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Infrared Thermometers-Questions - 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.

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Infrared Thermometers-Questions

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  • Infrared Thermometers-Questions

    Hi everyone. Our oven dome is finished YA--and we've been lighting progressively larger fires--but no fires hot enough to burn the soot off the dome ceiling. We didn't install thermocouples and I'm looking at infrared thermometers--and I have some questions. The one available from the FB site registers to 932 degrees--is that enough? Can't some fires go hotter? Also how close must you be to register a temp accurately. So of the others I've been looking at have a ratio number I've seen 12:1 and 8:1--does this relate to distance? What brand is the FB one and do I need to be concerned with accuracy amongst different brands? How many temp readings should I take and will the temps vary much in different parts of the dome? Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

    Gidget, I'm no expert, but I have an IR thermometer and I'll take a crack at these:
    932 degrees--is that enough?
    Yes, I would say so. Once you get over 900, you know it's HOT, plenty hot to cook anything. Fires do go hotter (in the 1200 deg. range), but is it necessary to know that? Cooking is done on surfaces that measure 900 and lower.

    a ratio number I've seen 12:1 and 8:1--does this relate to distance?
    Yep, it's the field of view. The farther you stand away from the spot you want to measure, the larger the actual area is that the IR beam is measuring. Shouldn't be of much concern in a wood-fired oven, since you'll be standing at the archway and aiming at the floor & dome.

    What brand is the FB one and do I need to be concerned with accuracy amongst different brands?
    Not sure about the brand, but I haven't read any reports of inaccurate readings with any brands. Like all FB products, their thermometer is definitely tried-and-true.

    How many temp readings should I take and will the temps vary much in different parts of the dome?
    The temps will vary considerably for a while, especially when comparing the dome to the floor. Eventually the heat saturates everything and evens out. Just take a couple of measurements around the dome and floor every now and then after the soot cooks off. When everything is 800-900, you know you're ready for action.

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    • #3
      Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

      Thanks Daren !


      • #4
        Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

        I got the one that FB sells and it works great


        • #5
          Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

          I heard, or read, that there are IR Thermometers available that will also take thermocouple inputs. I have not yet been able to locate one.

          Does the unit offered by Forno Bravo accept thermocouple inputs and is there a spec sheet available? Can anybody point be towards thermocouple compatible IR thermometers please?



          • #6
            Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

            Try this link:
            Handheld Infrared Thermometers

            note you can pick up an equivalent unit to the first one listed ($49) at Harbor Freight on sale for $29.99 (HarbourFreight.com item # 96451-2AAB) That's the unit I have and so far it has worked well.


            • #7
              Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

              Mastercool has some as well. Click here for one example.

              And Omega Engineering has some too.

              The only drawback of these (speaking from experience), is that if you have more than one thermocouple, you have to constantly plug and unplug the wires from the IR gun to take readings. If you can afford a dedicated thermocouple reader, I would consider it. The combo IR gun/thermocouple reader works fine, but it can be a hassle. Just my $0.02.
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              • #8
                Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

                I was thinking about as switch box with just a single set of leads that would hook up to the IR and allow selection of one of several thermocouples at a time.

                From what I have read, it sounds like folks really seem to only use their thermocouples for a short while when curing and then learning to use the ovens.

                Thanks all,


                • #9
                  Re: Infrared Thermometers-Questions

                  I do a bit more roasting and baking than anything else, and so I use my thermocouples quite a bit. I have three in the floor and one in the dome. Its a lot easier to look out of my window and know the temperature, than having to go out with the gun, take the door off and take a reading. The only time I use my gun is during pizza making. It seems to give a more accurate reading of the floor surface.
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