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mrdj 10-20-2010 05:39 PM

Just finished my 36" "igloo", waited ~2 weeks, maintained a small fire for ~1/2 day. The next day, ran a little bigger fire 4-500 degrees or so, and noticed some cracking. This theme continued, more fires, more cracks. I think it may be done cracking now, but I'm a bit worried about lighting pizza-able fire. My questions are: 1. Is there anything I can/should do about the cracks? 2. What precautions, if any, should I take when using it this winter (I'm in MN, where -20 isn't unusual). Please advise, -Thanks

brickie in oz 10-21-2010 10:47 PM

Re: Cracks!
I looks like you dried it out too quickly 1 day to any high temp is way too soon, you should have built progressively bigger and bigger fires over weeks, not days. :o

SteveP 10-25-2010 09:50 AM

Re: Cracks!
There are good threads on how to cure your oven. Like Oz said, you should have built a small fire on day one then progressively build hotter fires over the next seven days to help drive out moisture.

As for the cold weather startups, I wouldn't know about that since I live in south FL, but it seems to reason, and I have also read, that you should start with a small fire to warm up the brick and mortar as to not shock them.

DrakeRemoray 10-26-2010 08:04 PM

Re: Cracks!
Pictures would help, but cracks are normal. I fire mine up in the winter without special consideration, but it is usually 20-30 deg...No way I am firing it if it is below zero...I am inside man! If you were really worried about it in winter, you could start with a small fire, or put a lamp out in it the night before and close the door on it...

dsgreco 10-27-2010 05:08 AM

Re: Cracks!
I am about 4-5 months into cooking in my oven and I notice a lot of hairline cracks in the mortar joints inside the oven. From everything I have read on the forum this is going to happen in most ovens and is not a major issue. If your bricks are cracking that is a problem.

stonylake 10-27-2010 12:14 PM

Re: Cracks!
My first heat was a trouble light with a 100 watt bulb for 24 hours.. and then a couple of times with a can of sterno.. I'm in Michigan, but agree with DrakeRemoray.. there's no way I'll be running outside to do pizza's when its zero

Neil2 10-28-2010 04:20 PM

Re: Cracks!
"If your bricks are cracking that is a problem."

Actually, until the bricks start dropping onto the top of your pizza it is not a problem.

mrdj 11-15-2010 07:56 PM

Re: Cracks!
-haven't noticed the cracks since I insulated, and built the enclosure to hide them (I read a boatload of posts after my paranoid post, and went with the guy who more or less said "bleep-it, and get to cooking!) . I've fired it to ~1K F, nothing has fallen, and have cooked a couple of chicken breasts, and a phenomenal roast (last night), but so far, only 2 pizzas! -I think that Mrsdj might be finally coming on board with this concept. I plan on doing Thanksgiving turkey in it.

-thanks for the feedback -I'll be posting my story soon.

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