480-820-0633

480 820 0633

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Located on Guadalupe
1/2 mile West of Kyrene
in Tempe AZ

pizza oven fire setup

Not everyone can imagine right away how to set up a fire in the wood fired brick oven. For instance I couldn’t imagine how to fly a jumbo jet or perform a brain surgery (by the way we had all these people here.) So I will introduce you to it with the help of pictures.

Now, if you have never closely encountered with firing brick wood oven (that’s ok if not yet, when you build your own then you will heat it up all the time) here you have a close up shots of what it looks like inside. No need to use a positive imagination in this respect.

1a
Setting newspaper on fire with dry kindling wood on top

Nothing special, assuming your oven has well sized ratio of entry door height to inside dome height required for a good combustion, the fire behaves just the way as would any fire on the open space. Except flames are naturally bending as their tongues lick the low ceiling of the chamber.

2a
Adding more dry wood into the small fire

Once the fire reached some strength we start to put on slightly larger pieces of firewood. From the start up point till now passed about 5-7 minutes. Now the activity slows down a bit as larger pieces take longer time to burn. Notice under also more embers turning out from the burnt wood.

3a
Starting with larger pieces of fire wood

Heating the floor, walls and vault or dome in well built and insulated ovens. As soon as there is a nice bed of red hot embers on the hearth floor, it takes somewhere close to 15 minutes, you can put on large piece of fire wood, just one will do. If you see it’s taking longer to burn add one or with some smaller pieces of wood as well.

4a
When more red embers develop add one big fire wood piece

See those little flames coming out of slow burning of that large firewood piece. This is how the small or gentle fire kept for a long time in the brick oven looks like. Keeping it in this way, ones the wood oven dome is hot, will allow you cooking pizzas continuously. The gentle fire source inside the oven keeps on the ceiling, floor and walls heating. When you are after bread baking leave it burn fully down and when your oven cools down (by that time the inside-the-mass atmosphere also beautifully evens up) put the breads in and close the dome with a wet/saturated with water wooden door to create the initially desired steam and keeping it very stable within the inside. Soak the door well by dipping it in a bucket of water – that’s all what’s required.

5a
Keeping a small fire for continuous cooking

Suppose you come across a nice dry branch but it’s too long. Not always you have to cut it into short lengths. Stick it inside the oven along the entry door side and all the way to the end of the dome (bellow picture). It will burn of and after some time as it gets shorter just push it into the oven again. I do this on a regular basis when I am heating the dome up saving my own physical energy and the saw blade.

6a
Firewood in a form of a long dry branch works perfectly

We keep continuous small fire pushed to side to free the space for meals. It’s very easy to push the light ash and embers to a side. In case the fire slows more then it should, usually is enough to throw in on top of embers some tiny kindling firewood, such as when we started the fire at first, and it will ignite on it’s own as wood gets hot.

7a
It is very easy to push the fire to a side

Above picture shows the remaining end of that same long branch, just mentioned, used for firing the wood oven.

8a
Igniting fire again using small firewood kindling

A wood oven with a thick heat absorption wall mass will take about 1 hour to fully heat up to highest cooking temperature. You do not need to set up a massive, too large fire. More time you allow to absorb the heat from a moderate fire into the dome walls of your oven more evenly the heat will distribute in ovens walls and then equally radiate around the dome, that’s good for cooking or baking, oven gets the same temperature in every corner inside.

9a
Burning firewood heats up the oven – 5sec. long exposition time

People in general find wood burning ovens very captivating. Especially after tasting the food !!! The place all around the oven can be made warm, like with a mystic feel to it. if you plan to build your own oven start to collect also some rustic items that can lay in the area. From the sitting place it’s great to look into the chamber with the fire on, mostly in the evening. Ouu, my goodness just be careful so your friends do not ‘dring vino too much’. With pizzas, roasted leg or anything else this could be so easy to happen.

10a
Look carefully – quietly – into your oven to spot the fire dwarf


Removing ash and cleaning a wood fired oven dome.

How to remove ash from the dome of a wood oven.

This tutorial was created for visitors asking me a question in regards how does the ash inside the dome of wood ovens look like after it was fired. So here goes, more pictures on this subject as well.

What is, how to build and how to use wood fired oven? These are the most common questions a new enthusiast raises thus they all need to be answered :o) If the old adage is true, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, why couldn’t I help you as well?

a
Dome in need to empty the ash.

b
Wood oven dome before ash cleaning.

c
Raking the ash to the center of the dome floor.

d
Use the paddle to lift the ash and carry it out.

ash-bucket
Slide ash gently into the bucket.

f
Using ash drop with a bucket under.

g
Rake the ash to any side in the dome.

h
I am taking out the remaining ash.

i
Wood fired oven dome chamber after ash removal.

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