Tips ans tricks
Some tricks ans tips to know and use better your wood fired oven
Lighting the fire
It is important to light the fire at the entrance of the oven, under the flue, and using pieces of dry wood.
To check the temperature of the oven floor :
- One drop of water sprinkled on bricks evaporates under 100°C
- When a drop of water scatters into fine droplets in contact with the sole, the temperature is above 200°C
- Sugar turns brown, then black from 170°C on
- A pinch of flour thrown on the oven floor turns black progressively and turns black at 220°C
- It burns and smokes at 270°C and higher.
- After grilling, just put the coals on top of the grill spot. All grases and meat juices will burn off.
- To eliminate all marks left by ashes after sweeping, use a coconut brush with a long handle. Dip it in cold water beforehand to prevent it from catching fire.
In order to always have dry wood to start the fire: put it into the oven while it is still warm (not hot). Of course, the oven has to be cleaned of all ashes beforehand.
Getting the best out of your oven without loosing any time: always plan to cook with an open oven first, then with a closed oven.
For example: bake pizza for lunch, a gratin for dinner and, the next morning, without reheating the oven, cook a "cream renversee".
Drying fruits, vegetables, mushrooms
- The oven is closed and the temperature is not higher than 60°C for fruits and vegetables, 40°C for mushrooms
- With time, you will find the right drying temperature
- Drying tomatoes, fruits with pits and certain mushrooms requires several sessions. Dry these foods in two sessions at a three day interval, reheating the oven each time.
- Drying herbs: put the herbs on the swept oven floor (in a cooling oven, not more than 30°C and close the exterior door). The oven is extremely dry, the brick will absorb the moisture from the herbs in 24 hours.
- Drying apples: Peel an apple and cut it into 2 mm slices. Put them side by side on a grill in the oven at 50-60°C. In one night, the apple slices will be dry and crispy.
- If the oven is installed outside, it can also be a remarkable smoking chamber with salmon or trout, for example.
- Put an 8 mm layer of dry beech sawdust in a semi-circle around the edges of the oven floor.
- After salting, the food to be smoked is placed on an elevated grill in the center of the oven.
- Light the sawdust on one end. For about 12 hours, the sawdust will burn very slowly, giving off a great deal of smoke but no heat. This method gives excellent results. It is important to check the oven regularly, as the fire often goes out.
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