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Old 12-14-2009, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Default First big party and heat for 7 hours

So yesterday I had my first bigger party, with about 40 people. Ended up making about 30 large pizzas in about 2 hours.
I was very worried the oven wouldn`t hold the temperature, since most of my test runs I could only get the hearth up to about 650 degrees. So this time I put a bunch of wood, about 8 logs around the very back and sides, and my main fire eventually lit the back. After heating it up for 2 hours the oven was so hot, above measurable 1000+ on the top and 900 on the bottom. Each large pizza 14 inches took no more then 90 seconds, some only 60 seconds to make, and most people said it was the best they had. Thin crust Napolitano, and Neo Napoliano style doughs.

After I started making pizza at 5pm, I never added any more wood, and still 7 hours later at midnight the oven hearth is at 850 degrees and the top at 900. I have enough hot ash in there still to probably cook for another 2 hours
I only used regular wood, no hard wood.
So I think adding all the logs in the back made a huge difference. I`ll never worry about not getting temperature again now. Thanks for the tips guys.
I love my little huge oven

I also build a heating lamp thing that I use to keep the dough balls warm, so if its cold outside I can keep them at room temperature, so you don`t have to wait 2 hours for the dough to relax. Works perfect, and its good to keep the pizza warm when its done. $15 materials. I attached a pic.

Chris
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:35 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
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Default Re: First big party and heat for 7 hours

Hey Chris,,
Very nice build and congrats on your sucessful party, sounds like you have it under control... Good Luck and many happy pizzas... Welcome to the club

Cheers
Mark
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:05 PM
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Location: Littleton, CO
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Default Re: First big party and heat for 7 hours

Looks like a great party! How hot is the oven today?
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Default Re: First big party and heat for 7 hours

I opened it up this around 11:30am today, and its still at 350 degrees on the hearth.
I was just amazed that I was able to make pizza over a 7 hour span without ever adding another piece of wood. The last desert pizza I made for myself at midgnight, and even that only took 90 seconds. Someone here suggested the stacking wood around the back idea, and I think it worked great for me, so thanks.

In return I want to recommend for everyone to build one of those heating lamps. If you don`t want to wait to long for the dough to come up to working temperature it sure speeds up the yeast when you need it. I have 125 Watts, and 250 Watt bulbs, and just screw them in and out depending on which one I need.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: First big party and heat for 7 hours

Chris,
What style oven did you build? Is that a scott oven with cladding?
I build a Rado style oven with about 3" of cladding and have problems keeping the heat up in the 750 range for very long while cooking pizza. Maybe I just need to build a bigger fire before hand. I was starting to think the cladding was a bad idea and was just sucking all the heat out.
thanks,
Rad
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: First big party and heat for 7 hours

Yes, I build it by Scoot's book with some modifications.
The cladding is about 5 inches on the sides, and probably a little bigger on the top since I didn`t build a perfectly round form up there.
I had the same problem in the beginning, trying to get the hearth to say above 750. Then I started making a bigger fire towards the 2nd hour of pre-heating, and make sure you have hot coals all over the hearth, not just in a small spot in the center. That will just transfer the heat out to the sides.
My last fire was so large that after I pushed it to the back and sides, I was making pizza for 7 hours without adding anymore wood.
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