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Old 12-15-2009, 01:38 PM
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Location: Sacramento
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Default initially cleaning your oven

My oven isn't completed yet, but i noticed that while it is being built the floor has been coming in contact with all the elements and getting a little dirty. I've even noticed that little bugs have been crawling in some of the cracks. Once i finish the dome is there anything i need to do to make sure the floor is clean enough for food, or is a curing fire sufficient?
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:02 PM
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Les Les is offline
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Default Re: initially cleaning your oven

If its mortar, use a dilution of muriatic acid. Anything else should be cleaned by the fire. As far as bugs - there won't be much left of them with a good fire.

Les...
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:36 AM
Jed Jed is offline
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Default Re: initially cleaning your oven

WFO - Wood fired oven

The original 'self cleaning' oven!

JED
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: initially cleaning your oven

Just remember, these thing were built and used by Romans, amongst other ancient rural folk. The greater concern in a modern oven would be the possible dangers of modern materials, but that topic has been thoroughly covered and put to rest in these forums. My impression is that you really can't screw this thing up. It's literally a pile of mud with a fire inside. It'll cook anything, bugs included.

If aesthetics are your concern, I don't have a working oven yet myself, but I imagine that the first few first will pretty much ash up the floor anyway, for better or worse.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: initially cleaning your oven

Self cleaning is correct! I pump my oven above 950º for an hour before letting it settle back to high 700's for cookin. I notice floor brick under the fire will get red hot and that will kill off any unwanted guest! The oven will blacken with soot during the curing fires and initially with each cold firing but that all burn off at higher temps. To keep it clean during the build use a grout sponge and clean off the excess mortar before it has a chance to fully set. Also protect the floor with ply wood or paper. Cheers,
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:29 PM
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Location: Sacramento
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Default Re: initially cleaning your oven

Thanks for the replies. I have cleaned most of the visible mortar stains off by rubbing it with a chisel and using a wet rag to wipe everything off...i wanted the inside of my oven to look good, but more importantly i didnt want my food to come in contact with any chemicals that are present in the mortar (if any). But i guess you guys are right, fire cleans everything.

One other thing that i have not seen be mentioned yet is if it is ok for the insulation mat to get wet. A while ago right when I started building, it rained unexpectedly and everything got soaked including the insulation. At the time I assumed the curing process would just drive the heat out, but it bothers me now that i never asked anyone if wet insulation loses some of its heat reflecting properties. Maybe i'm just worring over nothing. It would be too late now to take the insulation out from underneath my almost finished oven dome any way, but just for my peace of mind, does anyone know if it matters if the insulation gets soaked?
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