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Newbie Trying to get WFO up to temp

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  • Newbie Trying to get WFO up to temp

    I have just completed building a 35" pompeii WFO. Towards the end of the construction I lit a number of very small fires to cure the oven. Now that the oven is complete I have attempted to get the oven up to proper pizza temperature. Last night I lit some paper and kindling then threw on a couple of pieces of split maple. At the most I had three pieces of maple burning. After an hour the temperature about 4 or 5 inches away from the fire, was according to my freestanding oven thermometer, only about 200 degrees at floor height. I suspect that I'm not burning enough wood and not waiting long enough for it to come up to temperature but judging from last night it is going to take a very large fire taking up approx. 50% of the floor space to create the temperatures I need to cook pizza. One word about my oven. The "dome" ended up being a rather flat roof so I suspect that I'm going to lose an unusual amount of heat right up the chimney....just my guess. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks John

  • #2
    Re: Newbie Trying to get WFO up to temp

    It maybe that your oven still contains trapped moisture and needs additional curing fires?

    I have a 42" Pompeii, it takes a considerable amount of wood and time to get it up to temp, approx 2 1/2hrs. When I begin, I use 6 pieces in the 3-5" dia range stacked alternately 2 on top of 2 on top of 2 more. Once they're going I push in to just beyond center. I continue to add wood until dome begins to clear, once that starts "usually around 1hr" I move all coals and wood to the side I'm cooking on until the dome is about clear "1 3/4hrs" Then I move just the solid wood to opposite side I plan on cooking and spread coals over entire floor to supercharge floor. Continuing to add wood the whole time as needed. At about 2 1/2 hrs I move coals over to the wood side, sweep floor and begin cooking.

    At that point Im around 770-800*F on floor and 950*F+ on ceiling. I'm going to guess I burn 2-3 good sized arm loads of hard seasoned wood for a night of WFO cooking. Living in Pennsylvania and owning 30 acres of hardwood sure makes it easier. I think it would be a serious problem if wood was not at my finger tips to acsess easy.

    Link to my photo album:

    Link to my build:


    • #3
      Re: Newbie Trying to get WFO up to temp

      Thanks Chris. My oven is new so yes, it likely has lots of moisture. FYI I used medium fire bricks, 3000 degree morter, two inches of insulating blanket and 2+ inches on Matralite 18 then covered the dome with 1/8th inch of stucco. Again the roof / top of the dome is every low and flat (by accident). From your comment and from my reading I don't think I'm using enough fuel and also not taking enough time. Any other suggestions out there are welcome. Cheers, John.


      • #4
        Re: Newbie Trying to get WFO up to temp

        it sounds like you have insulated your oven properly - which is the most important thing.

        I think it is too early to worry. And sounds like it is still wet. Keep on making larger fires... every oven has its own personality and you have to learn yours.

        I can clear my dome and start making pizzas in one hour and 15 minutes from cold. I have a 32 inch oven. It takes about 5-6 good size pieces of split, well seasoned Oak to do that.