#1  
Old 06-06-2007, 06:18 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 10
Default Sweeping the coals back

What do you use to sweep the coals and ash back before cooking a pizza? Seems like you'd want it pretty clean before cooking directly on the place you just had a fire.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:44 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: michigan
Posts: 111
Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

My wife purchased a brass bristled brush to sweep back the coals, then I use a towel on a stick (lightly moistened) to lower the hearth temp., and clean the bricks. By the way I am not of the oppinion that ashes and coals are something that I want to avoid on the bottom of the food that I cook in my oven. I think it adds charm to have a variety of "filth" (smoke, ash, coals)on the food which is the difference between cooking with wood, and a sterile natural gas environment. (smoke, ash, coals).
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Adelaide - South Oz
Posts: 560
Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

My approach…..

I use a long handled shovel to push the coals about (make sure you clean off the concrete that got on there when building the oven ).

To sweep the ash from the cooking surface, I use a mop (cotton). First I dip it in a bucket of water (with a very small amount of detergent). Squeeze out the mop so it’s damp and then about 3 sweeps over the cooking surface. Mop straight back in the bucket so it doesn't get too hot.
The floor comes up great.
I’m sure the mop shouldn’t be dripping etc as it could crack the surface or cool it down to some degree.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:05 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mishigame & Iberia
Posts: 1,168
Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

I've done this three ways.....

....first roughly "sweep" the coals away with a piece of wood...

....second, used various brushes to sweep away the ashes....

...third, used a wet towel/rag to clean the hearth....

each gives you a progressively cleaner pizza crust!

We've found that the last two work fine....the first left you a little more rustic tasting crust (some ash on it) but still no leftovers!

Good eating.....
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:43 AM
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Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

I don't like to use a damp rag, because it takes a lot of heat out of your cooking floor. I just rake the coals over, and then brush, brush, brush.
James
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Last edited by james; 06-07-2007 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:50 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,446
Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

I use my FB purchased tool set , in this case the shovel and brass bristle brush. I have a cotton mop that I very lightly dampen - 2 quick swipes, thats it. If you treat it like your kitchen floor with a wet mop your hearth temp will drop like a stone. My family also likes the 'rustic' crust...a minimal amount of ash on the crust. This just add to the charm of wood fired brick oven pizza.

I really don't think this is a sanitary issue, after all, that fire has been raging at upwards of 1000 degrees; a bit of ash on the bottom is not going to hurt anyone.

RT
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Old 06-08-2007, 08:58 AM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,211
Default Re: Sweeping the coals back

I use the pizza oven rake tool, this is the tool I use most often.
http://www.fornobravo.com/store/Prem...e-p-16189.html

Then I brush it a lot, and the ash tends to get airborne and go up the chimney.

I do swab with a damp towel before baking bread, but never when the fire is going.

Drake
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