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To keep the oven hot - 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:
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To keep the oven hot

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  • To keep the oven hot

    I plan to start building soon. Before I do I want to eliminate a few of the "I wish I'd thought of that sooner"' scenarios. It sounds like some people wish they'd used more insulation under the oven. Will a single layer of 2" FB board under my oven will be enough to get results approaching:

    "Doored after pizza, 850-900
    24 hours 550
    48 hours 350
    72 hours 200
    96 hours 150
    120-168 hours ambient"

    to be able to, say, bake pizza for dinner, and then use the oven to bake bread and make dinner the next day. For the dome I plan to use a two layers of FB blanket insulation, covered with vermicrete for an igloo finish, and will make an insulated well fitting door. At this time I don't plan to include a thermal break between the dome and entryway (or entryway and decorative arch?), but would do so if it would make a significant difference. I think I need to decide this before I begin construction to alter the layout accordingly. I don't want to make it too complicated / expensive, but also don't want to have regrets about taking shortcuts.

  • #2
    Re: To keep the oven hot

    I'm not sure of the diminishing return on insulation thickness. I used 4 inches and this is what I had (for the record). Also, if your hearth is 850 - 900 after pizza, pretty sure they will be burnt.

    Saturday at 6:30 PM after the fire; hearth=900 deg.
    Saturday at 8:00 PM after pizzas; hearth=555 deg.
    Sunday at 9:00 AM hearth=447 deg. - cooked a coffee cake
    Sunday at 4:30 PM hearth=374 deg. - cooked coconut shrimp
    Monday at 6:30 AM hearth=288 deg.
    Monday at 4:45 PM hearth=244 deg.
    Tuesday at 4:45 PM hearth=170 deg.
    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: To keep the oven hot

      I'd be quite happy with temps like that.
      Looks like I might want to consider doubling the FB board under the oven, but it cost $200 just to ship it here (and I've have to postpone starting).
      I wonder if a thermal break, a well insualted door, and an extra well insulated dome would do the trick...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: To keep the oven hot

        Try searching for calcium silicate (CalSil) on your island and in British Columbia. I used 2" of CalSil on top of 4" of vcrete. I am very pleased with the results .
        joe watson

        "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

        My Build
        My Picasa Web Album

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        • #5
          Re: To keep the oven hot

          I used 4" of insulation all around and filled the rest with loose vermiculite.
          I also used 2" FB rigid insulation underneath, as well as 2" of vermiculite/portland cement under that. I also built a 2" thick insulated door.

          If I get the oven good and hot the night before when making pizza, I've had temps as high as 550 the next morning to make bread, and still in the 400's that night.
          My build:

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/d...ild-20119.html

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          • #6
            Re: To keep the oven hot

            i have 3 inches of FB, 3-4 inches of blanket, thermal break, and a 2 inch door.
            I get performance similar to Les' numbers. I think the thermal break may give me 5-10% better performance in terms of temp retention (vs. not having it, not vs. you Les ), but it doesn't stretch the cooking time out by a day or anything like that.

            FWIW, my experience is that you might get 550 degrees 8 hours after pizza, but not 24 hours after, and you will get that only if you put the door on when the fire is raging. More likely you will put it on after you're done cooking pizzas and the oven will be 700-750 degrees at that point. To have a 950 degree oven, you've got a live fire in there - and once the door goes on it will smoke like crazy. Not really pleasant for guests if the wind is blowing the wrong direction. I doored my oven Saturday night after a pizza party. It was probably 700 on the floor when I put the door on. Late sunday afternoon door thermo showed 425. 36 hours later it's showing 300.

            I would add more insulation under to your plan, for sure. Check out McGill's Warehouse for insulation. They have the best prices.
            Last edited by deejayoh; 06-23-2014, 08:53 AM.
            My build progress
            My WFO Journal on Facebook
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            • #7
              Re: To keep the oven hot

              My numbers are similar to Les', although I live in a much warmer climate in Southern California. My oven floor (1.25" of soapstone atop 2.5" firebrick) is insulated below with 3.5" of vermicrete topped with 2" of calcium silicate board. On top I have between 6-12" of CF/rockwool insulation.

              With your climate I would suggest including a thermal break between oven and entryway. I would also consider enclosing your oven in a structure rather than an exposed igloo.

              I hope you are not adversely affected by the Little Sitkin earthquake.

              John

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              • #8
                Re: To keep the oven hot

                I checked out McGill's Warehouse, and the prices were indeed good , but the shipping was over $300, and I have not yet locating a more local source for calciam silicate board. But, I fiound out I can get Vermiculite at the animal feed store here, "on island", and so decided to pour four inches of vermiclite / concreate, and put the 2" of FB board I have on top of that. Might be nice to get a feel for "vermicrete". It sounds like the extra effort of adding this will be worth it. Thanks for the feedback.

                I plan to first build the arch/dome, and put of deciding if and how to do the thermal break transition to the entryway. But, I do need to know if I should put vermicrite and FB board under the entryway area as well as under the oven.

                The entryway arch / vent can be built with something other than fire brick, yes?

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                • #9
                  Re: To keep the oven hot

                  Hey John - No impact here from the Little Sitkin earthquake. I hadn't even heard about it before you mentioned it. Too oven focused perhaps. I tend to pay particular attention to quakes since our whole town was evacuated in 2012 after a 7.8 earthquake, and then again a couple months later.

                  I was hoping that I could get away with an igloo enclosure; I am building the oven under a cover - but it is still exposed to lots of blowing rain.

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                  • #10
                    Re: To keep the oven hot

                    I guess your recent quake was downgraded all the way down from 8.0 to 7.9... Good to hear you weren't evacuated again. We went through a solid week of earthquakes a few months back and sustained minor damage, but the only thing I was worried about was my oven!

                    If you care to post your oven plans before you really get started (including the base and support stand), please feel free. I wish I had done so in order to gather input on design and construction elements that I would face later on. I admit I went into the construction phase of my oven 'blind', but miraculously came out with a tiny percentage of trade-offs or shortcomings in the final construction.
                    John

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                    • #11
                      Re: To keep the oven hot

                      Originally posted by DBinnema View Post
                      I checked out McGill's Warehouse, and the prices were indeed good , but the shipping was over $300, and I have not yet locating a more local source for calciam silicate board. But, I fiound out I can get Vermiculite at the animal feed store here, "on island", and so decided to pour four inches of vermiclite / concreate, and put the 2" of FB board I have on top of that. Might be nice to get a feel for "vermicrete". It sounds like the extra effort of adding this will be worth it. Thanks for the feedback.

                      I plan to first build the arch/dome, and put of deciding if and how to do the thermal break transition to the entryway. But, I do need to know if I should put vermicrite and FB board under the entryway area as well as under the oven.

                      The entryway arch / vent can be built with something other than fire brick, yes?
                      DBinnema,
                      Vermicrete will work great for added insulation under the fb board. The entry does not have to be insulated to the same degree as the oven. Though, it does help to insulate under it to the same heighth as that under your oven.

                      It only takes some spacing between the floor bricks in your oven and the floor bricks in your entry so they do not touch to make a heat break. About 1/8th to 1/4 inch will do. You can place ceramic fiber tape in that divide or just let it fill up with ash .
                      joe watson

                      "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

                      My Build
                      My Picasa Web Album

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: To keep the oven hot

                        Originally posted by deejayoh View Post
                        To have a 950 degree oven, you've got a live fire in there - and once the door goes on it will smoke like crazy. Not really pleasant for guests if the wind is blowing the wrong direction.
                        I've never had an issue with my oven smoking after the door goes on. There must be an issue with your door seal, where is it leaking from?
                        My build:

                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/d...ild-20119.html

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                        • #13
                          Re: To keep the oven hot

                          Originally posted by ncsmoker View Post
                          I've never had an issue with my oven smoking after the door goes on. There must be an issue with your door seal, where is it leaking from?
                          between the arch and the top of the door. I don't have a gasket on the door, so the seal is not airtight. Never saw the need for that. Maybe I should if you are saying you can snuff out the fire with no smoke. Seems like the heat would want to expand and push the door out no matter what. Anyway, I live in the city and try to keep the smokey part of the experience as short as possible in consideration of my neighbors/guests.
                          My build progress
                          My WFO Journal on Facebook
                          My dome spreadsheet calculator

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                          • #14
                            Re: To keep the oven hot

                            I've always been able to just put the door in and not have an issue, both with the standard door, and the insulated door I built.

                            Here is a link to gasket material you can use to help, I have it but have yet to put it on. I know there is a mild air leak as some of the embers are still hot the next morning, but never bad enough to cause smoke. Shipping was quite reasonable, I think I paid $7 S/H and I also bought the hi-temp adhesive.

                            McMaster-Carr
                            My build:

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/d...ild-20119.html

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                            • #15
                              Re: To keep the oven hot

                              "It only takes some spacing between the floor bricks in your oven and the floor bricks in your entry so they do not touch to make a heat break. About 1/8th to 1/4 inch will do. You can place ceramic fiber tape in that divide or just let it fill up with ash " (Gulf)

                              - Only a space between the floor bricks? Why not the arch?
                              It would be a lot simpler to just have spacing between the floor bricks...

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