#41  
Old 09-28-2007, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

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Great advice all. If you end up with a large bank of coal from firing your oven, you can shovel a good percentage of it out into a steel pail.
The other day I shoveled a bunch of excess red coals into the Weber BBQ, and closed it up with the lid. The next bake I had a load of stick charcoal, which I put in the Weber fire starter,



and it started right up with a piece of crumpled newspaper in minutes, much faster that briquettes. I was able to go from match to hot coals in minutes, ready for logs.
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  #42  
Old 09-28-2007, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Interesting, I will have to try that, I have been using a small metal garbage can with a locking lid. I was shoveling coals out the other day, and my dad said, hey, you just made charcoal, but of course, I ignored him....silly me....

Also, I would caution everyone, those coals will smolder for days, don't throw them into the trash for a long long time...
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  #43  
Old 09-28-2007, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Or use a Shopvac after days and days.
James
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Last edited by james; 10-29-2007 at 08:00 PM.
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  #44  
Old 10-29-2007, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Hello All:

I've been reading this helpful thread, but still need some help. I've got a relatively small oven (the diameter of my cooking surfact is about 34") and I've been cranking out great food, but not great pizzas.

The problem is bottom heat. I get pizzas with perfectly done "tops" but undercooked bottoms. If I pre-cook the crusts for a minute, then top them, I have excellent results. But I think that's just stupid.

I keep active flame on the side of the oven during pizza cooking and have experimented with big fire (flames coming all the way across the dome) and small fire (flame coming 1/4 across the dome), but while both seem to recharge the dome, neither seem to recharge the floor effectively.

Should I be moving the fire pile from side to side after every five of six pizzas? Does this even recharge the floor? Sometimes I feel the floor doesn't get very hot under those big piles of coals on the fire-bearing side.

Any help anyone can offer?

Thanks!

Goatboy
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  #45  
Old 10-29-2007, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Goatboy, how much area and how thick is the vermiculite, concrete mix? This sounds like the issue. How about heating? What temp do you get up to and maintain?
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  #46  
Old 10-30-2007, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Hi

The diameter of the floor is about 38". The floor is composed of 3" deep fire brick, beneath which there is a concrete pad (but no insulation). The dome is a layer of fire brick, on top of which was plastered about 3" of concrete/vermiculite, on top of which is a layer of decorative stone. After about three and a half hours of firing, the dome itself begins to feel warm to the touch.

I don't have a thermometer, but I fire the oven for about an hour before making pizza. I measure by putting my hand toward the dome and when I cannot count to "one-one thousand," I estimate it's around 700 degrees.

Let me know if that sheds any light on the issue. Thanks for your response.

Goatboy
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  #47  
Old 10-30-2007, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

....when I say that the dome begins to feel warm to the touch after 3. 5 hours of firing, I mean on the exterior of the dome, of course. I wouldn't be foolish enough to try touching the whitened interior!
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  #48  
Old 10-30-2007, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

Sounds to me that the concrete floor under the firebrick is wicking away the heat. Anyone else agree with that?
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  #49  
Old 10-30-2007, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

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Originally Posted by oventhusiast View Post
Sounds to me that the concrete floor under the firebrick is wicking away the heat. Anyone else agree with that?
Absolutely. Having no insulation underneath means a hot slab and a cold cooking floor. Unfortunately it's not an easy fix. You can build the fire in the center, and rake it over at the last minute before putting the pizza in, but that won't keep it hot. It may also be too hot, charing the bottom before the cheese bubbles.

How's your floor mounted? could you lift the bricks and sneak in a layer of cal-sil sheet insulation? that would give you a little less room in the oven, but it's better than an oven that won't cook pizza.
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  #50  
Old 10-30-2007, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Driving heat across the cooking floor

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Originally Posted by dmun View Post
Absolutely. Having no insulation underneath means a hot slab and a cold cooking floor. Unfortunately it's not an easy fix. You can build the fire in the center, and rake it over at the last minute before putting the pizza in, but that won't keep it hot. It may also be too hot, charing the bottom before the cheese bubbles.

How's your floor mounted? could you lift the bricks and sneak in a layer of cal-sil sheet insulation? that would give you a little less room in the oven, but it's better than an oven that won't cook pizza.
I agree that the lack of underfloor insulation is the problem. Hopefully you can get the floor bricks up.

While two inches of insulation would be preferable, at least an inch will improve things a lot.

J W
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