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  #11  
Old 01-24-2011, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Mesquite has a high rating, it has to be moisture.
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Originally Posted by dmun View Post
Yeah, I vote for wet insulation. If true, your oven will get better and better. I'm not fussy about the wood I use until right before pizza cooking time. Get some skids, bust them up, and build some really big fires. 51 is a really big oven, and buying firewood by the bag will get you broke quick.
I'm down in Peru, and the coastline is a desert region (so we don't have free wood available ).

Commercially, I have only found eucaliptus and algarrobo (which I can best describe as mesquite, being the same genus - Prosopis)

I have roughly calculated about a ton/month for my operation, which will run me about $300 (a bit more than I originally planned, I think I went a couple of inches big on the diameter.... I went from 47 to 51 last minute. Now I think it's going to cost me.... )
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:54 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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Originally Posted by Tenorio74 View Post
I'm down in Peru, and the coastline is a desert region (so we don't have free wood available ).

Commercially, I have only found eucaliptus and algarrobo (which I can best describe as mesquite, being the same genus - Prosopis)

I have roughly calculated about a ton/month for my operation, which will run me about $300 (a bit more than I originally planned, I think I went a couple of inches big on the diameter.... I went from 47 to 51 last minute. Now I think it's going to cost me.... )
Tenorio, I'm a beginner too, but, have noticed several people with similar reports early in the life of their ovens....I predict it will get better and better as the moisture levels fall and you have more heat remaining from the fire of the previous day.

The more oven heat carried over from the previous day the better it is for you....What kind of oven door do you have? A good, insulating door would save you a lot of wood burning. There is a good oven door thread here (oven door) and here (Glass door for the view)

Keep us informed of your progress please.
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Last edited by Lburou; 01-24-2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
Tenorio, I'm a beginner too, but, have noticed several people with similar reports early in the life of their ovens....I predict it will get better and better as the moisture levels fall and you have more heat remaining from the fire of the previous day.

The more oven heat carried over from the previous day the better it is for you....What kind of oven door do you have? A good, insulating door would save you a lot of wood burning. There is a good oven door thread here (oven door) and here (Glass door for the view)

Keep us informed of your progress please.
Lburou, thanks for the encouragement! If it wasn't for you guys and this forum, I'd feel adrift at sea...

After last nights firing (dome well over 1000F, floor got to about 800+), shut the oven 9pm and this morning at 9am, the temp was 350/300 dome/floor, so I'm guessing I really didn't soak the heat in. (I have an iron door which get pretty hot, so I guess I'll have to attach insulation on the outside somehow).

However, this morning the exterior is warmer than last night during firing

The dome temp which never went above 98F was 107F in places, and the underside of hearth was (an is @ 11:02am) 112F.

I guess I'll have to keep firing and see. I guess I'm on fire #5 after curing, so I'll give myself a few more runs like last night before worrying to much about wood costs.

Although I did make my 90 second margherita pizza!! It turned out great, so at least I got that right. Now I just have to soak the heat properly to maintain the floor temps....
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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However, this morning the exterior is warmer than last night during firing
Yep, that will happen. The heat has to go somewhere. My support slab remains cool when i'm cooking, but the next day it will be warm to the touch.

Your oven performance will get better and better in the first month of firings, and as long as you keep it dry. You're in the Atacama desert? The place where it's never rained ever? That shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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Your oven performance will get better and better in the first month of firings, and as long as you keep it dry. You're in the Atacama desert? The place where it's never rained ever? That shouldn't be a problem.
Atacama is down south, mostly in Chile but we get some of it. We get on average about 1 inch of rain per year, blah I wish it were more. However, my oven is indoors in my soon to be opened pizzeria, if I can work out the kinks
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

Yes we also use the metric system here in the Philippines. It's difficult to accurately make the conversion from cuft to kilos. Mesquite is a great wood for these purposes. Most people would die for mesquite fire-wood. Just guessing but my 2 cuft is pretty close to your 30 kgs. Tman, you have a good point, propane. Yes, I am using my oven commercially and I quickly found out that sourcing fire-wood was going to be problematic. I plan to install a gas/wood combination burner in my oven for ease of start-up and to lower wood consumption.

I think you are still experiencing water being driven out of the refractory. It can take up to 5 or 6 good pizza temp firings to get it all out. You will use less wood once it is dry. You also experienced the joy of firing up a warm oven. It's so much easier to start a warm oven than a cold one. Keep firing and making pizza, sounds like everything is pretty normal.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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30kg 's of wood!!?? Wow, thats' 66 pounds! Gotta be moisture. If a 30" dome takes almost a week of curing fires, I'd imagine a 51" would take more. I'd say forget going nuclear and just keep a fire going for a lonnnnng duration. That 30 kg's should last a while if you just keep it low and slow.

If you're going to be commercial, maybe you want to consider a propane torch/burner of some sort to help aid in the start-up process (if propane is cheaper). The mesquite should be really good for the purposes.
Tman, I missed your reply while doing work around here.... I also believe it's an insane amount of wood, but yesterday the beast just kept guzzling them up!

Maybe I need to move my fire to the side earlier on, to expose the center floor, or something. Actually, I have about an hour left here so I think I'll burn what I have left while the oven is still warm.

Start-up was easy.... newpaper donuts and kindling! The hard thing was the permanent feeding. Anyone remember the Munster's dragon's name (the one that lived under the stairs)???

I must admit the scary fires coming out the door do intimidate me a bit (funny 'cause I loved burning ants with my magnifying glass as a kid...)
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

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Tman, you have a good point, propane. Yes, I am using my oven commercially and I quickly found out that sourcing fire-wood was going to be problematic. I plan to install a gas/wood combination burner in my oven for ease of start-up and to lower wood consumption.
Lwood, Tman,

Are you referring to the hand held propane torches to blast larger pieces on start-up?

Lwood, by gas/wood burner, do you mean installing a gas line into your oven?

Gonna burn some twigs....
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

also, make sure the wood is dry. Very dry. Wet wood will make it very difficult to get to pizza temp. I always put a load of wood into the oven to dry once it gets below 400 or 500 F. The wood should immediately burst into flames when put onto the fire at above 500F. If it doesn't IMMEDIATELY burst into flames, it's not dry.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Amount of wood to fire a 51 inch (130 cm) oven to pizza temps?

Yes Ten, many people use a hand-held propane torch to get things started (especially if your wood is wet). And Yes again to running a gas line to the oven and installing a gas burner inside the oven permanently. FB just introduced a gas burner option in at least one of the new 2011 models. It's Italian made specifically for pizza ovens. I asked about FB selling the burner separately, but they don't. I have the link to the manufacturer if you want it.
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Last edited by lwood; 01-24-2011 at 04:43 PM.
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