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Oven not getting hot enough ? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Oven not getting hot enough ?

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  • Oven not getting hot enough ?

    Hi My husband Matt built this oven last year, we have had a few runs at cooking pizza but up to now none have been really successful. The main problem seems to be that in order to keep the oven hot enough to cook the pizza it has to be stoked really high and it then burns the top but the bottom of the pizza doesn't cook properly.

    If the fire dies down the retained heat seems to settle at 300c any ideas where we are going wrong?

    Here's a pic

    Matt has replaced the floor with terracotta tiles which has helped to move the pizza further away from the fire but it still stays at 300c

    Would lowering the opening arch help?

    Many Thanks x

  • #2
    Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

    Go to the Forno Bravo Store and order (download) the Pompei Plans, They are free... Read thru them, We cant see alot of how you built your oven and materials etc, reading the plans will guide you and let you know the areas where you are in trouble. But your biggest answer I see,, Your chimney should be more to the front,, What if anything dod you use for insulation ? and is that Firebrick on the floor or cement ?

    One suggestion, Try running the oven with the chimney blocked off and use the door as a chimney.. May help you retain enough heat to get the temp a little higher,,

    Look thru the plans,,

    Good luck and post any other pics you have of building it,,, someone here should be able to help


    • #3
      Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

      Based on the photo, I have these comments:
      1) this is a small oven, maybe 24" for the inside diameter? The entry (opening) appears to be a bit large the oven size. I know you need room to work, but it adds the heat loss. This is a problem with building a small oven, you have to scale all aspects accordingly.

      2) From the overal thickness it does not look like you have much insulation in the dome, what about under the hearth? As we tell everyone - INSULATE, INSULATE, INSULATE

      3) your flue and chimney appears to be nearly in the center of the dome, a BIG no no for getting an oven up to temp and holding that temp. Besides a lack of insulation, this is probably the greatest loss of heat. As mentioned, it needs to be positioned in the entry area, not the dome.

      Mark's suggestion to download the pompeii plans is spot on. I would compare what is recommended in the plans with what you have actually built. Good luck



      • #4
        Re: Oven not getting hot enough ?

        Ummm... If the oven is burning the top of your pizza and the bottom is under baked, I would consider losing the metal pan. You spend a considerable amount of time building the heat throughout the oven (two Mississippi) and then you insulate the bottom by introducing a cold metal pan between the floor and the pizza. The oven is doing its job by baking the top (exposed portion of the pizza). Hades himself could not inflict enough heat through the pan in time to evenly bake the pizza.
        Change one thing at a time. Try that and report back.

        Good luck.