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tdibratt 09-29-2008 05:42 PM

New Oven Temps Not Hot Enough
Hi folks. I have been firing my new oven up for about a week now. Thanks to all the folks on this forum for the advice and information along the way. My new oven is in my words "High Tech". I say that to my friends since this is my 3rd oven and is insulated below and above.

But, here is my question.

My other oven is built on the old design with vermiculate insulation below the concrete slab under the firebrick. I then have a brick oven dome covered in about 4-5" of concrete and then the whole thing is covered in loose vermiculite. I fire that thing up and it gets hot. So hot that if I do not give it time to cool down and put things in they will burn on the bottom.

My new oven is built using the Pompei Plans with the concrete below, about 3" of vermicrete and then I have 2 inch fibreboard . On that I have the firebrick and dome. The dome is then covered in 2" thermal blanket and then another 4-5" of vermicrete. Insulate, Insulate.

Today by 6 or 7th fire I logged it up. Flames were roaring out the front and up the flue. Top got white hot. About 2 hrs later I spread the coals over the brick. Then 5-10 mins later pushed them to the back and added a few sticks of wood to get the flames going. I measured the hearth temp to be only around 575. The dome around 850-875. The sides were around 980. Pizza cooked nice but took about 4-5 mins each.

So is the oven still curing at this time? I probably finished the brick work and vemicrete about 3-4 weeks ago. I have been busy at work and just finally got around to putting on the steel roof. But all along the oven has been covered with 3 layers of plastic tarp. No water got on it. The fibreboard was just the same as the day i put it in. So it's not like I just finished it and fired it up. I have been slow going.

I also noticed that some of the bricks on the hearth are catching my rake so the level is not 100%. I thought I had done a pretty good job at laying them. So I am not sure if the weight of the dome as caused some around the edges to compress the firbeboard and others are sitting hire or what the situation is. I will need to take a closer look once it cools down and I clean it out. I do remember the fibreboard made things so level that I did not even need the fireclay mixture to lay them in. I went right over top the fibreboard.

Thanks, Tony.

tdibratt 09-29-2008 05:43 PM

Re: New Oven Temps Not Hot Enough
Here is the link to my build. I need to take some new pics now that the brickwork outside is all grouted.


james 09-29-2008 06:33 PM

Re: New Oven Temps Not Hot Enough
Hi Tony,

Just give her a little bit of time and a few more fires, and you are going to be thrilled. From your description, your oven will leap forward when you fire her. This happens all the time, where new ovens are still baking out the final little bits of moisture.

Can you grind any spots in the cooking floor where the rake or peel catch?


tdibratt 10-08-2008 11:37 AM

Re: New Oven Temps Not Hot Enough
James you may be right. I fired it up last night. Got the dome over 1,000F and the hearth up around 750. Still hoping to get that Hearth up even higher. I have been busy so this was the first time since the original post to fire it up again. Form experience where should I be expecting to get the temps up to for dome, sides and hearth?


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