What is cooking temperature
What is the average temperature of a wood-fired bake oven? 600-700 degrees F?
I cook pizza with a hearth temp of 650-700F (wall temp of about
800-850). I cook bread at a wall/dome temp of about 400-450F. For
prime rib I wait until the bricks are at 250F. I do turkey at 250 too
but will push it to 300 if I don't want to wait for the cool down.
Roasting in the fire is 600-650F hearth temp surrounded by fire
wrapped around the pan and roasting overnight is 250 when it goes in
and it's down to about 200F the next morning.
Could you please define "hearth temp". My oven has a thermometer imbedded in the bricks at the top of the dome and I use a laser gun IR thermometer to measure the deck (floor) temp. What deck temp do you suggest for pizza. Bread? Thanks.
I have always thought the concept of "temperature" in a brick oven is pretty interesting -- there are so many ways of going about it. Temperature in the dome face, 1" or 2" inside the dome, the floor, 1"-2" inside the floor, the air temperature, just to name a few.
I would be interested in hearing how many folks cook by feel and by knowing their oven, and how many are using infrared thermometer, and how many put thermocouples in their ovens.
Personally, I still cook by feel. I tend to stick my hand in the oven and count Mississippis. Bread is 4-5 Mississippis, roasting is 2-3, pizza is 0 (because you can't put your hand in the oven without burning all the hair off your knuckles). Still, the new infrared thermometers go to 1000F and only cost about $125, so maybe I will start experimenting with one. As my family will confirm, I think of cooking as one experiment after the other, and I can't cook the same dish the same way twice.
What does everyone use?
I had used an oven prior to building my own and learned some of the visual signs of temperature and discovered through experience the different heat regions in the oven.Out of interest I just picked up a laser gun type thermometer to better know how this project was reacting etc.and how I might improve/tweak my next one.
has anyone else tried embedding thermometers in the oven? any reasons, other than inconistencies throughout the oven, that this would not work, or even pose a problem? bill, did you just drop yours in at the very end when you put the last keystone in? due to finances, i'll probably be using james' "one mississippi..." method, but i'd like to at least put a thermometer in the dome somewhere.
IMO you are better of going with James method and the visual signs-Black dome to White etc.If you look at the different oven mafs. web sites you can garner a lot of tips and info also as you move along and gain experience.A Laser gun is interesting and useful to check out the lower range temperatures for Bread Baking etc.and gain knowledge as to the thermal dynamics/insulation of your own oven.I found that after 18 hrs my oven remained at about 230 degrees.As far as Pizza is concerned,you want to crank it up as high as you can and keep a live flame when cooking.
I have been thinking about putting two thermocouple in my next oven just to see what it tells me about how heat works -- how fast it moves to the outer parts of the mass, how long it holds, what the outer part does when the inner layer is 750+, etc. I am thinking about one a couple inches in the dome and the floor. Still, I think that talks more to my curiosity about oven design and performance than to practical cooking. After a while, I think you just get to know your oven and what you need to do for the type of cooking you are doing.
We baked bread the other day (after our daughter's birthday pizza party) with a friend who is a serious baker, and we had to put the loaves in the oven before it had had time to fully cool (he had to leave at a set time). It was between 2 1/2 and 3 mississippis -- and I knew how it was going to go. The bread was getting dark after about 15 minutes, but not hallow sounding enough inside, so we threw a little foil over it to keep it from burning while it finsihed baking. The bread wasn't perfect, but it was really good. So, I have gotten to where I can tell what is going to happen with this oven -- just in time to leave it behind! We are leaving this house in 3 weeks.
Bonjour Laser Thermometer
Here are a couple of links to online sources for this infrared laser thermometer (point & shoot to get a temp):
http://www.chefsresource.com/bonjour...ermometer.html $79 (will beat any shipped price)
This is a mechanics oriented thermometer designed to check the temp of engine components with a max of 932F. Looks & specs an awful lot like the BonJour culinary one.
I'd go with the mechanics version and also get one of these:
to check the temp of meat/bread without needing to open the door (they also have a version for $40 that broadcasts the temp/time to a remote receiver up to 100 feet away so you don't have to go out to the oven to check on things).
i'm pretty much a "who needs a recipe?" kind of guy, if you know what i mean, so i'm sure james' "mississippi" method will work fine once i cook in it a few times and get a feel for it...but the mad scientist in me will surely want to measure heat somehow. thanks for the links, jim. i think i'll definitely go for the automotive infrared unit. i'd love to also use it to do experiments with thermal mass in my mashtun when making beer.
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