally posted by Fairview WFO View Post
                Lburou, just go down to HarborFreight and get yourself one of those fancy $25 laser temp guns and you'll be all set. Then you can throw it in the drawer like I do because you really dont need it. When your fire burns down and the dome clears out you'll be good to go. Once you build a few fires you'll have it down without checking as you'll be putting in about the same Btu's each time. I do shoot the floor if I'm making a lot of pizza's because it will cool down over time, which just makes it take a little longer to cook. I leave a stack of hot coles on the side so I can rake them back over the floor for a few minutes if I have extended cooking time with a big group.

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...etting-hot.jpg
                Thanks, I think you are right
                Lee B.
                DFW area, Texas, USA

                If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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                • #9
                  Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                  Well said Tman....it's best to stick to the internet etiquette.

                  The dome clearing happens at basically the same temperature in every oven. It's a function of the auto-ignition temperature of the soot particles. That may vary a few degrees depending on the type of wood you use, but it really has very little to do with the oven. Once the entire firebrick reaches the magic 800 or so degrees auto-ignition temperature (ie heat soaked), the dome will clear.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                    Originally posted by lwood View Post
                    The dome clearing happens at basically the same temperature in every oven. It's a function of the auto-ignition temperature of the soot particles. That may vary a few degrees depending on the type of wood you use, but it really has very little to do with the oven. Once the entire firebrick reaches the magic 800 or so degrees auto-ignition temperature (ie heat soaked), the dome will clear.
                    OK, so, its a reliable indication of a narrow temperature range in any WFO I would build?
                    Lee B.
                    DFW area, Texas, USA

                    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                      Hi Dino!

                      Thanks for the comparative pics of the two oven temperatures. The cleared oven sure shows off your clean brickwork!

                      What's interesting is the band of clear dome next to the floor suggesting the floor is contributing to the dome clearing upwards and the clear band of chicken just inside the ovenproof dish. Can you guess the oven temp in the first photo?

                      John

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                      • #12
                        Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                        OK, so, its a reliable indication of a narrow temperature range in any WFO I would build?
                        Well, not so narrow. It's an indicator of a temperature at which pizza cooks. You could of course blast air at the fire and take it up well past those temperatures, and it would still remain clear. The basic idea is to build a big fire until it clears, then feed the fire slowly to keep it hot and flaming while you cook pizza.

                        As a side note, the oven clears from the top down, since of course heat rises. I tend to do pizza when there is still a narrow band of carbon a few inches above the floor. Much hotter than that in my oven and it's really easy to burn the bottom of the pizza.
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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                        • #13
                          Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                          John,

                          During my start ups I also get that distinct separation of soot at the bottom of the dome.
                          Actually, the bottom of the dome stays relatively clear at all times for the most part. At start up soot never seem to reach the bottom areas of the chamber, so it can be somewhat deceiving as it is still relatively cool around the bottom perimeter.
                          Clearing usually occurs from the dome top and will gradually work itself down until the chamber is completely white.
                          George

                          My 34" WFO build

                          Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

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                          • #14
                            Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                            I have a question concerning this clear dome. I have had the dome clear, and the top center middle shows just over 1000 degrees, but then sometimes the floor, and by that , I mean the floor area exactly where I would be planning on cooking the pizza will be sometimes 800. I thought that 725 was the goal, at least for the area of the floor that you plan to cook.

                            So, I see the value of burning off the soot, but what about the optimum floor temp?

                            Thanks

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                            • #15
                              Re: Define a "Clear dome" in your oven please

                              If you've just moved the coals off of that spot, I would bet the floor will be much higher than 725. I think that 725 is a good temperature (+-50*). When I notice it taking longer to cook the crust I move coals back over to re-heat. You can cook on hotter, but don't take your eyes off of it. My fastest pizza was my first... 45 seconds. That was too hot. Now, I usually start with a unadorned pizza to test.
                              Lburou-I bought a laser temp gauge initially and used it, but after 5 pizza go-rounds, I would be comfortable going by experience. It'll all come together once you start cooking.
                              My oven (for now):
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