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Steel Fire Box

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  • Steel Fire Box

    Hello Everyone,
    I am getting ready to start my dome for my 42" pompei and had a question about an idea that I had. I was thinking of making a small box (16" square maybe) with 2" sides out of mild steel. I would make a hole in it that I could grab with a hook on a pole. I was thinking of using this as a fire box that I could make the fire in outside the oven and then push in. The point would be to avoid having to clean ash out of the oven. and keep the floor clean for food. I am wondering if the steel will conduct heat to well and affect the firebrick underneath in some way that I am not anticipating. I was also considering welding some 1" legs on it but not sure if that would be needed. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience in doing anything like this?

  • #2
    Not worth the effort, as you want your fire on the floor to heat the bricks. usually you light it in the middle where you'll be cooking your pizzas and then 'bank it' to one side once the fire is going. Sometimes you'll need to recharge the floor by moving the fire back to the middle, then bank it on the other side.

    there is a good chapter on fire management in the book "The Art of Wood-fired Cooking" by Andrea Mugnaini that would be good for you to review. It was accessible through google books at one time, not sure if this is still the case.

    Edit: excerpt is here (hope I am not breaking rules, this is not a commercial link)

    pages 21-26
    Last edited by deejayoh; 07-15-2021, 01:37 PM.
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    • #3
      I believe your idea is a pretty good one, especially if you have a small oven where floor area is limited. For a 42" oven you should not have an issue with pizzas too close to the fire. I sometimes use a piece of .055mm piece of stainless bent into an L shape to deflect the heat. It enables you to clean up the ash and coals right up to it giving you more space. Thin stainless warps badly as you can see, but it hasn't rusted away, I've been using this for years. I would like to try a thicker piece to reduce the warping although as steel is quite conductive a thicker piece means more thermal mass which means higher heat loss if the flame is not maintained. When I get around to it I'll try it and see how it performs in comparison to the thin one.

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      Last edited by david s; 07-15-2021, 03:16 PM.
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      • #4
        Thank you, that is great advice. I think I will leave this out and go on to my next crazy idea.