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Old 08-12-2013, 07:41 AM
dimitrisbizakis's Avatar
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Default Saturated oven

Hi everyone,
My question is simple but not easy...
When i will know that my oven is fully saturated?

I know now, after alote on half done breads, that even if the soot is gone does not mean that your oven is saturated.
The safest way is to put a probe between the outer side of your dome and the insulation....this is if you are not done with the render, and i am!

Is there another way or i should keep over firing the oven and cutting down each time until i find the right time?

After the fire is gone, do i leave the coals in with the door airtight closed or i need to leave an opening so the coals want go down.

Is a draft door a good choice for fast burning the woods?
Do i need a fast strong fire with a lot of coals or a slow burning fire and with fewer?
jeffd98 likes this.

Last edited by dimitrisbizakis; 08-13-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

I would suggest getting a probe thermometer and installing that through your door. This way you can tell how hot your oven is at various points in time after the door closes. In the first place this will help you figure out how quickly your oven is losing heat after a given amount of fire. Also, if the oven wasn't saturated enough after any given fire, you know that before you go to load the bread (indeed, before you make the dough). Then if need be you can light a new fire to get the oven back up to temperature. If you can't find or don't want to use a probe thermometer, you can also buy a cheap sit-in the oven thermometer. In this case you have to open the door to check on the temperature, so you'll lose more heat. On the other hand, the probe thermometers tend to be less accurate than a proper oven thermometer.

You do want lots of coals when you're getting the oven saturated, as these will force heat down into the floor via conduction. Bigger fire is better. But generally faster burning=fewer coals.

It helps to close the door while the fire is still going, at least on a log or two. If you wait until the fire goes out all the way, the oven is already too cool if you want to bake bread the next day. After a few hours in the still-hot oven (and especially overnight), the remaining logs will break down into coals, and be easier to remove.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

If you have a Pompeii oven you need to plan on firing 5-8 hours to saturate 4" of masonry, at least.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
If you have a Pompeii oven you need to plan on firing 5-8 hours to saturate 4" of masonry, at least.

Are you sure about that?
I have read alote of guys in here that they fired there oven for 1-1/2 or 2 hours!
Yes it is a 80cm pompei oven with 10cm thickness.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by dimitrisbizakis View Post

Are you sure about that?
I have read alote of guys in here that they fired there oven for 1-1/2 or 2 hours!
Yes it is a 80cm pompei oven with 10cm thickness.
For fully saturated I fire my oven for about 6 hours, its usually for a pizza party..
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

Yours isnt a pompei though ????
Does that make a difference on saturation time
and are the numbers people talking about for a fully insulated pompei?
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by brickie in oz View Post
For fully saturated I fire my oven for about 6 hours, its usually for a pizza party..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
If you have a Pompeii oven you need to plan on firing 5-8 hours to saturate 4" of masonry, at least.
I think these responses, while technically correct, are not getting at what the original questioner was asking.

Getting an oven fully saturated, in the sense that the bricks have as much heat as they can hold given the insulation on the other side, takes quite a bit of firing. If brickie and Tscar say it's 5-8 hours, that's probably right--these guys know their stuff, and I don't think heating times are any different for a vault oven vs. a Pompeii if the walls are the same thickness. If you're doing a big pizza party and want to quickly bake 40+ pizzas, firing this much is a good idea.

But I think dimitrisbizakis was getting at a different question: how long does it take to get a substantial amount of heat into the bricks, such that one will have enough retained heat to bake bread and do other stuff. This is longer than the 1-1.5 hours that it takes to clear the dome and bake a couple pizzas, but less than 5 hours, for sure. I'd give you a number, but I'm still figuring that out for my oven .
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

It depends upon what you want your final cooking temp to be. Until the mass is fully saturated, heat will continue to be drawn away from the face until it equalizes. That means if you are shooting for bread temps, you may only have to fire for an hour and a half. If you are planning on cooking a bunch of pizza at Neapolitan temps, you are looking at 5+ hours minimum for saturation, although you do not really need a fully heat soaked oven to cook pizzas.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:35 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

I am also a little confused by the question and answers, however I also defer to Tscarborough and Brickie who are two of the best experts on this forum!

I will say, however, that for my 32" Pompeii, I can fire "slowly" for 2 hours and then comfortably cook up to around 12-15 pizzas one at a time with very little loss of heat. (I keep a few pieces of kindling lit on each side - adds a little heat, a little smoke and also adds some light!)

The reason I say "slowly" is that if I only want to cook 1-2 pizzas I can clear my dome in a little over an hour which works fine for a quick meal. But I can definitely tell that one hour is not enough to get any 'saturation' and the oven will 'stabilize' (get cooler but heat gets more even) after a quick fire.

After cooking with my 2-hour firing if I then put my insulated door on - my oven temperature is still > 350 degrees 3 days later. So I am really not sure what I would gain by firing for more than 2 hours? My apologies if I have only added to the confusion!
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Saturated oven

Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicalCoasting View Post
Yours isnt a pompei though ????
Does that make a difference on saturation time
and are the numbers people talking about for a fully insulated pompei?
I don't get the differences that my oven has from a pompei.
Isn't pompei a style structure for wood ovens?
It's not a barrel oven but a round with the front arch holding the chimney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsandler View Post
But I think dimitris bizakis was getting at a different question: how long does it take to get a substantial amount of heat into the bricks, such that one will have enough retained heat to bake bread and do other stuff. This is longer than the 1-1.5 hours that it takes to clear the dome and bake a couple pizzas, but less than 5 hours, for sure. I'd give you a number, but I'm still figuring that out for my oven .
You understand me very well m8!

Last edited by dimitrisbizakis; 08-13-2013 at 07:44 AM.
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