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Old 09-04-2008, 09:17 PM
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Default Where do you measure the temp?

We have a brand-new oven and are in the process of curing it. I see the schedule for gradually increasing the tempuature each day. We started with newspaper only (day 1), then newspaper+kindling (day 2), then 1 piece of wood(day 3), etc. Our IR thermometer came in today, so we were excited to be able to measure the temp more precisely. However the question is: Where do you point the thermometer? At the fire? The top of the dome? The floor? Somewhere else? The temp is different at each spot. Any advice is most appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Can hardly wait to try the first pizza!!
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:15 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Where do you measure the temp?

DLemma,
when I check my oven for cooking temperatures, I point the laser at the hearth where I plan on placing the pizzas.
I also check the dome, at the top or top and a couple of places around the perimeter. The dome will always be hotter than the hearth and will be hotter where the flames have been heating. This doesn't matter (apart from the hearth) as the heat from all areas of the oven will contribute to the 'average temperature' which will be the 'cooking temp'.
It will pay you to spread the hot coals around the floor rather than leave them glowing over the top of the built up ash which will also act a little insulative. I spread my coals around on the hearth to conduct more heat to make the temp difference less with the dome.
It is a waste of time trying to measure the temperature of the flames, as more than likely, they are not going to do the cooking, only heat the dome which stores the heat and then radiates it to your goods.
You will experience after a couple of fires that when your oven internal changes colour from sooty black to white (and it gradually changes from the top slowly down the dome)to the floor. When it is all white, it is HOT!!! and ready to go.

Neill
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Where do you measure the temp?

Thanks Neill,

So when the curing schedule says that my fire for the day should reach about 500 degrees (for example), should I then measure the temperature in several spots and use the average? Or should I rely on the temperature of the hearth or of the top of the dome?

I'm not sure that my fires have been getting the oven hot enough, which I guess is better than going too hot too soon.

Dlemma
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:11 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Where do you measure the temp?

Just be careful as I refer to temperatures in the metric ˚C and Forno Bravo (and the US) still use the old imperial ˚F.
I cured my Pompeii with 4 fires and didn't worry too much with the temperatures. The main thing is to not heat it too hot too quickly. Give the water time to evaporate of to be slowly driven out rather than converting it quickly to steam which can do serious damage.
If you are to get the oven to reach 500˚F, then if you get a reading somewhere between 450-550˚ then that would suffice. It is not that critical!

Cheers.

Neill
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Where do you measure the temp?

Thanks for reminding me to specify if I'm talking about temperatures in Degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius - I'm using Fahrenheit.

I will pay attention to the dome temperature and the hearth temperature, and keep an eye out for the dome to turn white. And, I'll try to remember not to stress out about this TOO much - this is fun after all
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Where do you measure the temp?

If the dome starts turning white at the point where the flame hits the dome before the 4th day (or so), you are going too fast. :-) The white dome tells you that you are starting to hit the high 600F's.

James
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Where do you measure the temp?

Not to worry, it's now day 6 of the curing process, and we have yet to get the white dome. Today, the temperature reached about 625 F on the top of the dome and about 550F on the sides. So far, so good I think.
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