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timshel 11-17-2013 11:36 AM

Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven

Im so happy to find this forum!
I have a 30 inch Earthen Oven based on Kiko Denzers Design. I think I'm pretty good at using it, it is my second one. My friend and I have been having "secret restaurants" with it on Saturday nights, making Pizzas!

Last night we made about 60 Pizzas, and I had some troubles which may be unavoidable but I thought maybe someone could share some tips.

I fire the oven with nice dry wood for 3 hours, rake the coals out evently over the bottom and let it sit for 30 minutes. That keeps the oven at about 800-900 for a few pizzas. I try to keep a fire going in the back to keep the temp up, but after a little bit the heat starts to decline. Eventually the hearth floor falls to between 500-600 and keeping a fire in the back becomes challenging. Even when I can get it burning the cook time increases from 2and a half minutes to 5 or 6 minutes.

Is there any advice for keeping the hearth floor very hot? Would burning the oven for longer help? Moving the coals and fire around the oven every 10 pizzas or so was an idea I had.

Any advice would be great. Also, why is it so hard to get the fire in the back of the oven to light back up after it goes out? Is there not enough oxygen back there? Maybe I could keep the fire going on the side?



michelevit 11-20-2013 03:34 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
Insulation keeps the heat from radiating outward. Do you have enough insulation?

JoeyVelderrain 01-28-2014 02:33 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
I'd like to see a picture of the oven in question...

wotavidone 01-28-2014 03:04 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
I defintely find keeping a fire on one side better than keeping it at the back.
I seem to be able to keep a flame curling over the top better.

(Also, I find that if the fire is at the back and I make a mistake sliding the peel under the pizza, I shove the pizza into the coals. Not cool.:rolleyes:)

In the end though, you must remember that even an insulated oven loses some heat, even if it is mostly by radiating it out of the front opening, and each pizza takes out some heat.
Meaning, you must put back as much heat as you take out, if you wish to maintain the temperature.
This is why a big oven is best, so you can maintain a good fire and still have room for the pizzas.

david s 01-28-2014 03:20 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
Perhaps your floor insulation is inadequate. I agree about the fire on the side being better than at the back. It is easier to feed and produces a more even floor temp. A fire at the back leaves the floor at the front of the oven too cold. You can also alternate the fire from side to side every half hour or so if you want. I don't usually do this though, my oven seems to work fine with a fire on the side all night. I usually have it on the left, but it doesn't matter which side.

Laurentius 01-29-2014 10:18 AM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
The Kiko Denzer`s ovens are not designed with insulation in mind. The Alan Scott oven recommends insulation under the slab. Keeping a fire going is easy, but to retain heat in the hearth is going to require insulation under it.

Toomulla 01-29-2014 01:32 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
There is no doubt that insulation under the oven will help , in the short term have you tried reps reading the coals to re heat the floor

Laurentius 01-29-2014 01:50 PM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
Hi Toomulla,

What is reps reading?

wotavidone 01-30-2014 03:01 AM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven
I reckon it was meant to be respreading the coals:p
took me a while to think what a reps reading might be

david s 01-30-2014 03:24 AM

Re: Dozens of Pizzas in Clay Oven

Originally Posted by wotavidone (Post 168876)
took me a while to think what a reps reading might be

Had me stumped too. Most sales reps are pretty savvy, but not too well educated, so reps reading might be a fairly rare event.:)

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