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Old 06-20-2013, 01:36 PM
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Default Putting your oven to bed

I'd love to hear what process folks follow to close up their oven after a burn.

I find that my oven loses maybe 100 degrees between putting the door on and the next morning - but I also find that I generally let the oven cool off too much before I close it up. Seems like by the time I get around to closing up, the max reading I get on the door thermometer is about 550 (that's at night). I'd like to have that around 650 so that I can have a hotter oven for bread in the morning. Am I supposed to get the fire raging again before I put the door on? Does that result in a bunch of unburned wood inside the oven? How do others do this?
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2013, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Putting your oven to bed

I actually noticed the same thing the one time i cooked in my oven, When finishing the walls were about 650, after almost an hour it was about 550, The next morning (door was on) it was 475, and from there on every day it went down 100F until it got to the 200 range and the decrease in temp sorta slowed down. I know for sure i didnt fully saturate the oven, so in my case i would say fire it longer with a larger flame. Also i think a draft/blast door will help with this, especially if you are recharging the floor for the next round of pizza, it just helps retain the heat better. This is just my thought.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Putting your oven to bed

Seems about right for amount of mass. Im assuming there is no more than 4".
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Putting your oven to bed

As soon as the last pizza is done I door mine with an insulated door, it is tight fitting enough that the coals die out soon enough to turn to charcoal. I do not open it again until the next morning at least though.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington, DC
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Default Re: Putting your oven to bed

I've been wondering the same thing, though I think I'm narrowing in on an answer with my oven. It does seem like I have to get a raging fire going after I'm done with pizza if I want to have high temps the next day. After I finish cooking pizza I move the fire to the center of the oven and add a few more pieces of wood so that it stays active while we eat dinner. As to how long and how much to fire to get sufficiently saturated for bread the next morning...that I'm still figuring out. It also works fairly well to just re-fire in the morning for 20 minutes or so.

Don't worry too much about unburnt wood if the fire is still going when you close it off--after all night at 500+ degrees, even fairly large logs convert to charcoal. That said, do be careful with this approach. I've only had a flare-up when I threw completely unburned wood into the oven overnight (thought I was drying them out...), but I've been reminded a few times on this forum that there is serious potential for a carbon-monoxide fire...
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Wallingford, Vermont
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Default Re: Putting your oven to bed

I try to do pizza for lunch the day before my bread bake. When I'm getting ready to shut down for the afternoon (I work nights), I add my last batch of wood, put the draft door in place and choke down the air inlet to keep the burn slow and the heat inside. I don't put my insulated door in place until the wood is all converted to coals (no orange flame). If I close it up sooner, I find that a lot of tar condenses on the inside of the door.

In the morning, after I mix the first batch of bread dough, I check the temperature (usually mid-500's), put the draft door back in place and let the charcoal re-ignite. After a few minutes I add a little more wood - I try to have it soaked at around 630 degrees, and cleaned out, by the time my loaves are proofing.

I always keep my ash can about half full of extinguished coals; they're the best for starting a new fire... although my oven hasn't been truly cold in 5 months
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