Fireing a Bread oven Vs. a Pizza oven.
Thinking of building myself a brick oven. Have used wood fired ovens in the past, mostly for bread but I have cranked out a pizza or two. I know for pizza you leave a live fire in the oven to keep the heat up and, for bread you scrape the coals out and need a door...
Anyway, what do y'all think are the best ways to heat the oven? The way I normally want about it was by building a fire and waiting till it reached the flash point and all the gasses ignited in the oven. It was fairly easy to do, you just had to watch for the gasses to flash off, the dome to "clean itself" then either rake it all out or push it to one side.
Anyone else know another way?
Sounds right to me
I start the fire in the middle of the oven, then when it is going well, build it out to the sides and back. That way you do a good job of driving heat into the dome and into the cooking floor.
Watch the carbon burn off, and you are ready to move the fire.
I was talking with an experienced oven owner who was using full size (4"x6") pieces of wood when cooking, and after going over it agreed that 2"-3" diameter wood is better when you are keeping the fire hot for pizza.
Would folks agree with that?
Diameter, yes, and length is also a consideration
So, you can use long, fat logs for heating up the oven, but when you're in maintenance mode, having a bunch of smaller pieces on hand is the ticket for keeping the flame.
Door and Coals
We want to make pizza. We could not get the oven hot enough to make pizza yesterday. We pulled the coals out and started a new fire. Then we
cooked the pizza with the fire going, rather than with the oven. We also tried to do the pizza one the hearth and in a pizza pan. Both did well with the fire going but my moves with the peel were less than satisfactory. We
seemed to get a lot of wood ashes on the bottom of the pizza. We used a
damp towel. We pushed the ashes aside, swept the surface, then used a short handle stick and wrapped the damp towel around the hearth. We still got far too much ash on the pizza. Would a hotter fire and less contact time with the fire make for less ash and better pizza.
Fire Placement On the Oven Hearth
I still do not understand where most of the group put their fire on the
oven hearth. I did see where one person starts in the center and then builds to the back and sides. If the ovens sides are 8 inches, does that mean that
there will be more fuel needed to heat to baking than if the sides were
4 to 6 inches.
My oven front, above the door was still hot this morning, but the walls were
not much warmer than sun heated walls. The back was not warm and
the floor was just barealy warm.
Thanksgiving is coming and I would like to get it right.
Thanks for replys,
I think you've got time to be ready for Thanksgiving!
If you fully cure your oven, my guess is that your heat retention will be fine; your oven mass should absorb and hold enough heat. A couple of things to think about:
1. You should build on a door. That will matter for the time it takes to roast a turkey.
2. When it comes time to do the roast, let the coals burn to a low flame, and don't shovel them out. That will keep a heat source in your oven (for security) and if worst comes, you can more easily do a re-fire at the 3/4 point. It's a safety valve.
3. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, roast a large chicken for dinner. It's a dry-run, and see how it goes.
This is from someone with a wife who is nervous about poultry -- so I have had to work on all the contingencies.
Birds and cooking
Thanks for your kind reply. I will do another firing in a few days.
I have to get some wood...
I will also have to see if the charcoal makes any difference.
I guess the first time the oven is fired, it takes longer than
later firings. Am I right?
The cement seem dry, but I guess inside the cement it could be
a lot of water. The water is most likely hindering the
firing and heat retention of the oven. Am I right again?
Thanks for the post...
I think you are spot on. Concrete can take weeks to fully cure, and you are looking for your oven to be tinder dry to really cook well.
Can you see a way of having a series of fires every day for a week or so?
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