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Old 10-21-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

My pompeii oven is complete but the door opening was done too large. The diameter of the oven is 41 inches with a 22 3/4 inch dome height. My opening is 20 1/4 inch wide, with a center height of 17 inches & sides of 13 inches. Math was never my forte, anybody know what I should modify the opening to be? I think the width is fine but what the hell should the sides and center be??? I am ready to make the modification but want to be sure. Based on this 63% thingy, does that mean that my center should be approximately 14 inches, with sides of 11 inches?? MAYBE I SHOULD GO WITH THE RECOMMENDED 12 1/2 CENTER WITH 10 INCH SIDES!!!SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP, I WANT PIZZA .......
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Mine is around 20 wide and 12 high (42 inch oven). 3 brick high on the sides before the arch starts. I didn't have to do any math - just followed the plans... Out of curiosity, how did you stray?
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

I didn't...but my non-English speaking brick mason must have thought we were building a fireplace or counted the bricks wrong, while we were on vacation. Out of curiosity, what is your dome height?
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Nick, I don't think you should change anything. You are only a few inches out, it won't make any difference that you'd notice. if your oven had a flat entry rather than an arch the sides would be about the same height as yours. So it is only a bit high in the centre. Just fire the beast and you'll be fine.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

THX guys, I am planning pizza for tonight with real dry almond & apple wood, wish me luck. If i burn 1/4 cord of wood and/or the pizzas take more than 1/2 hour to cook, I will get back with you all, "ROLL TIDE", Niko
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Nick, I may have missed it but, DID YOU CURE YOUR OVEN YET?

Chris
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Yes, I did Chris and have actually cooked a couple of pizzas last week, but they took about 10 minutes each. With my large opening, trying to decide if I should just live with it or try to reduce the opening size. Plan to try a bigger fire tonight, THX
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Whew! Sorry for the "yelling"... Enjoy.

Chris
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Brautovich View Post
Yes, I did Chris and have actually cooked a couple of pizzas last week, but they took about 10 minutes each. With my large opening, trying to decide if I should just live with it or try to reduce the opening size. Plan to try a bigger fire tonight, THX
Nick,

My first pizza attempt was great, but I too had a bit longer cooking time than expected. There was a post here a while ago that said your fire's big enough when your spouse shakes her/his head at it, but your kids think it's the coolest thing ever. Can't agree more. Mine takes about an hour to get really rolling, and then I keep that up for at least 30 minutes more so that the heat fully penetrates those "white-hot" bricks. I'm experimenting with draft doors, but have found that with the outer opening completely open, the fire burns much better and hotter if it's burning near the back of the oven. Not sure if this is the same for others, but it seems to work for me. Otherwise, the flames are lazy and the fire smokier.

Your pizza cooking times will definitely increase with thicker crusts and more ingredients. Experiment with different crust thicknesses, toppings, etc. Also experiment with different fire locations and when you stoke it as you cook. I've been happy keeping a fire going in three places: left, back, and right sides. This helps keep even heat in my oven, and with even crust browning...I like it. I'll cook about two pizzas, then stoke the fire again while I'm getting the next pizzas ready, and by the time I'm back outside again, the fire's calmed down a bit and is ready for more pies. Some don't like having fire in the back of the oven for two reasons; (1) you can't see that part of the crust as it browns, and they say the fire in the back will pull cold air over your pizza. I'll experiment next with fire only on left and right sides this Monday for a family party.

I'm having a blast with my oven so far, and haven't given it much time to cool off since I started cooking in it. Just smoked some ribs the other night with the residual heat from a firing 4 days prior; loaded the old coals into a charcoal starter with some apple chips on top, put that in the oven and shut the door for about 4 hours. Put more chips in twice during that cooking time. Great success.

Good luck,

Casey
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Perplexed Oven Opening Guy

Nick,
If your pizzas are taking 10 mins to cook, it sounds to me like your oven is not properly cured. If there is still moisture in it the bottom of the oven is still cold although the top maybe hot. Usually you can see a persistent ring of black around the base of the dome. This indicates that the dome is still not hot enough there. Likewise the floor, it is hard to remove the moisture from beneath the floor. It is ready when you cast a little semolina onto the middle of the floor and it takes 3 secs to go black. More is too cold, less is too hot.
Dave
pS new ovens also go through tons of wood, because they are busy using the energy to convert the water to steam, once properly cured they use way less wood.

Last edited by david s; 10-22-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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