#41  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:53 AM
Aussie Pete's Avatar
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Hi all, this post hasn't been used for a while, but i think this is where this question belongs...input please..

is there a scale as to how the inside of the oven heat is maintained & dropped off, (bare with me....)

for example.. if an oven is a refractory cement mould 36" with a 19" x 11" door, and 3" fire brick floor and "x" amount of insulation on top of the dome (example only), is there a heat scale that it will hold temperature at, and a scale showing over time the drop off of heat. (Example...oven reaches 800F,... in half hour it is 770F, .....in 2 hours it is 640F, with no more wood added & door in place).
I hope i have explained that properly.

I'm guessing its just too hard to predict, with all the different types of ovens & materials.
Would such a scale be helpful in anyway, i'm thinking it might help to know when your good to go for baking breads, because you could get it to such a temperature, then check the scale and know that in say 3 hours, your good to start baking some breads. Am i over thinking the whole oven temperature idea too far, or would this "such scale" be useful. I'm also guessing that the more experienced oven owners here would know exactly when to cook anything, just in their head.

I suppose i'm a bit technical info brainiac...as in, i like to know all the facts and be in total control of what i'm doing. A bit anal you could say.
I'd also like to put thermocouples in my oven, but i'm a bit worried of their longetivity and their working life, i would hate to put them in the oven, only to have them fail 2 weeks later. I also would like to be able to place them in with the option to easily replace, can this be done without leaving gaping holes in my oven dome. The other reason, is i can acquire them easily and cheaply.

Sorry if i have missed this topic completely...."blame the novice guy"
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  #42  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Pete,
The materials in the oven builds and fires vary too much to have a calculator that can do “what ifs” in a meaningful way. That said, with a bit of effort 5 to 8 degrees F or 3 to 5C per hour is very reasonable. As the oven matures, over the first 10 to 20 burns, the owner starts to understand the fire, the oven, and how they relate. If you insert thermocouples and monitor the temp over time you can start to get a feel for heat loss over time although an inexpensive IR thermometer will do the trick. The other part of the equation is the storage of the heat in the structure and this is dependent on the fire size and burn time and even how the fire is moved around in the oven or not.

Because of all of these variables, cooking / baking in the oven is more art than not. The most successful on this site are those with time using their ovens and those who have taken the time to know how to build and maintain a fire in their oven and how much their oven drops temp.

My description makes things seem more formidable than it really is and it’s really an example of how over thinking it makes the whole process daunting… It’s not. Once you start using the oven it’s not any more complicated than grilling or baking in the kitchen just a lot more fun and gratifying.

Chris

Last edited by SCChris; 01-26-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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  #43  
Old 01-26-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Chris has it right. Every oven is different.
A few years ago I took regular temperature measurements (handheld IR thermometer) as my oven cooled. After feeding the numbers into a spread sheet, I generated some graphs.

As it turns out, the cool down schedule for a particular oven is very consistent and very predictable.

After using your oven a few times, you won't even need a graph or thermometer.

Here are the graphs I made:
http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f17/...raph-4123.html (Oven Temperature Graph)

[edit] I wouldn't do this until your oven is WELL seasoned and cured. Your cool down schedule will be inaccurate if the oven isn't completely cured.
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  #44  
Old 01-26-2012, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

thanks chris & Ken, i'm in a bit of agreeance with you both, i probably am over thinking the whole temp thing. I suppose after i have played around with my oven a bit i will know my oven like the back of my hand....("where the hell did that vein come from" ).
Ken love your idea of the graph, i suppose thats the sort of thing i was thinking of, but my graph would probably only benefit me and be kind of useless to anyone else. If anything it would be fun to test & document for my own personal use.
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  #45  
Old 01-26-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Hi all,

Yes, knowing your oven after a number of firings will surely help. Also realize that if you fire the oven, let's say every day for a week and never really let it cool down, assuming that you have plenty of thermal mass your results will be different from a firing from a cold start once a week. What i am saying is that you need to take into consideration all types of variables.

I know in my oven that if I fire it for pizza on Friday evening and fire it up again on Saturday morning to bake bread that afternoon the results will be different from just firing it on Saturday morning for pizza lunch and bread bake and roast beef or turkey in the late afternoon.
Bill
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  #46  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

yeh Bill, your right, i think theres way too many variables to be considered. Oh well, atleast it might give me something to do when not at work. I think i might turn out to be 1 of those old blokes that tinker around in their sheds all day, doing stuff all.....except....i'll be at my oven.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntFingers View Post
Hi all,
Also realize that if you fire the oven, let's say every day for a week and never really let it cool down, assuming that you have plenty of thermal mass your results will be different from a firing from a cold start once a week.
Are saying that an oven fired for 4 days straight will cool down at a different rate than an oven heated up to the same temperature from a cold start? If so, I disagree.

A fully saturated oven, after the heat source is removed, should pretty much cool down on the same curve no matter how long or how often it had been previously heated or reheated.
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  #48  
Old 01-27-2012, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

An easy way to think about the heat storage in the WFO is like the rechargable battery in your phone. If you plug it in for a short time your not likley to fully charge an empty battery, but if your phone was just a bit off of full charge you might have topped the battery off so you now have the maximum time available.

Chris
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  #49  
Old 01-27-2012, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken524 View Post
Are saying that an oven fired for 4 days straight will cool down at a different rate than an oven heated up to the same temperature from a cold start? If so, I disagree.

A fully saturated oven, after the heat source is removed, should pretty much cool down on the same curve no matter how long or how often it had been previously heated or reheated.
If your oven weighs 4 tons and it is heated up for a week it will cool down much slower than an oven that weighs one ton. The thermal mass will be much more and take much more time to cool. It is like comparing a D battery (cell) with a 500 Ampere/hour battery. Much longer to charge and surely much longer to discharge. I haven't weighed my oven but I know it has plenty of thermal mass. It takes much longer to heat up and much longer to cool down than my metal gas fired BBQ.
Burntfingers aka BillPizzaiolo
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  #50  
Old 01-27-2012, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Temperature ratings in wood-fired ovens

That is why you have to "know" your oven. Each one has many variables, size, weight, thermal mass, insulation, moisture, material composition, construction, time, heat source and speed of fire. Most bread bakers using a WFO do "artisan" bread and don't bake WonderBread type breads or store bought frozen pizzas. There is a difference between ovens methods and types. A tinkerer's delight for sure. That is why I also drive a 35 year old tractor on our farm. It always needs me to make it work right. No GPS, no fancy electronics just TLC. (tender loving care) Wives and wine are that way too. Both will turn to vinegar if mishandled.
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