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36" Pompeii low-dome in Livermore, CA

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  • #91
    Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
    Believe it or not, there is a unique smell when the dome starts to clear, kind of hard to explain, but see if you can smell it. Both Gulf and I swear there is a smell when the dome clears, not sure if it is the carbon burning off or our vivid imagination............
    I think I know that smell

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    • #92
      I didn't get any work done on the oven last weekend, except burn baby burn! I intended to mount my chimney plate but on Saturday I unintentionally cleared the dome, and noticed a small crack in the mortar in my outer arch. I'm not sure if this will be a problem, but I decided to exercise caution for a few days. It's only visible when the arch is hot, and it's on one of the smaller bricks around the vent. When it formed I noticed the inside of the arch around 350F and the outside around 130F, and I guess this is maybe what caused the crack - the inboard side of the vent expanding more than the outside. Should I bust the brick out and re-set it? Or nothing to worry about? I'm inclined to just not worry, but anyway, to the fun stuff:

      Saturday was day 8 of curing fires, and we decided to roast a whole yellowtail snapper, along with the roasted asparagus with walnut crema from the A16 cookbook. I intended to have the oven around 550F for this, but I had it burning all day, and to my surprise, the dome totally cleared. Had to cook the fish in the mouth of the oven to prevent burning it to a crisp. But it came out nice. The only thing that made me a little upset was that my wife insisted on doing the plating, and what she did... I wasn't going to take a picture of. She had cooked some beans in a dutch oven when the oven was a little cooler earlier in the day, and they were really good, but she insisted on slopping them all over the plate.

      On Friday night I made pizza dough using my Camaldoli sourdough culture, for a 48 hour ferment and pizza on Sunday. I had enough culture left over, I decided to try pita bread as well. I don't know if I can embed youtube videos here, but here's my pita bread puffing up in the oven:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tpNPCvwWkw

      Lastly, my first pie. We had summer-like temperatures over the weekend, which totally overblew my dough by Sunday night, but I managed to make pizza anyway. Crimini mushrooms, baby artichokes from our garden roasted in the oven, garlic, EVOO, beet greens, Fontina and Tartufelo cheese, and post-bake lemon zest. Not my best looking pizza, but it's a start.

      I have the next few days off, and intend to start the insulation.

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      • #93
        Wish my first pizza had looked that good! Also, I sometimes require a cooler oven than "happened" so I invert a half-sheet and then put my baking item on another half sheet (right side up ). It definitely helps reduce the effective bottom heat. Then you have to develop some "looks/feels" done instincts rather than using exact minutes from a standard recipe. Cooking in the throat of the oven entrance as you did is also a great move...try risotto this way, it's really different--read good--with the higher temps and nuances of wood smoke. (I once did a meringue on a lemon pie at about 650F ... took less than 90 seconds to brown & set. Having a death threat hanging over my head from "the cook" if I burned it--made me very attentive . In my defense, I had been heating the oven up for a much later dinner when I was informed that the meringue needed to be done immediately. )

        As to the small crack in your arch...when you read about classic Italian, Roman, Spanish and southwestern US ovens (both cobb & masonry), many references exist to the "old time" users (pre-IR temp guns) using such cracks to tell when temps were ready for their bakes. The cracks would widen as the oven heated and when they looked just right...time to bake. In other words, as you said--relax & don't worry about small cracks like that--it's not a bug, it's a feature!

        p.s. I also have such a crack in my outer arch that only shows up when I've gotten the oven up to temp. I've been using the oven for almost 6 1/2 years now with no change in that arch (or crack...which is along a mortar joint that's in near alignment with the joint above).
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
        Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
        Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

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        • #94
          Congrats on the first meals. Seems like when I could start cooking, my finish work on the oven really slowed down. In fact, I am still working on the final touches of my oven 5 years later....LOL
          Russell
          Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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          • #95
            Originally posted by SableSprings View Post
            Wish my first pizza had looked that good! Also, I sometimes require a cooler oven than "happened" so I invert a half-sheet and then put my baking item on another half sheet (right side up ). It definitely helps reduce the effective bottom heat. Then you have to develop some "looks/feels" done instincts rather than using exact minutes from a standard recipe. Cooking in the throat of the oven entrance as you did is also a great move...try risotto this way, it's really different--read good--with the higher temps and nuances of wood smoke. (I once did a meringue on a lemon pie at about 650F ... took less than 90 seconds to brown & set. Having a death threat hanging over my head from "the cook" if I burned it--made me very attentive . In my defense, I had been heating the oven up for a much later dinner when I was informed that the meringue needed to be done immediately. )

            As to the small crack in your arch...when you read about classic Italian, Roman, Spanish and southwestern US ovens (both cobb & masonry), many references exist to the "old time" users (pre-IR temp guns) using such cracks to tell when temps were ready for their bakes. The cracks would widen as the oven heated and when they looked just right...time to bake. In other words, as you said--relax & don't worry about small cracks like that--it's not a bug, it's a feature!

            p.s. I also have such a crack in my outer arch that only shows up when I've gotten the oven up to temp. I've been using the oven for almost 6 1/2 years now with no change in that arch (or crack...which is along a mortar joint that's in near alignment with the joint above).
            Good, thanks for the info on the mortar joint just a pre-engineered crack. I was a little distraught when cracks started showing, but I definitely get how they show the temp of the oven - can't even find them if I look for them cold. I'll install my chimney with confidence.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
              Congrats on the first meals. Seems like when I could start cooking, my finish work on the oven really slowed down. In fact, I am still working on the final touches of my oven 5 years later....LOL
              It's going to slow down a little for us of necessity, just because we have plans the next few weekend. I can see how cooking slows it down - not just because it's taking your time, but also because the oven is just too hot to work on. Anyway I was supposed to be off today but decided I needed to come into the office. We're in the middle of a big product launch and I'm the lead engineer. I should have the next couple days free and hopefully can make good progress on the insulation.

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              • #97
                Shish, another engineer, JR is some type of engineer too. Over design and over think everything............LOL. I can attest from experience, I just retired this year after 40 years plus in the engineering field to go teach skiing and snowboarding and use the left side of the brain.
                Russell
                Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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                • #98
                  It's funny how many engineers find solace in joining bricks together and cooking
                  My build thread
                  https://community.fornobravo.com/for...h-corner-build

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                  • #99
                    I think it was on this board, somewhere I read - "if you turn over a homemade oven, you probably find an engineer under there."

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                    • The rest of us owe you engineers a ton of thanks. You have taken the simple and use able Pompeii and drastically improveed it or at least it's construction in so many ways. Because I think the ovens built now if the changes are followed are far superior to what you would get by just following the instructions.

                      Randy

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                      • Oh also the food looks great. Keep up the good work.

                        Randy

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                        • Thanks Randy!

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                          • Congrats Larry! Looks great!
                            George

                            See my build thread here.

                            See my build album here.

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                            • Originally posted by gastagg View Post
                              Congrats Larry! Looks great!
                              Thanks!

                              Here is yesterday's work, mounted the chimney plate and insulated the dome. Afterwards I fired the oven, and was hoping it would heat faster, although I'm not sure it did. But, it is still sitting around 400F this morning.

                              Today I'm going to build a rebar frame for the igloo shape. I have 12 cu. ft. of perlite to form the dome, but not sure how far I'll get today.

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                              • I spent hours yesterday bending rebar, intending to use this, with 1/4" hardware cloth, as a form to hold my perlcrete. Ultimately, a real pain and I'm not sure if it bought me anything, except being able to better visualize the shape of the dome. I probably won't work on it again until Sunday, so I'll report back then...

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