How to Use Your Wood-Fired Oven

If you’ve fallen in love with a custom-made brick oven, consider adding one to your outdoor kitchen. In no time at all, you’ll be cooking slow roasted lamb, smoky wood-fired pizzas, and other delicious delicacies in your customised outdoor oven.

But how do you begin? In this post, we’ll go over some tips for using your new wood fired oven.

Curing Your Pizza Oven

For the most part, curing wood fired ovens is essential if you don’t want to crack the dome with too much heat. Our oven castings are cured to 500 degrees F in our kiln, so you don’t need to worry about a lengthy curing process. However, we do advise that you gradually build up the heat for the first few firings.

You can start by bringing it up to 300 degrees F (around 150 C). Start and maintain a fire in the centre of the interior dome wall, ensuring that the fire doesn’t get too high and touch the dome. You’ll want to measure the temperature at the dome of the oven, not the sidewall or floor. The dome will be the hottest point. Gradually make your way up to about 500 degrees F within 6 hours or a couple of days.

When you’re done with it, make sure you close the oven door in the evening to prevent dryness and heat.

Start Cooking

To prepare for cooking, start off with a small kindling fire in the centre. Let it establish itself as you slowly add wood to build it. Getting your fire up to the right temperature can take an hour or so, but you’ll need to keep an eye on it, so don’t stray too far. Try to get your prep work done nearby so you can tend the fire.

Once you’ve got the fire ablaze, move it around. The whole oven needs to get hot, so don’t leave the fire in only one place. You can’t trust the thermostat because it could say that you’ve reached your target temperature when you only have a hot spot in one place.

Oven Tools

Forte Calore’ High Heat Technique

This method sees the oven at its highest temperatures (260 to 315 degrees C). This is the best way to cook authentic pizzas, some types of bread and some appetisers within minutes. You’ll have a raging fire towards the centre-back of the oven with the pizza placed directly on the oven floor. The pizza cooks in about 90 seconds. This method is also great for browning and caramelising items.

Steps: 

  1. Move the fire to one side of the oven and maintain large naked flames so they arch over the dome.
  2. Keep a close eye on the temperatures and place your pizzas on the oven floor near the fire. Rotate regularly to encourage even cooking.
  3. Add wood to keep the fire going every 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. If cooking over a longer period, move the oven embers from one side to the other for even heating. 

Roasting Technique 

The roasting technique is versatile. It can be used for sealing or browning food, cooking through, and maintaining juices and tenderness. Fire the oven to its maximum temperature and you can start browning, searing and caramelising. Allow the oven to drop to roasting temperatures.

Steps: 

  1. Move the fire and embers to one side and maintain small oven flames, adding small logs every 15 to 20 minutes. The roasting process will rely more on the radiation of heat from the embers than the heat from the flame.
  2. Let the oven temperatures gradually fall, allowing the fire to burn down but not out.
  3. If roasting for under an hour, leave the oven door off. Keep it on for longer roasting times, but don’t forget to rotate the food.

For more tips on how to use your wood fired oven, contact us today by calling 08 7009 4135. We’re based in Perth and we deliver Australia-wide.