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updated pictures plus a question

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  • updated pictures plus a question

    lots more pics in the Dome and hearth photo gallery

    I have now managed to hit 540C measured at the top of the dome in the thermocouple buried about 1/2 way inside one of the bricks - after a 4 hour fire - is this normal?

    I was hoping to be able to get up to temp after a couple of hours and with a lot less wood. I must say that 540C seems pretty HOT!

    I am using oak off-cuts from a local saw mill that are quite "chunky", and need quite a bit of chopping to get down to roughlt 2x2" splits.

  • #2
    Re: updated pictures plus a question

    OK, for those of us thinking in degrees F that 540C equals 1004F. I'm interested in seeing the responses from others as my WFO is different than most on this Forum (and most everywhere else it seems too :-), so my heat up times are pretty much of no import, save to me.

    But let me see if I'm understanding this.... It's taking 4 hours to get to pizza temperatures? Seems like a long time, certainly your dome is burned "clear" well before then...right? So a question back.. How long before your dome burns "clear"? Because that is when most seem to be ready to cook pizza.



    • #3
      Re: updated pictures plus a question

      I'm getting a white dome after an hour and a half in my oven. Without a huge scary fire but a decent and somewhat intimidating fire....

      I can get there in 45 mins or so - but the fire is Robert M huge. So for the most part, I have not been in a rush to see just how fast I can get it up to temperature. With making drinks, sauce, etc. The pizza oven has not been the bottleneck. I am.

      My oven progress -


      • #4
        Re: updated pictures plus a question

        Originally posted by christo View Post
        With making drinks, sauce, etc. The pizza oven has not been the bottleneck. I am.
        That's why we invented beer

        Check out my pictures here:

        If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


        • #5
          Re: updated pictures plus a question

          I can match Christo's 45 minutes to burn white...but I don't care to. Its not the scary part (to me its [B]REALLY COOL[B]) I've been using a lot of citrus lately - if I go with a cool, scary fire it gets too damn hot for too long (go figure, never thought this pyromaniac would ever think that ). It actually sends my IR into error (topping 1100 F).
          Without thermocouples I have no idea what the saturation temp is.
          For the most part I now go with a sizable, intimidating (but not scary) fire and it takes about an hour to go white, them let it die down another 15-20 minutes....usually do my pizzas with a dome temp of 900F or so and hearth temps of 800-825F (all surface temps with the IR). Great char, and truly done in 90 seconds...can't have any distractions though, or I simply end up adding to the ash pile.
          Really curious how long it takes your oven to go white. If your doing pizza that is all you need, along with 10-20 minutes to let things equalize and the flames to die down a bit......I would think 4 hrs of a big fire would saturate through just about anything, you are either overkilling things and firing much longer than needed or are under insulated with a lot of heat wicking away.



          • #6
            Re: updated pictures plus a question

            Wiley, Christo, Les ant RT,

            cheers guys.

            The dome started to clear to white in around 1 - 1 1/2 hours and at that point I took these readings when I was curing the oven a couple of weeks ago:

            top dome 240C
            Exterior of dome 247C
            Near surface Hearth 213C
            Deep Hearth 207C
            Bottom of Base between insulation and Hearth 74C

            I was away on holiday all of last week and it rained here in the UK for the WHOLE week. The 4 hour fire was also a bit of a drying fire as the insulation had soaked up some water - esp. the ceramic board around the edges. This may explain the extended heat up times.

            Like most of you I am a bit of a pyro, but am shocked at how scary this thing gets when its running at full wack.


            • #7
              Re: updated pictures plus a question

              I think that's the point, you're measuring 540 C half way through the bricks, right?

              I usually start cooking pizzas once the dome goes white, which means I have a smaller fire from that point onwards. So the bricks probably only ever get to pizza temps on the inside surface of the dome. I'd guess half way through their entire thickness they might reach a maximum of... I dunno, maybe 300 C?

              Then after cooking pizzas I close the door and the oven stabilises at 250 or so after about three hours.

              The way I understand it, the dome doesn't need to be completely saturated with pizza temp heat, the inside dome surface is what counts. You can heat it up that much, but it serves no real purpose for most uses.

              Have you tried any pizzas yet? That's what counts after all, can you get enough three-minute pizzas out of the oven to feed whoever's hungry - not the exact temperature of the dome.
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



              • #8
                Re: updated pictures plus a question

                Oops, crossed posts there...
                "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



                • #9
                  Re: updated pictures plus a question


                  this input has been really helpful

                  I tried earlier today to cook pizzas once the dome when white and it seemed like the pizzas took about 5 minutes to cook, with the thermocouple temps around 270C. The fire died down and I have spent some time chopping up the oak into smaller pieces and have got the oven into overdrive right now the hearth is at 560c from the thermocouple that is near the surface of the hearth and the dome thermouples read 360c and 368c. The fire is dying down now and I am going to try pizza soon!!!



                  • #10
                    Re: updated pictures plus a question

                    I originally didn't take into consideration that you may still be curing or had recently completed curing. In either case, your oven is not anywhere near close to top performance until you have had 20 or so good fires.....even though we think it has cured entirely, it takes a considerable number of big fires to drive out all of the moisture and "season" the oven. I'm guessing things will improve a bit with each fire. I would keep plugging away and keep track of how things progress over the next 8-10 times you fire it up. Good luck.....keep us posted.