The initial fire is built under the flue. Two 'rail logs'
let you put kindling and small firewood that will
catch quickly and make coals.
Although, it is not as hands-free or fast as a conventional gas or electric oven, it should be easy, relaxed and efficient. Here's how:
- Dry firewood: Wet or poorly seasoned wood requires that the fire first dry it out, then burn it.
- Good draft: A properly built oven chimney will draw the smoke and flue gases well.
- Relax: You are not stoking a locomotive train climbing the Rockies. Don't overstoke.
When coals develop, push the two 'rail logs' back toward the middle of the oven
and add two or three small pieces. The oven is black.
There's some smoke but the wood catches easily.
|Flames are better than smoke. Too much added wood will slow the firing and create unburned gases.|
|If you have a removable door, set it up on tiles back from the oven mouth. This will allow air to flow under it and the flue gases to exit the chimney. It will also reflect the infrared heat back into the oven and cut down on air exchange.|
When the carbon has begun to burn off the dome the oven will be at around 600F.
At this point I have spent about 15 minutes total on oven management
and about an armload of wood (standard arm).
Dry wood will catch immediately.
|It goes fast now. Walk away. Do something else.|
|Nearly burned, the entire oven is at 800F plus. |
If you are making pizza, push the coals to the back,
Sweep the floor and get ready. Add small sticks to keep flames
for broiling the top of the pizza. Mangia! Buono appetito!