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Chris 03-27-2007 08:10 PM

This Pompeii Oven is Now Cooking!
It's official. Food has been cooked in the oven, eaten, and declared to be delicious.

The curing fires must be driving out the moisture. I got the dome of the oven up to 950F today. The outer surface of the dome was up to about 275F, indicating that most of the moisture must be out. Once I get a sturdy roof over the oven, all will be well.

I didnít have any dough, so I decided to put tonights dinner into the oven. Since I initially fired it with pallet boards and cedar, I waited until there was no smoke, and only coals remaining. These were pushed to the side, and I threw on three smallish oak logs.

Tonights dinner was oven-roasted chicken, oven-roasted asparagus, and oven-roasted curly fries, with some sweet-potato fries as well. I put the chicken in a cast iron skillet, and put it into the oven when the dome was at about 800F and the floor was 650F. The skin started burning after about a minute, so I covered it up and moved it halfway out the door of the oven.


Here's the chicken:

The asparagus was tossed in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Iíve never roasted asparagus before, and this is now my favorite recipe! Much better than steamed or boiled.

And the whole spread:


james 03-28-2007 01:28 AM

Re: This Pompeii Oven is Now Cooking!
That makes we want to reach out and eat my computer screen. Excellent. Thanks for oven roast asperagus idea -- very good.

How did you do the fries and how did it work?

Hope you enjoyed the Guinness.

Chris 03-28-2007 06:00 AM

Re: This Pompeii Oven is Now Cooking!
The fries are just the frozen-in-a-bag type from the grocery store. The instructions say cook at 450 for about 15 minutes. I put them on top of a piece of foil on an aluminum sheet pan, with a little cooking spray on the foil. They took about 10 minutes. By the time I put the asparagus and fries in, the oven was down to 750F-800F on the dome, and 550F-600F on the floor.


Chris 03-31-2007 11:22 PM

Re: This Pompeii Oven is Now Cooking!
And it makes pizza, too!

Final tally, 12 pizzas cooked to perfection and 1 fumble. The crowd pleasers were a pesto, goat cheese, and prosciutto pizza, and a provolone, olive, artichoke heart, and roasted pepper pizza. I didn't have any bread flour on hand last night, so I tried Peter Reinhart's Neapolitan recipe, with no oil.

The first pizza was just sauce and cheese (and crust). It cooked in about 3 minutes, with a dome temperature of 750F and heart at 550F. I’m sure there’s still a little water in the structure, especially in the bottom layer of insulation, as we’ve had a lot of rain lately, and the enclosure is not weatherproof. A nice wide roof will help a bunch. When the cooking was finished, I could feel the warm, moist air coming up out of the loose perlite.

Here’s some pictures of the pizzas, a Four-Cheese, a Sausage-Onion, and a Pepperoni.

And my cooking area. That handsome fellow topping the pizza is me.

enz 08-07-2007 01:42 PM

Re: This Pompeii Oven is Now Cooking!
Are those Madrone uprights in your pavilion there? I'm planning something similar. Looks good.

Nice pies too.


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