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texassourdough 06-23-2009 03:14 PM

Oven Dome Temperature
I have learned that at least one Vera Pizza Napoletana certifier focused on the dome temperature in evaluating oven management and that the dome temperature he was shooting for was 900 degrees F. That is, I think, somewhat lower than many of us manage our ovens. Rather surprisingly, this certifier did NOT take the hearth temperature.

In any event it seems the VPN standard is a bit cooler and thus more "forgiving" perhaps than some of us have been shooting for!


PizzaPolice 06-23-2009 04:25 PM

Re: Oven Dome Temperature
Are you getting certified? When my deck is 800F, the TDC of the 19" ceiling is 1000F.

RTflorida 06-23-2009 05:23 PM

Re: Oven Dome Temperature
My numbers are similar to PP's. I usually shoot for 800-825 with the dome center being just over 1000. Seems to work for me, as long as I'm not experimenting with my dough (I will keep in the 700/900s for that)


texassourdough 06-23-2009 07:13 PM

Re: Oven Dome Temperature
Hi PizzaPolice!

No I am not getting certified. I just have my own backyard oven and try to do the best I can (which is pretty good IMO!).

My favorite pizzaria just got VPN and they were surprised by the inspection. And me too!

I typically run like you and RT, but a hair cooler. About 750 to 800 on the hearth and about 1K for the dome (which is off my IR thermometer!). But I usually wind up dropping the dome temp eventually as I approach stopping and let the fire burn down a bit rather than adding more wood.

Methinks the hearth w/ a 900 dome is a bit too cool in normal steady state (based on limtied data) which suggests they need to rake coals out periodically to heat load the hearth. Restaurants clearly can't do that like I can.

The lower temps give a longer bake time which seems to give a "more thoroughly baked" pie. (drier, potentially crisper crust) That is consistent with my experience.

The problem I see for restaurants is 1) they lose the great caramelization unless they lengthen the bake time. 2) the bottom of the crust is not as interesting (another VPN pizzaria here uses a gas heated hearth - but their hearth is TOO hot), and 3) I think quality suffers a bit. I like my "hot" pies and I suspect we are working to very similar looks but probably have slightly different tastes in dough texture!

I put the numbers I got from the owner up to test the reaction... I agree with you guys. About 800 hearth and good flames (say 1000) for the dome (maybe more!)

We're pretty much shut down for the summer here now. Temps are 95+ at 7:30 pm. Just too hot to pizza outside. Are you able to reliably use the oven in the summer in TAmpa RT? (I know you can in Indiana, PP!)


RTflorida 06-24-2009 03:03 PM

Re: Oven Dome Temperature
Jay, taking a break from the oven here as well. I did my last pies 2 wks ago in 90+ temps, it isn't any fun to need a cold shower or dip in the pool after cooking/before eating. The afternoon/evening storms (caused by the heat/humidity) also put a damper on things, you can't plan ahead unless you are interested in breakfast pizza.
Maybe, I will use my oven once a month between now and November (then at least once a week through the winter).


texassourdough 06-24-2009 03:36 PM

Re: Oven Dome Temperature
Hi RT!

I kind of suspected you were probably in the same shape I was. Too Hot!

Now is when I switch to the grill if I really want a pizza (or just do it indoors -fortunately GOOD pies made by an experienced WFO operator are still way above the typical oven pizza!)

I am looking forward to October when it actually gets cool.


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