Old 10-30-2008, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 7
Default Thermocouple

What is the best way to measure the temperature of a wood fired oven? I currently have a thermocouple and was interested in using it in the oven. Is it best to place it in the hearth or in the wall of the oven? Is this best mounted within the brick, or protruding from the brick and into the oven. If this is mounted within the brick on the side of the oven what is the best way to mount it for possible replacement?
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: missouri
Posts: 27
Default Re: Thermocouple

Second that! I just purchased 2 RTD probes - Short RTD Probe and have the same question.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:26 PM
staestc's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Rockwall,TX
Posts: 235
Default Re: Thermocouple

I am just in the research and planning stages, but I will offer what I believe to be true based on all I have studied.

Thermocouples are not very expensive, at least compared to the electronics to read and display them. If you have those electronics or will get them, then you might as well put several thermocouples in your build. The number and locations depend on what data you actually want to collect.

I think that the most usefull data would come from thermocouples mounted to read at about the middle of the firebricks (or regular bricks if you go that route) at a minimum. I would think that you would want one at the top of the dome and another in the center of the floor at a minimum.

There is a lot written, and it makes sense, to put at each location you chose to measure, one near the outside and one near the inside of a particular spot (say the top of the dome for instance). If you do something like that, you can tell not only what the surface temperature is inside the dome, but also get an idea of how much heat has been absorbed by the bricks and will be available for extended cooking.

If you are only concerned about cooking pizza, then an infrared surface measuring device is more than enough, given that you will have a fire going in the oven while you cook, and you are not concerned about how much heat will be available stored in the bricks for extended cooking, after you have raked out the fire.

You can get by without any temperature measuring equipment after you gain some experience and experiment (trial and error and the associated learning) while cooking.

Seems like most folks have at least invested in a surface temperature device like the infrared, if for not other reason than curiosity and the ability to measure the inside temperature while curing their domes, so I will get one of those.

I will probably try to get an infrared thermometer that will also accept inputs from thermocouples, and install them in the top of the dome, and in the center of the floor at least, most likely in the center of the bricks.

That's just were I am leaning at the moment, and my plans may change based on inputs here before I get to the point of actually having to make a decision

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Old 10-30-2008, 07:05 PM
Dutchoven's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 931
Default Re: Thermocouple

Check out thermoworks.com...they make the thermopen which is worth every penny and you can get high temp thermocouples for about $12 and a hand held reader for about $40 to $50...great stuff
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
"Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

Last edited by Dutchoven; 10-30-2008 at 07:05 PM. Reason: fumble fingers
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: missouri
Posts: 27
Default Re: Thermocouple

Is an RTD sensor the same as a thermocouple? or is that something altogether different? I was told by an engineer friend to get a RTD sensor to measure temps as they last the longest. Anyways, how about some more input on where to place them?
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:46 AM
david s's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 5,152
Default Re: Thermocouple

I put mine about 1/2 way up the dome as a compromise and drilled in a hole so the tip of the thermocouple is a few centimetres shy of protruding into the oven interior. It does tend to give a somewhat false reading because there seems to be quite a lag for the thermo couple to indicate oven temp. What I mean is that the oven will be REALLY hot, hot enough to burn the base of a pizza and cook them well in 2 mins, but the thermocouple only reads 320 C or so. I know it's hotter than this. This is after firing for 1 1/2 hrs. I think we get a bit obsessed with temp measurement. You don't really need it. You know when it's hot.
Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 423
Default Re: Thermocouple

A couple of other sources are Omega Engineering and eBay (of all places) I use many TC's in a year and can get them pretty cheap either way. I have an Omega Multi-meter which reads plug in TC's. Currently, this is how I measure temps in my smoker and am considering where to place mt TC's in the oven that I am starting after too many years of waiting.

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Old 05-19-2009, 08:38 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Groton, MA
Posts: 7
Default Re: Thermocouple

I just called Omega support and talked to an engineer. He said that most people use their XCIB-K-1-5-3 model thermocouple in oven applications. The "3" is 3ft. and there is also a 10 ft. version.

The cheaper readout is the DP7000. He orginally suggested a CN600 but that is very pricey.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:59 PM
jcg31's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Davis, California
Posts: 256
Default Re: Thermocouple

Here is a good read from the forum's past on the topic

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f28/...me-o-3004.html (thermocouples... same o same o)

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Old 05-20-2009, 03:51 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Groton, MA
Posts: 7
Default Re: Thermocouple

Well I guess it was interesting but it didn't change my mind really. Omega is the worlds largest manufacturer of thermocouples so I think I'll be following their recommendations. From another thread I realized that my cheap Sears multimeter can read K thermocouples so I am modifying my order to have end no. 6 so they plug into a meter directly. Minimizes the up front investment.

My reasoning about thermocouples is that given the cost of the oven, burying 2 $40 thermocouples inside is not a bad idea since you can't do it later.

I had my first wood oven course from Dan Wing and I seem to remember his infamous portable oven had multiple thermocouples buried inside. He also had an infrared thermometer. My second teacher would only use the burnt flour method. Both of them had been baking in wood ovens for years.
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