#11  
Old 07-08-2007, 06:39 AM
Dutchoven's Avatar
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Bigger fire in initial start up and don move it until much later would be my suggestion. I have a barrel vault oven and went through the same issues in the beginning. With a circular dome let the fire stay in the middle longer and let the heat soak into the floor. Even if you let the fire burn down completely to coals and let them sit. When you clean the coals out just brush a bit to the side to fire up again and get the rest out. We bake a good bit of bread in our oven so I have learned to soak the heat into the floor but, you have to allow the temperature to balance a bit. I am sure after initial firing your dome bricks are probably 1200 degrees but the floor will maybe be half that, give a little extra time after a bigger fire for the temps to equalize to about 800 each place, and then as mover said maintain a good fire. You built a nice oven by the sound of it, I hope this helps!
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Dutch
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2007, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

how big are the pizza people are cooking are they little or lg 16 in round
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2007, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Mine are usually in the 14 to 16 inch range...sometimes I make them a little bigger but 18 inches is my door width so more than theat is fun to load!
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Dutch
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2007, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

I like the 11"-12" personal size pizza. Very traditional.
James
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2007, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchoven View Post
Bigger fire in initial start up and don move it until much later would be my suggestion. I have a barrel vault oven and went through the same issues in the beginning. With a circular dome let the fire stay in the middle longer and let the heat soak into the floor. Even if you let the fire burn down completely to coals and let them sit. When you clean the coals out just brush a bit to the side to fire up again and get the rest out. We bake a good bit of bread in our oven so I have learned to soak the heat into the floor but, you have to allow the temperature to balance a bit. I am sure after initial firing your dome bricks are probably 1200 degrees but the floor will maybe be half that, give a little extra time after a bigger fire for the temps to equalize to about 800 each place, and then as mover said maintain a good fire. You built a nice oven by the sound of it, I hope this helps!
Best
Dutch
Dutch,
I am also having trouble with my floor. You may be onto a solution. I usually wait to see the dome bricks go white before I start cooking the pizza's maybe the floor isn't there yet. How long do you figure I should leave the fire for before the floor is ready?
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2007, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

I think we might be in Bob Musa territory. He said, I think, that you "don't want a big fire, you want a frightening fire." It may be that in the beginning some of us are a bit timid about this, hence the floor does not get hot enough. The dome will go white at about 750 F, but I always shoot for something in the 900 range before letting the oven moderate. This guarantees that the floor will be hot enough.

A while back, I posted a few fire pics in the photo gallery, as have others with similar experience. Maybe have a look. There is one that shows what I call the "plasma" stage, where the very air seems on fire. That's what you're looking for.

Burn time is a question that seems almost individual to each and every oven. It's a matter of mass and insulation, plus wood type, plus beginning temp of the floor, plus fire size. Don't forget, you want to generate as much flame as possible.

Jim
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  #17  
Old 09-05-2007, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

I pretty much wait until my entire dome goes white before I start cooking. That may mean just starting your fire 15-20 minutes earlier than you think you need to...

Any I second the "frightening fire" idea...that is what you need...

Drake
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  #18  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

I think Robert said something like "if you kids don't say cool, and your wife doesn't say holy "%&#*$#", it's too small.
James
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  #19  
Old 09-05-2007, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

I'm learning as I go in the pizza making part. Much like my learn as you go process with the oven building part. I've been getting over 800 on the oven floor at first and having some heat drop off as I make pizzas. I've tried adding wood to the fire as I cook and also dragging some coals on to the floor again for a minute or so to try to heat the floor back up. Mostly I dragged coals onto the floor to burn up any toppings that flew off of my first pizza tries. Any thoughts on this? I love the frighteningly large fire idea too. How do you feel about the size of the fire (along the side of the oven) as you continue cooking?
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

After oven comes to temp, etc. I add a piece of wood to maintain a flame that comes to the center of the dome when baking pizza.
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