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Xabia Jim 01-12-2007 01:54 AM

Heat Juggling
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My fire started at 3:30, everything about 80 degrees in the sun.

The following lists my heat point measurements and readings:

Time, Outside, Door, Hearth, Back Wall, Lintel, Dome

4pm 105 300 270 220 380 390

430 105 440 450 400 550 780

5pm 115 380 550 450 550 whitening

Pizza time....Put in two pizzas in succession....happy!

Let oven cool down, spread coals, push to back....Time to bake some stuff:

Albondigas with roasted shallots - spanish meatballs

Roasted fennel, turnips and onions, with roasted garlic bulbs

Whole wheat sourdough breads -5 Breadsticks, 6 Breads and 15 Rolls (see bread posting)

Pulled coals for fireplace and put 4 calzones where the coals were.

8pm 125 220 300 325 closed damper

Put in two chickens, roasted for about 2.5 hours (see roasted chicken posting)

All in all a successful bake. Pizzas great, calzones were late, breads to taste and toast....chickens look awesome. One is a gift with roasted vegetables and the other is going for a picnic in the mountains.

Next morning the hearth and back wall were 175 degrees, if I'd closed damper and covered, I'm sure it would have been higher.

Any comments on cooking lots of things at different temps would be appreciated.....

james 01-12-2007 05:58 AM

Re: Heat Juggling
Hey Jim,

How long are you going to be in Javea this time? Are you settled in for the winter? The year? I am guessing you are having great weather -- it's beautiful and warm here today. I guess global warming has its benefits, as long as you don't live in at sea level.:rolleyes:

It looks to me as though after about 90 minutes, your cooking floor was about 550F and the dome was going clear. Do you think there is any way to get your floor hotter? Say 650F?

If you can do that, I think the bottom and the top of the pizza will both cook in about 3 mintues -- perfect balance. Anything longer than that, I think you pizza might tend to dry out and get a little tougher. The 2-3 minute pizza has a dark brown crust, but the pizza crumb is still moist and chewy.

Something to think about.

Xabia Jim 01-12-2007 09:42 AM

Re: Heat Juggling
James, are you really in Florence? or California?

We're in Javea for the winter. Weather is fine as long as the sun is out! It's a cold country with a hot sun.....

I'm finding that the pizzas are coming out fine. I'm not used to the high heat that you talk about and will have to experiment with the hotter hearth and three minute pizzas! I'm also using the whole wheat recipes (doctors orders) which are a bit different. It's probably a bit lower temperature on the hearth, but I then turn down the fire a bit so it's not blasting the top of the pizza too bad. I also have a tendency to overload the pizza a bit trying to get too much on it!

Thanks for your thoughts....


james 01-12-2007 10:08 AM

Re: Heat Juggling

The coldest I have ever been was in my father-in-law's house outside Denia in December -- before he put in central heating. Ouch. I think you could see your breath over breakfast.

We're in Florence now, and this will be our third year out of four here. FB has a great team in California, so we are able to do this. :) Still, our oldest daughter goes into High School next year, and good schools are on our mind.

I think you will enjoy some Italian pizza in a hotter oven. Give it shot and see if you like it.


Xabia Jim 01-13-2007 10:17 PM

Re: Heat Juggling

I know what you mean. My parents lived in Javea for 30 years without central heat. Leaky doors and windows whistled in the winds. They had a fireplace and used the "gas fires" with butano for radiant heat. It's hard to heat up a concrete house in the winter here. In their last few years they had a hot tub by the pool and that warmed their old bones...

Now I think you're quite a bit colder in Florence....keep those fires burning!

Italy is on our list to explore in the next few years.....our youngest just got married! So we're empty nesters....

I'd sent you an email at FB, did you get it?


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