#11  
Old 11-06-2006, 04:16 PM
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I am getting a little better performance though we seem to be using the same methodology (that is, burn for 1 hour, push the fire over and keep the flames licking across the dome- that seems to be the key). But I am only using 6oz dough balls and making 10" pizzas...

I put the pizzas midway between the coals and the dome, right under the reflected heat from the flames licking across the dome. I rotate the pizzas twice. I think that extra distance from the glowing coals that the smaller pizza allows may help let the bottom crust bake before the top and ourter crust are burned...

Hope that helps!

Drake
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2006, 12:48 AM
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Arthur,
I have a couple of thoughts.

First, how many fires have you had? I think you are probably still drying out the oven -- and it will continue to get better. You are not venting heat out the bottom. Also, for a while, try longer firings before you cook. If you are going to cook a longer series of pizzas and shoot for the short-bake/high heat style, give the oven a two hour firing for the next couple of times. It will help fully dry the hearth, and give you a good data point for how hot the floor is getting and how much heat it is retaining before you start to cook.

Are you shooting your infrared at different spots on the floor after you have moved the fire and between your various pizzas? You can actually drive up the heat of the floor with a good fire -- while still continuing to cook pizzas.

Last, have you bought the FB log holder? It elevates the wood and gives you good airflow and a better fire, which is better at drive heat across the cooking floor.

It will all comes together.
James
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2006, 06:44 AM
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I have probably had 6-10 fires.

When you say longer fires, I assume you mean longer with the wood in the middle of the oven?

I am shooting my infrared at different spots. Before I move the fire over to the side I typically wait until I get 850 or so near the coals (which currently takes about 1 hour), but the temp varies. After moving the coals to the side I wait until it heats up again (throwing some more wood) and gets to 850 by the coals and then it goes down to 650/550 much further away.

I have not bought the log holder yet, but thinking about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by james
First, how many fires have you had?

Also, for a while, try longer firings before you cook.

Are you shooting your infrared at different spots on the floor after you have moved the fire and between your various pizzas?

Last, have you bought the FB log holder?
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2006, 07:45 AM
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This really makes sense. I think you are still effectively curing the oven. This will be fine.

Yes, by long I would give the oven a good two hour burn in the center before you push it over. That will help dry out the oven and drive more heat into the floor. You will definitely see better hearth heat than you are experiencing now. Also, are your fires pretty beefy?

Once you have done the longer firing a couple of time, you can cut back and see where it works best. One more thing, I have a friend/customer who fires his Artigiano for hours before cooking, just so it operates at peak performance. He's a perfectionist and keep his oven well fired and hot is part of his routine. Keep going and you will find what it best for you.

The log holder is only $25. I made a posting on using it in an indoor Alan Scott oven (where it is almost impossible to keep the cooking floor hot) and it really did help. I did with and without tests with my infrared.

The next time you are cooking, watch the floor temperature, and if it drops off, build up the fire, and re-test the floor to see that you can bring the floor temperature back up. That will be a right sign.
James
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2006, 08:23 AM
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The floor (hearth) will acquire higher temperatures in places in which the coals are not over them. Meaning, it is better to start the fire near of the entry, move and left the fire grow up in the center and displace it to the side or rear (depends on your like) and feed up there.

I use to Excel control the oven temperatures and all the graphs shows that the hearth in which the pizza is going to be baked needs to be clean and without fire to reach the highest temperatures.

Of course, big fire and white dome J

I am sure that the fire holder is a good tool to achieve that.

Otherwise, it could be better do not forget that the coals directly over the hearth are going to “clean” the floor from last time toppings or fat dropped.



Luis
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2006, 09:14 AM
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That's a good point, and it reminds of another thing to do.

When you build your fire, start in the middle of the oven, the after that has caught and is burning nicely, build the fire out to the sides when you add more wood. Your fire becomes wider than way, which drives heat more evenly down into the cooking floor at all points.
James
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  #17  
Old 11-07-2006, 11:21 AM
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Most folks think (and not unreasonably) that the hearth of an oven will be hottest under the fire or hot coals. This in fact is not true as the wood ash that the fire and hot coals sit on acts as an insulating material thus directing heat up to the ovens dome. The fire and hot coals will drive heat into the hearth and the hearth will store the heat, however, to get the ovens hearth and dome really hot for pizzas the flame needs to be licking across the ovens dome. The heat will then be absorbed by the hearth and dome.

Two tips I have found out regards cooking a lot of pizzas in a short time is: keep the ovens floor clean – then most of the dough will come in contact with the hot hearth and cook evenly, and try not to put new pizzas into the oven on the same place on the hearth. If you alternate the place on the hearth where you deposit the new pizza it will allow the hearth to absorb heat and recover.

Alf
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2006, 02:45 PM
Peasant
 
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Thanks to all. Great advice.

I will try several things suggested including:
- "pre-heat" longer - 2 hours
- build fire outward with more wood
- take temp readings to identify problem area
- get fire roaring across oven dome

This weekend lots of people coming over so we'll see
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  #19  
Old 11-08-2006, 02:25 AM
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PizzaArthur:

If you go to the "Pizza party for 35..." thread, you could see comments about fire management problems that I had in a big party, and some tips too.
The first attached picture shows a over charged oven (hot, hot, but not good to hearth temperatures)
The second one is ok.
I hope that helps.

Luis
Attached Thumbnails
How hot can it go-ovenfired1.jpg   How hot can it go-firefighting1.jpg  
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2006, 06:19 AM
Peasant
 
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Thanks Luis. That was a great post. I tend not to get a roaring fire like the ones you have in the pictures (and maybe that's a good thing). I do think you touched on the important point of air flow and making sure the hearth is able to be heated. I guess all of this stuff takes practice
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