How long to get your oven hot for pizza
I'm still on the fence regarding style oven and the thickness of bricks/cladding. I'm wondering how long it takes members here to get their oven hot enough for pizza and the style of their oven and the approximate thickness of it.
Mine is a 42" low dome (18" tall, Napoletana style) pompeii brick oven. It takes longer to cool the oven back to bread temperatures (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to drop from 800 back to 550) than it does to heat to pizza temperatures (about 1 hour). I have my hearth bricks sitting directly on a three inch layer of perlite concrete, oven dome made of 1/2 bricks (4 1/2 inches) with about 1/2 inch of cladding, and minimum six inches of loose fill perlite around the oven. I'm still working out the bread making process, but have no problem making more bread than I can eat in a week on the tail of my pizza making - see my recent thread on bread. Welcome to the forum Homebrewer - what's brewing now?
Size of Wood USed?
Maver, (and others):
I am wondering what size wood you used.
I have mostly small stuff here and it seems to
make the proverbial 'flash in the pan' but doesn
not seem to produce the heat that your stuff does.
I burned the oven for over 3 hours and it did not
get hot enough outside to where I could not comfortably
keep my palms on the 8 inch walls.
How much fuel do you use?
I think it depends on the type and amount of wood more than the size - smaller pieces will release their BTUs quicker, which is good, but you may have to constantly feed it. I usually start with alder (sometimes pine) to just get the fire going, then once close to cooking time I switch to maple so I don't have to attend to it as much. I use splits that are generally 4-5 inches by 6-8 inches, sometimes more, sometimes less. Typically 8-12 pieces depending how long we're cooking. Usually more with the initial fire, 3-5 during the pizza making.
Keep working at it JayJay, I think James is right that you probably need more curing. And as far as thanksgiving Turkey, worst case you have a long preheat and then cook with a small fire in the oven (maybe that's where the coconut charcoal comes in) to keep it from cooling. Keep cycling your oven up to temp and I bet you'll find you can maintain a roasting temp for long enough by the end of the month. Insulation to enable holding the higher temps for pizza may be a later addition.
For anyone thinking about different oven styles for backyard cooking, take a look at the graphic I put together on heat up times. I think it will help.
You should consider both heat up time (45 minutes vs. 2-3 hours) and high heat retention (cooking pizza all night vs. losing pizza heat after a couple of pizzas).
I just went out and touched off the oven again, I will try to see how hot
I can get the fire today. I will burn what wood I have today and get some
more in the morning.
Thanks again for the help, all of you... great group!!
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