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Frances 11-26-2007 09:07 AM

Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
3 Attachment(s)
The weather cleared up a bit the last couple of days, so my insulation and outer structure finally got off the ground. :D

I'm using rebar for the basic shape, which fits into holes in the vermiculite layer, covered by wire mesh and lined with some kind of floor underlay stuff I found. My reasoning is that the heat will be kept inside by the insulation, and the underlay stuff only serves the purpose of keeping the vermiculite in and the cement out, so it doesn't have to be specially strong or heat resistant.

Its so nice to be out there again! ...the only grumble I have is that somehow insulation just doesn't seem to lend itself to singing.

Oh wait, I do have one:

Stop, stop, stop the heat
leaking from the dome,
Merrily, merily, merrily, merrily,
pizzas for my home.

asudavew 11-26-2007 09:57 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Looks good Frances.

I think you did the same thing as me. The difference is I used screen and a different framing.

How many inches of vermiculite did you end up with?
I think I ended up with about 5-6 on average. 17cm if I converted correctly.:confused:

I'll tell ya .. mine sure holds the heat in. Amazing... I like to cook brisket at
300 f or so... And after firing mine on Saturday night for pizza... Sunday morning my WFO was at 475 f +!!

TOO HOT! So I didn't quite get the brisket I was looking for. But it was still quite tasty.

I may have to wait 2 days before cooking a large chunk of meat next time!:eek:

Cheers

Dave

Frances 11-27-2007 01:11 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Dave, you really seem to be getting that hang of cooking in your WFO! I still have a lot of learning to do there - I end up putting things in a too hot oven, getting them prepared too late so the heat is too low... but I'll get there! (...ok, so maybe I DO need a thermometer...)

The other thing is, its too cold outside to do much cooking, especially in the evening. I'm so looking forward to next summer!

I ended up with between 10 and15 cm of insulation (I think). Hey, did you post any pics of your insulation? I was waiting for them to use some of your ideas!

asudavew 11-27-2007 06:47 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frances (Post 20084)
I was waiting for them to use some of your ideas!

You know... I forgot to do that.

Ill snap some pics at home tonight and get them posted tomorrow!

sarah h 11-27-2007 09:51 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Hi Frances,

Glad to see you're making progress! I can't quite tell from the photos though - is there 'vermiculcrete' under the silver cover (is that an insulating blanket?), or is the silver thing directly on the dome, with something to be added on top of it?

I'm stalled out - too cold, wet and dark too by the time I finish work, and too many other things intruding on weekends - so I am stuck envying the progress of others ...

Have you decided on the final finish yet?

Sarah

Frances 11-28-2007 11:59 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Hi Sarah,

The first layer of insulation is a double layer of 2" rockwool with a silvery backing - mainly because that was all I could find. Then I coverd it with a layer of loose vermiculite, because the rockwool should not be compressed...

I'm a bit puzzled about the insulation properties of my oven at the moment though: I cooked 11 pizzas over lunch today and had a ball. I have no problem getting the heat up and each one cooks in about a minute. I'm astounded at how well it all works and how good they taste...:)

But the bread I baked this afternoon didn't brown on the bottom properly. Well, I did some yesterday leaving the coals in the oven and it got a bit too brown - so I took the coals out today. And by this evening the oven isn't really hot enough to cook in. I don't know, is the heat leaking out the oven floor? Is the rockwool not a good enough insulator? Should I keep the big fire going for longer if I want to cook again in the evening? :confused:

On the other hand the oven was warm inside two days after firing... I dunno. Maybe I just shouldn't compare my oven with Dave's :) . After all, I am cooking some great meals in there...

Any tips anyone?

Frances 11-28-2007 12:32 PM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Oh, I forgot: the final finish will definately be mosaics, with swirling colours and patterns which are currently changing on a daily basis.

And todays insulation song is "I can't get no insulation" by the Stones.

Don't worry Sarah, Springtime will come round again sooner or later...

asudavew 11-28-2007 01:05 PM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frances (Post 20182)
And by this evening the oven isn't really hot enough to cook in. I don't know, is the heat leaking out the oven floor? Is the rockwool not a good enough insulator? Should I keep the big fire going for longer if I want to cook again in the evening? :confused:
Any tips anyone?

How big, how hot, and how long was your last fire?
My last firing.. the oven was TOO hot to cook pizza in. It could be that you might need to fire it longer.

Let me know about your last fire. We can compare notes!

and what are those fabulous meals that you have been cooking?

I wanna know that too! :D

Dave

Dutchoven 11-28-2007 07:20 PM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Frances
When you finished the pizzas did you spread coals out on the oven floor? Usually when baking bread it is a good idea to spread the coals out across the floor to allow the heat to soak into the floor bricks. Then after 30 minutes to an hour or even longer clean the floor and close the door...that will allow the temperature to stabilize throughout the dome. When your floor surface is 550F you should steam the oven briefly, load the oven, and then steam briefly again. Vent the steam about halfway through baking to set the crust! I think that method should serve you quite well!
Best
Dutch

Frances 11-29-2007 12:50 AM

Re: Pompeii Oven in Switzerland: the Saga Continues...
 
Ooops, no I didn't spread the coals over the floor. :o
Thank you Dutch!

Dave, I started my fire at 11:30, started cooking pizza around 12:30 when the dome had gone clear, still with quite a big fire going. I finished with the pizzas about an hour later. I took out the coals half an hour after that and closed the oven doors. Spreading the coals and leaving them in longer will probably solve my bread issues, but by evening, hmmm...

The meals I've cooked haven't been "fabulous" so far - mostly (and I'm really, really embarassed admitting this :o) warming up leftovers: chopping up cooked potatoes and sprinkling them with cheese, that kind of thing. Its like using a Ferrari to do the grocery shopping! And it takes over an hour to get anything warm by then :(

How does this differ from your routine Dave? You know what, I'm going onto ebay right away to get myself a thermometer!

Frances


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