After spending most of the summer building my oven, I was a bit disappointed to find that after my initial small curing fires, my first attempt to cook pizza failed.
I checked my measurements and all seemed OK, my door was 62% of the height of the cooking chamber, and the fire seemed to burn well.
I decided to make the cooking chamber a bit smaller than the 3foot x 3foot initial design, I lined the inside with a layer of bricks, I also put another layer on the floor.
I also though that the fire I built may not have been hot enough, and that my door opening could be too wide.
I addressed all of these issues in one go, to see if the oven would get hot enough, so I raised the floor, which made the door height smaller than the recommended 62%, I also made the opening narrower.
I also got hold of some decent size logs to burn in the oven.
The fire was a little more difficult to get going as the smoke filled more of the chamber which chocked the flames, however once it was going all was fine.
The walls are now around 1 foot wide, and the floor 1 foot deep, the oven takes 3 hours to get up to temperature.
Once the flames died down and I pushed a nice big pile of embers to either side to expose a nice big cooking area I placed the 1st pizza in and it cooked in around 3 minutes! Success !
I cooked just 4 pizza’s this time and they all cooked OK, I put my thick wooded door on to cook the last 2.
When I went to the oven in the morning to clean it out, around 12 hours later, the oven was still warm on the inside. Not warm enough to cook, but defiantly warmer than the outside. I was quite pleased with this as I have not insulated the oven yet.
So far this is what I know about the ovens performance.
Heat up time 3 hours – After 3 hours of good size fire I could not keep my hands on top of exposed concrete for longer than 10 seconds or so.
Time to cook pizza – 2-3 minutes.
Heat storing properties – As the walls, floor and roof are very thick, the oven is still warm after 12 hours, this is without insulation.