Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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stevenki 05-12-2006 08:06 PM

moving and positioning the fire
First. This is a great forum. Im really looking forward to making that big fire tomorrow. Second. Do you guys move the fire around to eaqually heat the hearth bricks and the dome bricks? Third, are you using larger logs to fire the beast up to temp and then use smaller logs as you continue to cook? And lastley the door. My oven does not have a door on it at least not yet. Just outside the dome is the flue and then the outside open of the oven. Do you have a door on the outside of the oven and does that do anything to heat the oven up more rapidly if its closed? What is the door made of if indead I have what your talking about in my mind?


stevenki 05-12-2006 08:11 PM

Another equipment question
For a 36" diameter dome with a 20" dome height are my ratios ok? Door height again is 13" X 19". What would you have around as standard tools for my oven. Peel's - Aluminum, or Wood or both? Length of the peel? Brushes and or scrapers, Equipment to move the position of the fire? Aluminum pizza trays vs. small short wooden peels to make the pizzas on. I have stayed with three sizes 14", 12" and 9" I assume most will be smaller then 14"


CanuckJim 05-13-2006 05:52 AM


Mine is a bread oven, so I can't help you with ratios. However, the basic rule of thumb is to make your peels the depth of your oven depth plus two feet. This is handy for preventing sleeve fires and hair burning off your arms. I make my own wooden peels, but you can buy them. Visit the Forno Bravo Store.

Here's my tool list, in no particular order: welder's gloves, brass brush, scraper, hearth mop, pump sprayer, several different peels for different breads, beer.

I don't bake pizza very often, but when I do, I build the monster fire, then spread out the coals to equalize, then build a smaller fire of fruit wood for when the pies are cooking. I ALWAYS use the door, not when the pizza's cooking, but to equilibriate the heat beforehand. For breads, the door stays on during baking. You can build a door yourself out of 3/4" ply, gavlanized metal and tin foil. The file sizes on the pics I have are too large to post here, but I'll send them directly to your email address. Then we can discuss.

Cheers, and don't worry, you'll be just fine.


stevenki 05-13-2006 06:31 AM

pizza fire
So you build a big fire let it basical get down to hot coals, spead throughtout the oven get equal heat trhoughout. Get a temp reading of the oven build a small fire on the side and start cooking? How much ashe and debris from the initial fire remain in the oven? You cant get it all out I imagine. Do you just cook the pizza on the ash. I assume you don't mop out the oven as it will then become a more moist environment. Just rookie questions but I appreciate the patience. Whats the pump spayer for? Bread I assume. When do you spray, just befroe you put the door on I suspect.


CanuckJim 05-13-2006 01:24 PM

Sort of

Here goes; short form; I'm out of time for today. 1. Build big, big fire (regulate burn with DRAFT door). 2. When reduced to lots of coals, break up and spread out over hearth, deepest toward the oven mouth. 3. Let burn to ash. 4. Scrape out ash (there will be surprisingly little) then brush hearth clean (yep, you can get it all out). 5. Install OVEN door. 6. Prep your doughs, mise en place your toppings, have a drink, pet dog, kiss wife (notice order here, very important). 7. You've got it knocked now, don't rush. 8. Remove OVEN door; test heat levels. 9. Build pizza fire. 10. Bake pizza. 11. Finish baking. 12. Scrape out remaining coals and ash. 13. Install OVEN door to keep heat in for tomorrow. 14. Next day or several days later, start over at 1 at a retained heat level you won't believe at first.

This method is NOT set in brick. It's merely the one that works for me. Doubtless there are countless others that work just as well.


james 05-13-2006 04:13 PM

Pizza oven tools and gadgets

Forno Bravo supplies all the goodies you could ever need for a brick oven. We have metal peels and tools from Italy, including rectangular peels for setting pizzas, round peels for turning pizza, copper brushes, oven rakes and coal shovels. We have both standard and premium versions of each of these. We also have wooden peels, with and without long handles. There are also log holders, metal grills, chicken holders, infrared thermometers and terracotta bakeware.

I'm probably forgetting something cool. Anyway, we've got you covered there.

The Forno Bravo Store is here:

jwnorris 01-22-2007 08:04 AM

Positioning the fire for cooking - what works best?
I find that I tend to cook with the fire banked in the rear of the oven as oposed to it being on one of the sides. What are other people experiencing? What are the pros and cons to a given position?


james 01-23-2007 06:15 AM

Re: moving and positioning the fire
I have always thought there were two good (at least logical) reasons to put the first on one side. The practical one is that you can see the side of the pizza (or whatever you are cooking) and be ready to turn it when it is brown. It's harder to do that when the fire is in the back. Second, in theory, the oven will cook better. Your oven is breathing in cold air through the lower part of the oven opening, heating it and circulating it around the oven dome, then exhausting it out the top of the opening. By putting the fire in the back, you are giving the cold air a longer path before it hits the heat source, which is both cooler, and less likely to create a nice circular convection pattern.

Does everyone agree with that, or is it a stretch?

Either way, all the wood-fired pizzerias I go to have the fire on the side.


Bob C 01-23-2007 06:27 AM

Re: moving and positioning the fire
i certainly agree...having experienced a few burned crusts(when the fire was in the back) and i have noticed better performance with the fire on the also makes it a little easier to reload when the troops decide that they are not quite done eating

Also, Jim, I haven't been here for a while. It is great to see the increase in members and what you have done...keep up the good work.


fdn1 01-23-2007 07:00 AM

Re: moving and positioning the fire
I spread the burning coals all along the back 1/2 or so of the perimeter of the oven. The pizza pies are then 1/2 surronded by the burning coals (still flaming). I do have to rotate the pizzas frequently to prevent the edges form burning.

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