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32 Inch Cape Build

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Thank you for your comments Boogie-D. Appreciate it.
    Have been doing a bit of cooking in our new oven. It's really great. I can see it will take some time and many cooking sessions to really come to understand how the oven works. On New Year's Day we cooked pizzas in the morning (for lunch).... tried cooking a bread when the temp dropped (need to experiment with that a bit) and then cooked a chicken in a dutch oven. That chicken was outstanding. But the really great thing was the oven was still hot the next day and we put some of that chicken back in the oven to heat it up in a cast iron pan and it was the best chicken I've had (reheated). I raise my own meat birds and this was excellent. There's something about the way the oven cooks that keeps the moisture in the meat.

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  • Boogie-D
    replied
    Awesome build John... amazing detail.. I really like your base.. simple.. and also took note of how you sealed your outer perlicrete layer... sounds like what I need to do in Hawaii.. thank you

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Don't worry about your pizzas not being round. After some practice, mine are round where, before, they were almost always oddly shaped!

    I lightly dust my peels with rice flour and sprinkle some semolina on the bench after I've formed my bases. The peel glides in under the pizza effortlessly and likewise deposits the pizza in the oven without drama.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Finally did some actual cooking in the oven. Our first attempt Monday night was an embarrassing disaster. The dough was not right, the pizzas stuck to the peel.... a real mess. Tuesday I played around with the dough recipe (used Bobby Flays Pizza Dough recipe and followed the instructions to the tee). The only issue I had was being able to get the pizzas to a round shape. Used a roller on the third pizza and was able to get it to round. Later that evening cooked Swordfish on a raised grill with the retained heat. Was incredibly moist. Next time will try placing some burning coals under it. At this point just doing some experimenting and kind of playing around with my new oven. And need to get a door made.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Up to the 700 curing fire today. Getting ready to cook "something" any day now. As far as "finishing" the oven, just have the outer perlcrete layer and final render to go but will wait till spring to do that.
    I've been just working on the structure around the oven lately. Installed some corrugated metal roofing overhead, put up some lights and a few other finishing touches.. I ordered an 18 inch pipe extension to get the flue up a bit higher over the roof.II feel like the oven building part of the journey is almost over. Now reading up on the 2nd part, COOKING in the oven.

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  • UtahBeehiver
    replied
    no need to cool

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    When doing the curing fires is it necessary to let the interior dome bricks cool off completely prior to starting the next round of curing. For example, yesterday I got up to 500 F. This morning the interior dome bricks are at 180. I was going to start the next fire to get up to 600. Should I wait till the interior dome bricks cool down more, or is it okay to go and start the next fire now. Thanks very much.

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  • Gulf
    replied
    You are doing great! Don't let it get too high until you know what temps you are actually getting. Cowboy is a brand of "lump charcoal". I like Royal Oak. But, any of it will do as long as it is hardwood lump charcoal. Lump charcoal is wood that has been burned down to almost pure carbon in the absence of oxygen. I buy it, make some, and it use it on a regular basis in my grills and in the oven.

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Thanks for those suggestions, Joe. I was hesitant to let the heat get too up there, but at this point, I suppose I can go a bit higher. I was waiting for the IR thermometer to arrive so I can keep better track of the temps. I like the idea of using lump charcoal (I'm assuming you mean something like "cowboy charcoal".... hardwood that's been fired and sold as "charcoal". And elevating the charcoal on a grate also sounds good. Will do that next burn, before I get into real fire. Thanks a lot for the suggestions.

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  • Gulf
    replied
    If you can close the temporary door while active burning, partially, that will bring the temps up. Want to bring them up even higher, switch to lump charcoal after a few hours. Light them outside and then elevate them on some type of old oven grate so they can get air from underneath for combustion. You can elevate the grate with anything non combustible that is handy (brick). That even works for regular charcoal. They just don't burn quite as hot hot as lump. You should be seeing temps of over 300 degrees by now with regular charcoal. A blast door works great but, any door that is only partially open will work..

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Hi Joe.... I don't know for sure the temp achieved. I could easily hold my hand in the oven without any discomfort. The first day I put an oven thermometer in there but it did not get above 100. I did put my hand
    on the interior bricks and they were hot to the touch but not skin burning. I have not yet done the perlcrete layer.... The blanket insulation and wire mesh were installed. I did have a plastic tarp over the dome's exterior and I did notice droplets of water on the side covering the dome. Did not cook anything, I don't think it was hot enough, but still didn't try to cook. Tomorrow or Saturday after the oven cools down I'm planning on doing a small fire with wood. I would keep it small maybe letting it burn for 20 minutes or so with a couple of sticks. I have read a number of posts on curing, so I'm not rushing things. After I complete these curing fires, if the weather temps permit, I'll then do the perlcrete layer and final render and do the curing fires all over again. But that may have to wait tills spring. These curing fires are to expel the water from the brick and any mortar on outside of the brick. I did order an IR thermometer which should arrive Saturday. Moving slowly.... and thank you for your comments. Appreciate it.

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  • Gulf
    replied
    What temps did you achieve? Did you temporarily place a thin fim of plastic over the insulation to check for steam condensation? Did you try placing the temporary door partially closed while you were heating with the charcoal on the second and third day? Did you cook something? Regardless, I'm sure that the charcoal has atleast tempered your dome to better help with the small, I repeat SMALL fires to follow.

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  • MarkJerling
    replied
    Nearly there!

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  • CapePizza
    replied
    Thank you for your comments, Ope-dog. I remember it wasn't long ago you were mocking up clay models in your work hotel so it must feel good to finally get going on the real thing.
    I finally started my curing fires. On the 3rd one this morning, still just using charcoal briquettes. Today made it a bit larger to circle the interior. May start a small wood fire tomorrow. The one thing that is really
    amazing, the first briquette fire I built, which really didn't get all that hot.... I put a temporary door on the oven to keep the heat in as much as possible. 2 days later, it was still warm in the dome.

    Pretty cool.


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    Last edited by CapePizza; 12-03-2020, 10:12 AM.

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  • Ope-dog
    replied
    You build continues to look outstanding!!! Great work. I just put up a temporary structure around my build this weekend, so hopefully I will provide enough cover and warmth to allow me to build through the winter.

    The stone around the base of your chimney looks great! Your entire entry looks great, for that matter!

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