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8mat 04-24-2008 04:48 AM

Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven

I have a new purpose moulded off the shelf pizza oven in a house in the south of France, first time of using last weekend was less than successful to say the least. I have since discovered this excellent website & am hoping for some advice which will seem very basic to most of you.
Firstly does a purpose moulded oven need the same curing process as is discussed at length on various threads ?
Secondly I was using 3 to 4 logs to build a fire in the centre of the oven and placed another 7 or 8 logs on the fire over the next hour or so & at one stage the temperature reached 180 celsius but then dipped to around 100 and stayed there. Result was I got through a pile of logs & ended up cooking in the house oven. Should I be packing the oven with logs once the fire has taken ?

Any advice would be welcome on the best wood to source in that area as well .

Thank you in advance


Dutchoven 04-24-2008 06:01 AM

Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven
If you can, post some my opinion curing is an important part of the process no matter what kind of oven you use...check out some of the posts in the "Firing your oven" category to get an idea of how big the fire should be to get your oven up to heat...hardwoods are probably the best but you can really burn just about treated wood though

asudavew 04-24-2008 06:15 AM

Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven
Is it insulated?

I agree with Dutchoven, we could use some pics.

dmun 04-24-2008 06:42 AM

Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven
Your top temperature, 180c is 356f. That's the temperature you'd bake cookies at, and of course 100 is water boiling temperature. I find it hard to think how you'd keep something as cool as 180c in the presence of a blazing eight log wood fire. How are you measuring your temperatures? Does the carbon burn off the inside of your dome?

A prefab oven should not be that different than a brick built one. Either, of course, can lack insulation.

CajunKnight 05-18-2008 03:43 PM

Re: Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven
Well I am just in thought from building a fire in a cast iron stove or fireplace or even a camp fire. You have a cold burning fire. This could very well be caused by wood that is not seasoned peoperly. Wet wood will burn but it doesnt get hot. I had that problem on year roasting a whole hog. I could not get the fire desired. So at 2am I went and borrowed wood from a neighbors house and a blazing we went. Of course I was calling said neighbor at about 6am since I knew he would be up by then and invited him to come and have some pork.
Moisture in the wood acts like a thermostat. Take a vertical smoker and add a pan of water and you rarely have to worry about it getting to hot.

What type of wood were you using?
Was it smoking a lot?
Did it crack and pop a lot?
Did you hear a sizzle like bacon frying while fire was burning?

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