starting out with a new oven
I just bought a home with a brick oven in the basement. It has it's own chimney but the opening is in the basement. That whole wall appears to be heat resistant bricks/tiles. The oven itself is brick inside. I have no clue about using it except that I need to start a fire, have a thermometer, and ask for help. There is a round opening to the right of the oven door which we believe had a light? inside? I should take some pics so that you all can understand what I'm talking about. Any ideas for the beginner is appreciated. I've cooked over open fires, used cast iron, even cast iron stoves.
The found brick oven
Congratulations. This could be fun.
We rented a house in Italy while we waited for our first year rental to become available, and there was a brick oven right off the front entry. I pulled out all the brush that had overgrown it -- though we never fired it. A real discovery. We have some friends with an old house and brick oven where they swear the cat went in, and never came out.
Can I ask a couple of quick questions?
Is it round (or square or rectangular) on the floor? How large (diameter) is the cooking floor? How high is it from the cooking floor to the top of the dome? Is the oven fully enclosed (the only opening is through the door, with the vent above the doorway)?
That will help everyone understand what you have.
If you have some sort of European brick oven, you are very lucky, and this could be a lot of fun. Being cautious, have you had anyone inspect the chimney?
I'm looking forward to hearing. If you have a working brick oven, you will have a great time cooking with it. More than half of the new Italian pizza ovens are installed indoors in a downstairs game/playroom call the Rustica. Sounds like you already have one.
Bring it up to heat slowly with a series of small and growing fires (you can buy an Infrared thermometer to see what the temperature is doing) and see if it comes up to heat. Go slow. Great roasts and grilled fish await.
Let us know what it looks like.
re: new oven
I'll post some pics this weekend. What I do know: it's dome shaped; outside you can see cement blocks just above the ground level. I will try to measure it...should be amusing! They had blocked the opening ...and that is hard to get off. They used 2/4's then wedged in a cover. There is a wooden, easier to remove cover with a handle on it that leans in the stove opening. The pics will make it all clearer I"m sure.
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