How to Treat a Sick Pizza Oven

If you want to know how to cure your pizza oven, read on. To get the most out of your pizza oven, you need to cure it first. The dome might break if not handled with care, which would have a devastating effect on the stove’s ability to retain heat.

Why is it crucial to cure properly?

Your oven has a high concentration of water to concrete, which means it has to be baked after being removed from the mold. If done correctly, the curing process will reinforce the dome. If the oven is heated too rapidly, however, the water within the dome will try to escape through every crevice at once, and the dome will split as a consequence.

There is still a lot of moisture in the mortars, hearth concrete, vermiculite, oven chamber, and vent after the oven has been erected. Each of these oven parts was only recently manufactured utilizing a water-based, air-drying technique. Ovens don’t “cure” the moisture by sitting about for a week.

Can I cure the oven dome before insulating and finishing the outside?

While technically possible, there are a few reasons why this isn’t a good idea.

  • It will be more challenging to maintain comfortable temperatures without insulation.
  • The lack of insulation increases the risk of fire;
  • If you cure your oven before installing the stucco facade, the water in the stucco will try to dry and cure the first time you use the oven to make pizza, perhaps cracking the stucco and destroying the seal.
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When can I begin the healing process?

Let your finished DIY or modular kit oven rest for a week before beginning the curing oven procedure. It doesn’t matter whether it rained that week or not since moisture aids the refractory material’s natural strengthening.

If you bought a prefabricated pizza oven from Forno Bravo, you don’t need to worry about this since we provide plenty of time for assembly on-site. Your oven is ready to start curing right now.

How do we prepare the oven for use?

Not going over these temperatures, particularly in the first two days, is crucial for effective curing, but it is difficult to maintain constant, low-temperature flames.

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For the best results, give your pizza oven a gradual cure over the course of 5 days. Starting with a low temperature (see below), you will construct a sequence of five progressively bigger flames. Only thin sticks of wood and kindling make up the first day’s fire.

Day 1: Heat to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius) for at least six hours.

The fire should be started and kept in the middle of the oven’s inner dome wall, rather than on the side walls or at the rear. Avoid having the fire rise high enough to touch the dome, as this might cause dangerously high temperatures.

Instead of fully closing the oven door, you’ll leave a 1-inch opening once the fire is going to act as a windbreak. Allow the thermometer to take a reading by leaning the door back on its handle. At reduced temperatures, the wood’s impurities won’t be burned off as quickly, thus this will also assist send the smoke upward via the vent.

Make use of the oven’s built-in analog temperature gauge. The oven’s air temperature may be read from the thermometer. Forno Bravo sells digital infrared thermometers that may be used to provide a more precise measurement of the temperature of the brick oven’s refractory surfaces. This thermometer is useful in a wide variety of culinary situations, particularly those using wood and gas fires.

Avoid taking oven temperatures at the oven’s walls or floor; instead, aim for the dome. This is where the brick oven’s temperature will peak. It’s preferable to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder than hotter, particularly on days one and two, although temperature deviations of a few degrees are allowed.

Keep the oven door closed every night to keep the dry heat inside.

Day 2: Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) and repeat.

Day 3: Heat to 204 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).

Day 4: Do it again at 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius).

Day 5: Do it again at 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius).

Important Notes:

  • Do not use charcoal, pressure-treated wood, chipped wood products, sappy wood (like pine), laminated wood, or any other kind of wood for fires.
  • Firelighter fluid, gasoline, lantern oil, kerosene, and similar liquids should not be used in any way for starting or maintaining a fire.
  • If you happen to have an acetylene torch on hand, you may use that to light the fire.
  • It’s okay to use food-grade fire starters to help you get a fire going.
  • *There is no need to utilize wood if the industrial oven is being cured in accordance with the instructions included in the gas burner.
  • Do not put anything in this oven that wasn’t made for it.
  • Never try to put out a fire or reduce the oven’s temperature with water. As a result, your oven may see premature wear, and your floor tiles may experience “spalling,” pitting, and cracking.
  • The fire cure process must begin when the masonry work has been completed.
  • When it comes to the actual cement for the dome, longer is ideal.
  • First, the cement and mortar need time to cure, and it helps the curing process along if you don’t allow the cement dry out.
  • Curing brick ovens with space heaters is not recommended. In the oven, they will generate a lot of steam, which is potentially dangerous. They are not something we suggest.
  • Don’t freak out if your oven starts belching black smoke. In the de-molding of refractories, that kind of grease is employed. There will be a lot of smoke over the first two days, but it will gradually go away as the meat cures.

Congratulations. The construction of your oven is finished. Have fun using your brick oven heated by wood.

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