Old 09-18-2013, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Romney, WV
Posts: 82
Default Clearing Dome

I have a Casa90 oven that I finished a few weeks back, seems to work well and having a great time. When cooking pizza, I fire the oven for about 90 minutes or so and gets near over 900 degrees for the few times I've actually used the infrared thermometer to check it.

I've considered it ready to go when the dome clears and pizza cooks in about 2 minutes so think all is well. My question is about the actual clearing of the dome- my oven goes completely white across the top of the dome and up the sides where I have the fire but still black on the other side. I've alternated sides when cooking so far to make sure I don't get build up but was wondering if I should really see the entire dome clear on a regular basis? I suppose I could keep stoking the fire or keep the fire in the center of the dome until actually ready to cook? My feeling is the way I'm doing this is fine but thought I'd ask others if the dome fully turns white each time?
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:37 AM
david s's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 4,716
Default Re: Clearing Dome

I might be wrong, but I suspect that your oven is still a bit wet. It takes way longer than you would think to dry completely. The whole dome should burn off the black. Just keep using it and you will probably find that persistent black at the bottom of the dome will disappear. I usually fire mine for about another 20 mins after the dome has cleared to allow more heat to soak into the refractory.Always maintain a fire on the side while cooking pizzas, it produces a better product.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:38 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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Default Re: Clearing Dome

If you are just cooking a few pizzas for yourself and a few guests you are fine, if you decide to throw a big party or you are looking to bake or braze for the next few days then keep up the fire and fully saturate.

It is possible the oven is still a little damp on that side and it will get better over time.

I think after 10 or so fires you will get to know your oven better.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:30 AM
boerwarrior's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 422
Default Re: Clearing Dome

I'll throw in my experience here as well

In my opinion, yes, you should see the dome go completely white every time. I can get the dome of my oven completely white in about 75 minutes which is what I do for a "small firing" like when I only want to cook a few pizzas. (I fire much longer if I am doing a 15-20 pizza party!)

I agree with the experts that your dome still probably needs some curing - so don't worry about it!
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Romney, WV
Posts: 82
Default Re: Clearing Dome

Thanks for the info, will keep going and see if I get the dome to fully clear after a few more fires. As FYI, I do keep a fire burning so it curls over the dome when making pizza, ummmm good!
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Romney, WV
Posts: 82
Default Re: Clearing Dome

We made pizza on Saturday night and I let the dome fire a bit longer- almost all of the black soot from all sides of the dome cleared. Temps maxed out my infrared thermometer that goes to 1000 so guess it was pretty hot. Baked bread the next morning and all worked great.

We had a heavy, steady rain while I was firing the dome on Saturday but didn't seem to impact anything at all.

Thanks for the previous replies to keep the fire roaring just a bit longer.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:00 AM
kkgator's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 101
Default Re: Clearing Dome

I'm having the same issue as well Dave. I just think that it needs more fires in it to completely dry it out. I am able to clear the center, and the side where I have the fire, but then again I am dealing with a huge surface area and prefer starting the fire slowly before really getting it going. I am dealing with a 48" diameter so my oven is eating some wood up!

As a question for the board, does everyone recommend a fire fence or something that logs can be angled/suspended over the bed of coals? It just seems the logs might get more airflow.

Also, I have seen a few people in videos toss (sawdust/woodchips) to perk up their fire. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: brisbane australia
Posts: 2,262
Default Re: Clearing Dome

I have the wood ready that I"ll use for some flame when the pizza goes in the entranceway . It's bone dry in the heat and pre warmed so it bursts into flame instantly it touches the coals. Chuck some in put a few more to pre heat . Doesn't get in the way as its only a few thin sticks.
You can do the same when bringing the oven up to clearing and place a piece or too at a time in the entrance to pre heat. Never burn the whole oven full and let it burn down then give it a big load of wood . I piece or too at a time and maintain a wide brisk fire. Never let the flame get to the point of roaring out the entrance its just waste.
The lawn should be mowed and all other preps done and your guests will find you calm beer in hand watching the flame.
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