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james 05-02-2008 10:06 AM

Fire on the side; not the back
If you will be baking with a live fire (as you would when making pizza or other high heat dishes), you should push the fire to the side of the oven, not to the back. There are two good reasons for this.

First, you can see the side of the pizza (or whatever you are cooking) and be ready to turn it when brown. It’s harder to do that when the fire is in the back.

Second, your oven will cook better. Wood-fired ovens work by breathing in cold air through the lower part of the oven opening, heating it and circulating it around the oven dome, and then exhausting it out the top of the opening. By putting the fire in the back, you are giving the cold air a longer path before it hits the heat source, which is both cooler, and less likely to create a nice circular convection pattern.


dconnolly 10-05-2011 02:45 PM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
A quick question. Has anyone out there built the fire on a metal pan and used that to contain the ashes and to move the fire around from starting in the center and then to the side? I used a 9 x 13 to build a small fire in for curing adn it worked really well, and since I did not yet have a oven brush, avoided a mess trying to clean out the ashes....made me wonder if I could do the same for baking?

buckeyebreadman 10-05-2011 05:06 PM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
Being a relative newbie myself, I can't comment with any authority......however, it sounds brilliant to me!

Les 10-05-2011 05:59 PM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
Some claim that the ash is what makes the pizza unique.

BurntFingers 06-10-2012 07:25 AM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
Sounds like a plan. Today I will try it - fire on the right side pizza on left. Instead of fire in the back as I have been doing for years. I lighted the fire this morning for pizza at noon and breads at two. -- back to work.

BurntFingers 06-12-2012 10:22 AM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
Thanks for the hint. I tried the fire on the right side. It took a bit of practice to get used to it. It sure did work well. Made the fire the usual way lined the entire perimeter with one layer of elbow to wrist sized wood, a three level rick in the center with kindling under bottom layer. Once the bricks turned white again, moved the fire to the right side. Then I baked up five pizza before spreading out the fire to prep for a bread bake. All went well.

GrahamG 12-19-2013 01:43 AM

Re: Fire on the side; not the back
James, this was recommended to us by the manufacturers of the WFO, and to alternate the sides every time you fired it up to get even burning.

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