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Starting a wood fire in a gas/wood combo oven (Vesuvio 100g)

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  • Starting a wood fire in a gas/wood combo oven (Vesuvio 100g)

    Hi all,

    This is my first real post here beyond my intro, so I want to start off by saying thank you to everyone that contributes here. There's a wealth of great information on this forum that was key to my selecting a Forno Bravo Vesuvio 100g as my pizza oven. I just installed it recently and fired it for the first time last night. I received the oven pre-cured from FB, so last night's burn was really about testing out the gas burner and just enjoying a nice fire in the oven (no pizzas were cooked) and seeing if I could bring it up to temp. I was able to get the oven up to ~1,000F at the dome and ~800F on the floor. Once the fire was out I put the door on and left it. Checked on it this morning and it was still >400F in the oven, so pretty happy with the heat retention.

    My question has to do with starting a fire in a WFO that also has a gas burner (in this case, the Drago P1 burner). I've had other WFO's before, but never one with a gas burner. I was assuming/hoping that it would be as easy as stacking my wood in the middle of the oven as I would normally do (minus kindling) and then turning on the gas burner, and when the oven reached a certain temperature the wood would ignite on its own. It didn't quite work out that way last night. After running the burner on high for nearly an hour and a half, the wood was black and producing a good amount of dark smoke, but never ignited on its own. I decided to light a small piece of kindling, and as soon as I touched it to the wood the whole pile went up in flames, so clearly it was at combustion temperature but never ignited on its own. So I'm wondering what the best way is to light one of these ovens? This method would work OK, I guess, but I'm sure there must be more efficient ways of doing this?