October 2009
No. 8; Talking Temperature

Landscape bread


Happy October! In this edition of the Wood-Fired Newsletter, we're talking temperature. No, not the changing temperatures that come along with a new season. We're focusing on the temperatures inside Forno Bravo ovens: how to manage your fire and oven temperature, how heat works in a wood-fired oven, what type of food cooks best in which cooking environment.

In other heat-related news, we're excited to add three new products to the Forno Bravo store that make testing your oven's temperature a snap: a new infrared thermometer accurate up to 1112ºF, a large dial thermometer with a 9' cable to measure the temperature of the oven floor or dome, and another dial thermometer specially made for installation on an oven door. Don't forget to see below for a special offer!

Of course, for those of you who prefer a more manual, hands-on (literally) method for testing your oven's temp, we'll give you some tips in that area as well.

So while we at Forno Bravo certainly can't control what's happening to the temperatures outside, we can help you manage what's going on inside your oven.

Finally, we hope you'll take a minute to mark your calendars for a special event: The Forno Bravo Expo 2010 – The First Annual Wood-Fired Oven Bash! Taking place in Monterey, Calif., on Feb. 20-21, 2010, the Expo will bring together wood-fired oven aficionados from around the world. With expert presenters on pizza, Italian ingredients and oven design, the Forno Bravo Expo 2010 is sure to be the premier wood-fired event of 2010. For updates on the event, "fan us" at our new Facebook page! We'll be sending more details around on the event soon, so stay tuned.


P.S. While you already know how fun wood-fired cooking can be, not everyone has experienced that great pleasure. We'll get there one person at a time, so please take a moment and forward this newsletter to a friend.

New Products!
Three Temperature-Testing Tools

"How hot is hot?," you might be wondering. We're introducing these three new temperature-testing tools to help you gauge your oven's heat quickly and painlessly.

Primavera70 oven"Point-and-Shoot" Infrared Thermometer (Accurate to 1112ºF)
Providing an instant, non-contact temperature readout, the updated version of this infrared thermometer works up to the high, high temp of 600ºC/1112ºF. (The previous one measured to 500ºC/932ºF.) With its backlit LCD display and simple, one-handed operation, you'll get fast, exact measurement of oven surfaces. Another benefit of the updated version? We're cutting the price from $125 to $100. Click here to order.

Primavera70 ovenLarge Dial Thermometer
(Accurate to 950ºF)

With this new dial thermometer, you not only see the temperature of the internal part of the oven refractory, but also can learn how much heat is retained in the oven chamber – especially helpful when baking and roasting. Accurate up to 950ºF, the thermometer has a long 3m (9') heat-resistant cable and a 4" x 3/8" stainless-steel probe. You can set the probe in the oven dome or floor during installation and mount the 4" dial in front of the oven, where it is easy to check. No batteries or electricity needed. The large, easy-to-read analog dial makes for a fun, old-fashioned look. Click here to buy.

Primavera70 ovenDial Thermometer for Oven Door (Accurate to 800ºF)
This dial thermometer is specially designed for installation in an oven door. How it works: You slide the thermometer through a hole in the oven door, then hold it in place with the included thread and nut. Accurate up to 800ºF, this thermometer's temperature probe is 4" long, and the dial face is 2". Again, no batteries or electricity are required, and the analog dial gives a classy, retro feel. Click here to purchase.

Ready to order? Visit the Forno Bravo Store or call us at (800) 407-5119.

Helpful Charts and Resources

Wood-Fired Temperature Scale
A chart of the temperature levels your oven can reach, and the types of food you can cook at the different levels.

How Your Oven Holds Heat
A visual explanation of how your oven retains heat during firing and cooking.

Brick Oven Cooking Techniques
A handy review of the main cooking styles: fire-in-the-oven, roasting, baking, grilling.

Heat Management at the Forno Bravo Forum
Burning questions, answers and ideas from the wood-fired oven community.

How to Fire a Forno Bravo Wood Oven

In This Issue

Wood-Fired Oven Heat Management 101

Forno Bravo ovens are easy to use – from firing to cooking. With just a little bit of practice, you'll quickly become an expert at wood-fired oven heat management.

Lesson 1: Visualize How Your Oven Works, Then Fire
Before you start cooking, take a moment to visualize how your oven works. Your goal in firing the oven is to transfer and store enough heat in your oven's cooking surface and dome to achieve a balanced cooking environment – one that takes advantage of conductive heat from the cooking surface, reflective heat from the dome, and convective heat from the hot air circulating through the oven.

For step-by-step instructions on firing your oven, photos included, visit Firing Your Oven on our website.

Lesson 2: Consider the Different Cooking Environments
There are three main cooking environments, all suited for different types of food:

Fire-in-the-oven: With a live fire, your Forno Bravo oven cooks simultaneously in three ways, with reflected heat, convection and conductive heat. This is the super-high temp environment you need for pizzas or fast-cooking tapas.

Coals-in-the-oven: For this type of cooking, let your fire die down and allow your oven to cool. You can use the heat of the coals and a hot oven to roast, brown, sear and grill.

Retained heat: Rake out the coals from the fire, and then close the oven door to let the oven temperature moderate. With this type of cooking, you can bake bread, desserts and small roasts. As the oven temperature falls, you can slow-cook beans, soups and stews, and long-cook meats and ribs.

For graphics illustrating the different methods, visit Oven Operation on the website.

Lesson 3: Learn About Controlling Your Oven Temps
There are at least four ways to test the heat of your cooking surface:

Use an infrared temperature gauge. This is an easy, hands-off method for accurately measuring high temperatures; all you do is point and shoot. Other types of oven thermometers are available depending on your individual preferences.

Perform the flour test. If you want to learn how to "feel" how your oven is working without high-tech gadgets, you can start by using flour to test the cooking surface temperature. Simply throw a pinch of flour into the oven, and count how long it takes to burn and smoke. A hot, 750ºF hearth will scorch flour in a few seconds.

Use the Mississippi method. Count the number of seconds, using "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, etc.," that it takes for your hand to become uncomfortably hot inside the oven. One Mississippi is a very hot oven; bread bakes well in a Four Mississippi oven.

Learn by trial and error. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Further Reading
If you haven't already downloaded the Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Cooking eBook, we invite you to do so. First of all, it's free! Secondly, the eBook includes some excellent wood oven theory and oven management instructions.

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send us an email.

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Looking for back issues?
You can find an archive of all the Forno Bravo Wood-Fired Newsletters on FornoBravo.com.

If you have a question or recommendation about this Wood-Fired Newsletter,
or anything else where we can help, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The Sales and Service Team
Forno Bravo, LLC
399 Business Park Court, #506
Windsor, CA 93953
(800) 407-5119


Two Thermometers Are Better Than One

For a limited time, when you purchase the new Point-and-Shoot Infrared Thermometer, you'll also receive the Dial Thermometer for Oven Door at no extra charge. That's a $25 value!

To receive your complimentary thermometer with purchase, simply enter coupon code: newsletter102009fb at checkout. Offer expires on November 15, 2009.