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Using Doug Fir - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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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Using Doug Fir

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  • Using Doug Fir

    I got a load of Doug Fir (DF) the other day and separated it into 15 lb stacks.
    My wife wanted to bake today so last night I took 3 loads (45lbs) to pre-heat the oven.
    I have a home built 43in Pompeii. 5 1/2in thick walls with cladding and 2 1/2 in floating hearth.

    It was a normal, slow build-up and chimney was at 400+ and I started adding more wood.

    DF burns hotter than oak I think, and quicker, so you have to put wood in slower or you waste fuel.

    It took about 45 min to get 1K all around and I held it for 1 more hour. Pulled the coals and sealed the oven at about 7pm. At 11pm the oven had pulled back to 500, and today at 6am it was 380 floor and 420 roof.

    At 7am I started another rapid burn with 3 batches of DF.

    It was at 1K in 20 min with the DF (cut into 2x2x18 strips). I held this for about 1 3/4 hours until all of the last batch of wood was used up. Did not take out the coal and just sealed it up. Door temp was 820 at 9am.

    It is now 9:45am and I am going to check it at 10am for temp and I will update this thread at that time. ML

  • #2
    Re: Using Doug Fir

    Update as of 10am Roof 850 Floor 830 Door 710. I pulled the coals out (not that much left). I will update after my 11am read. ML

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    • #3
      Re: Using Doug Fir

      Update for 11:00am Roof 650 floor 640. Did a batch of Matza (untraditional) with rosemary, pepper and Kosher salt. Came out real good = wife likes it.

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      • #4
        Re: Using Doug Fir

        Update for 12:00noon - Roof is now up to 700 degrees Floor is 680. Obviously when I used the damp tampeco brush to clean the floor, it took a lot of energy out of the surface and was replace by residual stored heat.

        This lets me know that just because I reduce the surface temp of the floor for cooking, does not mean that it is going to stay that way, and I know that the oven is saturated at about 680 since that is the recovery temp. (This is all guess work for me, but I think it makes sense. - Any ideas or comments - please chime in). ML

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        • #5
          Re: Using Doug Fir

          Update for 1:00pm - Roof 690 and Floor 670. The oven is now following its normal graph depletion schedule of 10 degrees per hour for mid range temps. As the temps get to the 350 and lower, the decline in temp rate decreases to about 5 degrees per hour.

          The Doug Fir is a great wood and even better that it is free.

          The BTUs are lower by about 1/3 from white oak, but since I weigh the wood going in, and wood per pound is about the same amount of energy. (you buy by the cubic measure, but you burn by the pound). So 15 lbs of oak is about the same as 15 lbs of Doug fir. However, the burning characteristics for each wood type is different. Doug fir really burns hot and fast and will waste a lot of energy up the chimney if you are not careful, Oak burns slower but provides more heat per cubic measure. I like doug Fir.

          More to follow. ML

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          • #6
            Re: Using Doug Fir

            Update for 2:00pm Roof 680 Floor 655. Wife's bread is being prepared - I have no idea what she intends to cook. I only know that I have Boston Baked beans to make for the neighbors when the oven gets to 350 (if ever) and I want to try a pastrami as an experiment.

            In hind sight, I should have used only 5 batches of Doug fir (DF) instead of 6, but I would have had to be assured that the bread would be ready to go early afternoon not at 8pm. ML

            p.s. I also could have put this as a comment on "Your know that your WFO might be to hot if...." You throw out 3 batches of dough before the oven
            gets to "just a little to hot" stage. ML

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            • #7
              Re: Using Doug Fir

              Update 7am today floor 450. After one batch of hearth bread and a batch of sandwich bread loaf bread, we stopped cooking at about 9pm Last night. I need to have a batch of chicken thighs ready by 11:30am today so I am going to re-fire the oven. I will not use DF - I Will use mesquite for the live fire under the cast iron skillet.

              If we plan on more baking then I will switch to DF and bring the temp up.

              For heat management, I have found that weighing the wood and writing a good log of cause and effect brings a little more order and certainty considering all the variables we have to deal with. I have found 15 lb bundles is a batch and I can describe the firing in those terms - how many batches and what kind of wood. ML

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