June 2010

No. 16; Get Cooking & Contest Updates

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Summer is here, and it's time to get cooking! In this issue of the Wood-Fired Newsletter, we celebrate cooking, pure and simple!

Forno Bravo ovens do a lot more than make pizza: They are perfect for grilling, roasting and baking. In fact, you can do just about anything in a wood-fired oven that you can do in a conventional oven or BBQ ... only better! To celebrate the wonderful world of wood-fired cooking, we're focusing on different ways to use your oven, along with resources for recipes. (A delicious Chicken Diavolo recipe is included below, perfect for summer.)

I also wanted to pass along some recent milestones for the Forno Bravo community:

  • We now have 11,000 Forno Bravo Forum members — and 80,000+ postings! (If you haven't joined our forum, please consider doing so. It's an excellent place to pick up ideas, share tips and techniques, ask questions, and even make some friends.)

  • Our eBooks (see right for more information) have been downloaded more than 75,000 times. We're thrilled our eBooks are so popular, and we appreciate the Forno Bravo community's contributions to these resources.

Lastly, a couple of contest updates for you. We have a winner for the Forno Bravo FAQ contest that was announced in the April newsletter! The winning question and answer was from Paul Muscat and concerns temperature management: "Thermometers and thermocouples ... what do I need?" For his detailed and informative answer, visit the FAQ. Nice job, Paul, and thank you for all your submissions. There were some really good ones. Keep 'em coming as the FAQ continues to grow!

There's also some news about our recent photo content; see bottom for that information. We need you to help us pick the winner out of five finalists!

Best regards, and happy summertime cooking,

Wood-Fired Oven Cooking Techniques

Wood-fired ovens are capable of an almost endless variety of cooking styles. With nearly all types of cooking, you should bring your oven fully up to heat, then prepare it for the type of cooking you want to do by moving the fire and coals, and letting the oven temperature reach the range where you will be cooking. How long you fire your oven depends on how much cooking you will be doing, and how long you want your oven to hold its heat.

As a quick overview, the main cooking styles are as follows:

Fire-in-the-oven (650°F and up!): Fire-in-the-oven cooking is for baking pizza, pizza-like flatbreads and certain types of appetizers, all of which cook in a couple of minutes. The goal with this type of cooking is to completely fill the floor and dome with heat, build up a large-sized bed of coals, and maintain a large fire so the flame reaches the top of the dome.

Roasting (600°F-450°F): Roasting is for dishes where you want to sear meats or brown vegetables and casseroles before either covering them with a lid or with liquids, and for dishes that will cook completely before the outside either burns or becomes too brown.

Baking (500°F and lower): Baking is used for bread, desserts, smaller roast meats, beans and legumes, and pasta dishes.

Grilling: Your brick oven makes a great grill. By raking a layer of hot coals across the cooking floor at the front of the oven, and then sliding a free-standing cast iron grill into the oven, you can enjoy grilling that sets seared grill marks and seals in moisture for food that is crisp and not dried out. (See Grilling Basics for more info.)


Recipe: Chicken Diavolo (Devil's Chicken)

With summer's warmer temperatures, we thought a hot, spicy recipe was in order for our June newsletter: Chicken Diavolo — or Devil's Chicken. For those of you who don't enjoy spicy foods, try substituting sage for the chili peppers.

Chicken Diavolo (Devil's Chicken)


4 lb. chicken

1/2 c. cooking olive oil
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and chopped
1 tsp. finely chopped red chilies
Salt and pepper

Fresh lemon wedges


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a shallow glass bowl. Whisk well.
  2. Rinse the chicken, then cut it down the middle of the breast and flatten out evenly. Place in the marinade, turning to cover.
  3. Cover the marinating chicken and leave in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, overnight if you can.
  4. Rake the coals from a hot oven in front of the oven opening, and place a steel grill in the oven for a few minutes to heat. Then set the whole chicken on a steel grill and place in the oven.
  5. Depending on the heat of your oven and coals, you can cook the chicken without turning. If either the top or bottom is significantly hotter, turn the chicken once. Grill for 20-30 minutes, or until done.
  6. Garnish with parsley and fresh lemon.
Special Photo Contest!

Photo Contest Update: Vote for Our Finalists!

In the May newsletter, we announced a special photo contest. We asked you to e-mail your best wood-fired oven-related pictures, and the sender of our favorite photo would receive a Forno Bravo "Got Wood?" T-shirt.

Well, response to the photo contest has been impressive, to say the least! But we've received so many wonderful photos that we need your help choosing the winner. We decided to pick five photo contest finalists. (Each one still receives a T-shirt. Finalists should e-mail their mailing addresses to info@fornobravo.com so we can send your T-shirt. Please indicate which photo is yours and that you are a photo contest finalist.)

We will post the five finalists in the Forno Bravo Forum for a vote by the Forno Bravo community, American Idol-style. The top vote-getter wins a $100 gift certificate to the Forno Bravo Store. Please vote today for your favorite photo!

And now, our photo finalists ... drum roll, please:

Big thanks to all who sent in photos. You've really helped build out our Photo Gallery and will certainly provide inspiration to new oven owners. There are some really nice set-ups out there!

VOTE for the Photo Contest Winner!