Tips & Tricks
The process of baking and heat control is quite complex, there's no simple and brief manual. As a first step we recommend to fire the oven and test how it behaves before any baking.
Here we present you a document, in which you will find answers for most common questions about baking:Download instructions (.pdf)
Also you can stick to the following tips:
With wet wood firing the ovens takes much longer and produces much more smoke. You can use the remaining heat after baking for drying the logs for the next time.
If there's a fire in the oven, let the door open at least a little bit and make sure the dumper is open, the fire needs an air supply. Otherwise the fire goes out and a lot of smoke will be produced.
But if there's a strong wind outside don't have the door fully open, just leave a small gap. Otherwise the wind makes the wood burn quickly and deforms a natural air flow in the oven.
After the oven gets hot enought, you can leave the fire inside or take it out (the second option suits more a bread baking, on the other hand you can make a meat on surface gold and crispy only with the fire inside and for a pizza the fire is necessary). But if the temperature gets too low and there's no fire, you need to stop baking and set the fire again.
If there's a fire, the temperature inside is about 10 - 20 % higher than the temperature in the refractory shapes measured by a thermometer with a bottom stem. During firing the oven the temperature may vary much more, before the refractory shapes receive enought heat. Without the fire, the temperature inside is about 10 - 20 % lower. You can use the thermometer into the oven to measure the exact temperature inside.
The high quality refractory material has great accumulation qualities. Therefore if it gets too hot, you will have to wait long before it cools down a little bit.
Without a fire inside, fully open the door and the damper to make the temperature decrease faster. Close them both to keep the heat inside.
Stoke big logs on fire or use smaller pieces of wood to create a fire before, otherwise it may produce a lot of smoke.
If there's a fire or hot coals in the oven, the food inside tends to bake faster on the side from the heat source. Therefore it's better to regularly control and turn the food. Do it also immediately after sweeping out ashes, because refractable shapes which were right under the fire or close to it have accumulated more heat. Approximately hour after sweeping ashes out the temperature will be aligned in entire oven.
We recommend to put an aluminium foil on the bottom of the tray supplied with our grate - it will save you a lot of cleaning.
The handle supplied with the grate and tray is intended for moving it on a surface, not for carrying the tray.
If you bake a pizza or a bread, you should have enough flour under it so it doesn't stick to the oven bottom (don't sprinkle flour directly into the oven as it may burn, you can put flour for example on a shovel). You can also place it in the oven on an aluminium foil, better don't use a baking paper as it may catch a fire. Place a pizza directly to the fire, a bread on the contrary far from the fire.
We don't recommend to bake very fatty meat on a grate (use a baking tray for that purpose). Also there shouldn't be an excessive amount of oil on the meat.
Recommended baking temperatures:
Herbs, fruit and mashrooms drying - 50-60°C
Bread - 160-190°C
Meat - 200-250°C
Pizza - 280-300°C