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BHunter 07-11-2007 11:54 AM

Ember/ash placement
Once the oven is ready for baking, should I totally remove all of the embers and ashes or just push them off to the corners?

DrakeRemoray 07-11-2007 11:56 AM

Re: Ember/ash placement
For baking (not pizza making), I remove all of the embers and ash, then put the door on and let the oven equalize. Often I must then remove the door for a while to let the oven cool, then I bake.


Dutchoven 07-11-2007 01:49 PM

Re: Ember/ash placement
Spot on...same for me here! Clean and mop the hearth floor, allow time to equalize and stabilize and then you are ready to bake. I would add only this...when the fire has burned down to medium to large red coals spread them out across the entire floor of the oven and allow time for the heat to soak into the floor. You can close off most of the airflow with your door during that time but don't cut it off completely.

BHunter 07-11-2007 02:59 PM

Re: Ember/ash placement
Dutch, this deserves a "WOW!"

This makes total sense.

Thank you.

Dutchoven 07-14-2007 04:21 PM

Re: Ember/ash placement
Glad to help! I like WOW's! :D There will come a time when your bricks won't take any more heat but that is dependent upon the thickness of the floor and how well insulated you are. All you will have to remember is to allow the oven a bit of time to rest once you have cleared the floor so that temps can even out. You can manage the floor heat by mopping it with your damp mop if it is too high, leave the door open, or do as the old time bakers used to and make a pizza or two while the oven has the high initial heat and that will temper the floor for you as well as make you feel good in the tummy.:cool: You could also do some of the higher heat flatbreads like naan or pita to soak up some of that heat as well!
Have fun cooking with this I know I do!
P.S. Forgot to say "Your welcome!"

BHunter 08-03-2007 05:05 AM


I read your advice on mortar mix. This is great. Thank you. The local supplier in town sells the pre-made mortar mix at $60 per bag. That is too expensive for me. I have found that in ground pool suppliers have a vermiculite concrete mix with a ratio of concrete to aggregate of 1:7 for less than $20 per bag. If anyone needs the mix for their foundation, adding a bag or two of Portland cement to this pre-made mix would provide strength and fire-proofing insulation for the oven slab as well as the external oven shell.... but not the mortar. Your recipe seems to be the affordable key.

Thank you,

Dutchoven 08-03-2007 09:16 AM

Re: Ember/ash placement
You are welcome. That is the mix I used for the mortar and the recipe for the insualting slab was almost exactly that of what you find on the forum. My mistake was not leaving enough room for expansion so...make sure that you do that when you finish the oven exterior so as to avoid any external cracks.

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