Author Topic: Fire management - ash bed - size of cook floor etc etc  (Read 328 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Horza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Berkshire
  • I Love Pizza!
Fire management - ash bed - size of cook floor etc etc
« on: November 15, 2022, 02:02:34 PM »

I've not posted for a while - too busy fulfilling the pizza demand at our regular pop ups and parties. Five years and 600 gigs into a business that my wife and I both love running. But still prepared to admit we can always learn!

My latest obsession is fire management and it just dawned on me that I have never had any teaching in this area. I've learnt by experience and have a fairly decent handle on how to run a fire to kick out 100 plus pizza a night but I wonder if I can improve my fire management.

Often I find that if the ash bank is too 'ashy' I lose heat in the oven (we have a one metre oven floor btw) I counter this ashyness sometimes (if I have time between cooking) by breaking the ash bank down with a dirty peel, spreading the embers across the floor and simply rebuilding the bank. When this phenomenon happens I see the wall of the oven behind the ash bank is black - a sure sign it is cold and presumably stopping heat circulating around the dome. Rebuilding the back seems to give it more air and the temperature/oven starts behaving again.

In general I am just wondering whether I am managing my ember bank correctly. We operate four times a week, I empty the residual ash out at the beginning of the week. I am wondering if I should do that every night?

I also note a difference depending how I fire the oven from start. i.e. if I use small logs for the initial fire and let burn long and bright before I knock it down for service the embers tend to be less ashy and more 'lumpy' A lumpy bed is definitely better than an ashy bed. Also if I use smaller logs to fire the oven up in they sway I have a smaller bed - which I am certain is better for general heat management.

This is a complicated question - but I guess where I am going is - are there any resources for how to run a super efficient 'ember bed' (is there a proper name for it?)

We cook 12" Neapolitan btw.

I currently do three 12" in the oven at a time. Part of this question is aimed at running a smaller ash bed so I can manage four in there, to increase our throughput.

I've scoured the forum with what I thought were relevant search terms but can't find anything decent on fore management that isn't just Joe public asking how to build a fire to cook ten pizzas....



Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 31409
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Fire management - ash bed - size of cook floor etc etc
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2022, 03:33:46 PM »
If the oven door is south,  the back of oven is north and you bake at the east, make a big coal pile at the southwest and keep an active fire at the northwest. Move the coals from the fire to the coal pile as needed.

More can be found here +/- a few pages: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14506.msg402325#msg402325
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage