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Good work. Where are you in N Mich? I am from Cadillac but live in Kalamazoo and am working on sealing my structure over a 42" Pompeii. I still have a lot to learn on temp as well. Burnt my first attempt at bread last night.
I am north west of Traverse city in Leelanau county. I am done cooking using the oven for the year. I think I used it about a dozen time before the weather turned. I had a number of pizza parties. I only cooked bread once and I also did a chicken which turned out very nice.
I found that I like a 3 minute pizza the best. I am still learning how to keep the temp up by stirring the coals. In the past I always made a slightly thicker crust. 13 oz dough for a 12" pie. For the brick oven I now make a 10-11 oz dough and stretch it to 14"+
It seems that my base cools off fast then I like when I am cooking 5 to 6 pizzas. I think I am going to try adding a layer of lose bricks in the oven next summer. Only 8 bricks though, just enough to cook one pizza and see if that makes a difference. Going with the barrel style mine is more of a baking oven. I love the heat retension that my oven has. I look forward to slow roasting something over night next summer.
Well Chip my sister has told me we will snow shoe back to the Oven this winter a do a bonfire and fire up the oven.
My oven is not at my home, it is on the back 25 where we hope to build our next home in a few years if we ever sell the present home. I don't keep the driveway plowed during the winter. I almost wish I had built it at our present house as it was a joy to build and might have help in selling our house.