#11  
Old 10-15-2011, 05:29 PM
david s's Avatar
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Default Re: First firing

Oscar,
A new oven is always a bitch to fire because it's moist. It is hard to light, hard to keep the fire going well and it smokes like crazy. These problems will all disappear when it is properly dry. You will notice, when it starts to dry out more, that there will be a persistent black ring around the base of the dome. That is because there is still water there and it is hard to get it out. Push coals out to the edge to help dry it here.
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2011, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: First firing

Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie in oz View Post
What about the ones you cant see?
Fair enough, better to be smart and play it safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by david s View Post
Oscar,
A new oven is always a bitch to fire because it's moist. It is hard to light, hard to keep the fire going well and it smokes like crazy. These problems will all disappear when it is properly dry. You will notice, when it starts to dry out more, that there will be a persistent black ring around the base of the dome. That is because there is still water there and it is hard to get it out. Push coals out to the edge to help dry it here.
That's exactly how it was hard to light and keep going and very smoky. However once the fire was well established with heat in the oven the smoke did die down a lot but it did take a while at least 2-3 hours before I could honestly say there was no smoke coming out of it. I'ld hate to think what the neighbors must of been thinking.

Yesterdays attempt at using heat beads was a failure as I couldn't get them to light. I've put it down to old beads so I'm trying again with new ones so hopefully I'll have more luck.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: First firing

Thanks Doug

I will give it a try on the next firing. I have seen that thread before but forgot all about it. I did do something similar to yours but I did the upside down version where the larger wood is on the bottom and progresses smaller towards the top. The idea is the smaller top pieces burn easily and the burning wood heats and burns the larger pieces below it until it's all going. This method is suppose to reduce smoking as well.
Unfortunately for me I didn't do it right and as your thread/pics show space is needed to allow good air flow and thinking back I had mine more tightly bunched.
It's all a learning process for this urbanite

The heat beads are going well with the oven reaching temps around 100c.
Temp reading after about 6hrs from when first lit were floor around 60-70c walls around 70c, top of dome around 100c. These reading were taken when I got home from work and the beads were already out.
I'll do it every day while weather allows.
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  #14  
Old 10-17-2011, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: First firing

What does everyone use for lighting fires? I tend to use all natural firelighters which smoke a fair bit at startup, but ive never had issues making a fire, no matter how much airflow the fire catches really quickly.. and at $2 a pack.. its a cheap method..
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2011, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: First firing

I use dried tea bags soaked in a jar of methylated spirits. Not my invention, got it from another forum member, works a charm.You have to cut the strings off or you get a tangled mess.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: First firing

Gudday
A couple of handfulls of charcoal from an earlier fire in a tin chuck in a tablespoon shellite ( lighter fluid) shake and pour out dampened charcoal... burns like a champ!
Why shelite.. got sent the shelite instead of a special thinners by a supplier told me it was not worth while sending back. Original I read in forum used kerosene but a tablespoon at a time with 4ltrs to go a recon I got a few good fires and no kero smell

Regards Dave
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: First firing

I used one of these as I was having trouble lighting my oven

Weed Dragon Propane Torch Kit - All Natural Chemical Free Weed Control & More. The perfect weed burner for home and garden.

I bought it 6mths ago as an impulse buy after reading a few posters on this forum using them.
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  #18  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: First firing

I have been drying my oven out slowly over the last few weeks mainly using heat beads. I've fired the oven up 3 times now with wood the last time being Friday night. I cooked a roast pork which turned out great except the crackling didn't crisp up which made my wife a little sad .
What I found was that after having the oven firing with a medium fire for about 2.5 hrs i had the floor ranging from 350c right next to the fire to about 220c near the entrance, walls were about 350c and top or dome around 450c.
I took most of the coals out and let the oven equalise a little then chucked the roast in. After two hours it was ready but the oven did cool down considerably. I didn't take a reading of the top of dome but the floor had a even temp of around 180c and the walls around 180-190c. So going by those readings the oven wasn't anywhere near full temp and more than likely still a little wet.
I'm finding the oven easy to lite now and if using dry small pieces of wood I get very little smoke. I also found once the fire is well lit not to throw to much wood in at once or she'll start to smoke so 2-3 pieces at a time.
I'm desperate to seal the dome but am holding back a little longer as I want at least 1 more good firing before doing so.
All up I've probably done 8 firings with head beads and 3 hotter firings with wood.
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  #19  
Old 11-13-2011, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: First firing

Oscar,
What you have described concurs exactly with my experience with new ovens. You will now find that every time you fire it (for three or four times) you will notice an improvement in performance, which indicates that it is still purging moisture.
Regarding the pork roast, did you allow it to come to room temp before placing in the oven? A roast will bring the oven temp down, so you can place it a little hotter than you would think. In the case of pork this higher temp also helps to raise the crackling. Also did you make lots of cuts in the skin and rub salt and oil into it? This helps raise the crackling too.
Try baking bread you will become addicted to it. It is so good. If I only want to cook a couple of loaves I give my oven one hour of flame (from cold) wait for the flames to die, then remove some coals or push them aside and throw the bread in. Works for me, doesn't take too much time and uses very little fuel. If you cook baguettes you can throw them in at much higher temps because the heat can penetrate to the centre of them easily.
Dave

Last edited by david s; 11-13-2011 at 10:59 AM.
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2011, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: First firing

I usually keep a fire going when I do a roast, it adds more flavour with the smoke.
Cover the meat with foil for half the cooking time then remove to crisp rotating the meat every so often, great for crackle.
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