Saturday, May 28, 2011

Brick Oven FAQ

I demonstrate my portable brick oven at Home and Garden Shows, at community events, and elsewhere.
Here are some of the most common questions that come up:
Q. Is there a fire under the oven?
A. Most brick ovens are heated by fire within the oven. The fire is first built under the throat (chimney) and progressively moved backwards as the fire progresses forcing the flames(and heat) to curl under the dome and leave the BTU's in the brick mass.
Q. How much wood does it take?
A. My 36" oven uses a 'laundry  basket' of dry hardwood to reach 800 degrees. Small amounts of wood are added when continuing to bake pizza and the residual heat can bake other foods for up to 30 hours.
Q. Does this have to be outside?
A. I've found that the ideal place (in a temperate climate) for a brick oven is in a three-season porch. This protects the owners from bugs and weather and extends the season at each end of the year.
Q. How hot is it in there?
A. Way hotter than a household range oven. Usually starting at 700 degrees for pizza and afterwards progressively lower temps for baking bread, roasts, casseroles, and puddings.
Q. Can I build one myself?
A. Yes, with some masonry skills and patience. This blog has featured progressive photos of ovens being built by myself, both portable and stationary.

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