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Newbie Question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Newbie Question

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  • Newbie Question

    great resource--first time poster. I have a brick oven with a house I recently purchased--seems to be in working order. Been trying to do some slow burns over a week to get any moisture out since I susepct the oven hasnt been used in well over a year. I have a basic question (which might be silly):

    I understand it can take 90-180 mins to fire up the oven and the importance of heat management. Do you keep the oven door mostly closed during this time? Or do you try and go with a full fire with the door open? If the door is mostly closed, the fire gets choked out and results in excessive smoke, but if its open, will it still heat up well? (noting, I have not burned a fire longer than 20 mins yet and its mostly been small-medium newspaper fires to get any mositure out). The inside is 40" diameter floor surface, and a 17" across dome opening.

    Thanks--I am sure I will have more questions as the adventure begins

  • #2
    Re: Newbie Question

    Hi NJOven! Lucky you; you get a wood burning oven the easy way ;-). We'd love to see pictures of the oven. That may help us help you.

    The door stays OFF during heat up and cooking pizza. Once you are done with pizza (or heating up the oven to max temp) you let the fire die down and put the door on (seal the oven closed) to retain the heat for cooking other stuff (bread, casseroles, paella, roasts, etc).
    Ken H. - Kentucky
    42" Pompeii

    Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

    Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
    Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album


    • #3
      Re: Newbie Question

      Thanks--wasnt sure based upon some other posts which stated some kept the door slightly open--which, in my case, chokes down the fire alot. I guess if its a strong fire, the stone inside absorbs the heat and basically adds an additional heating element from the dome and sides.

      The design is actually the opposite side of an indoor natural gas fireplace that is built horizontally outward (quite a bit, and the gas line is on the inside, also well beneath (3 feet+) the level of the oven floor.

      Will post some pics over the weekend.


      • #4
        Re: Newbie Question


        I understand it can take 90-180 mins to fire up the oven and the importance of heat management.
        My oven is a 40" Pompeii and I can get it to over 500˚C in around an hour. Sure it is a high fire, some might say a fierce one but burning plenty of dry hardwood (around a small wheelbarrow full but not stacked high).
        I allow it to soak up the heat, distribute the coals and fire around the floor for a half hour, push to the back and one side, sweep the hearth and cook away keeping a reasonable fire burning within. I have done up to 60 approx 10" pizzas in one session.


        Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

        The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

        Neillís Pompeiii #1
        Neillís kitchen underway


        • #5
          Re: Newbie Question

          The shape and ratios (particularly the 63% ratio between the door height and the inside dome height) are such that the fire burns most efficiently with the door off.

          Since it is a new (to you) oven, what is its door height to dome height ratio ?


          • #6
            Re: Newbie Question

            Just an additional fact which may be relevant once I begin full fires in the oven---the floor is NOT a tile type of floor--it is some kind of poured concrete. Insulation issues aside (since I don't know if it was insulated as I inherited the oven with the new house I recently bought--pics to follow) will this affect the ability of the floor to reach and retain high temps? Ie, is a tile type floor critical to reaching and retaining high heat temps for cooking pizza?