Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brick Oven Ergonomics

Call this concern/potential mistake number two. 
Working with and around brick ovens is different from conventional ovens in significant ways.
1. You are working with a live fire.
2. You are managing the food with a peel (the long handled wood or metal tool often mistakenly called a paddle).
3. You are attracting a crowd of onlookers.

To accommodate these three conditions there needs to be ample space in front of the oven.

Having the firewood beneath the mouth of the oven makes feeding the fire easy.  Splitting wood into small sticks prior to starting the fire is advised and done somewhere else.  Dry firewood is best.

The peel will be swinging back and forth from the prep table to the oven mouth.  Imagine being able to do an in-place waltz in with a partner or Tai Chi with a stick.

People will want to watch and get involved.  The process of handling the peel and the food is just too irresistible.  Give your friends a chance to see and do by providing a staging area where 6-8 people can 'rubberneck'.

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