Preparing your oven for use

manufacturer’s guide to curing and preparing your wood fired oven for first use. The curing of the oven is a vital part of preparing any wood burning oven for first use and it must be done in a methodical, controlled manner over several days or more.

48 hours after the installation, the oven must be heated gradually in order to eliminate all the humidity within and not to expose the refractories to excessively high and sudden temperatures.

Place some logs, ideally beech (the most common type of wood), in the middle of the oven, light a small fire and let it burn slowly. Repeat the operation twice a day for 5 days, for about an hour a day, changing the position of the fire every time; then, for another 2 days, gradually increase the intensity of the fire and its burning time.
To safely make the drying phase easier, place a gas camping stove or an electric cooker in the oven, then close the door and make sure the temperature does not exceed 100°/120°C for about 2-3 days; the oven will eventually be ready for cooking.
During usual cooking operations the fire may be started on any side. You may therefore choose to start the fire either on the left or right hand side. Once you have started the fire on either side, keep stoking it slowly, thus allowing the oven to heat evenly.
Do not forget to close the oven properly once you have finished, so the next day it will still be warm and will reach the ideal temperature more quickly (the ideal temperature for cooking pizza is 300/350° C). You will know the oven has reached the right temperature by looking at the colour of the dome. First, the dome is dark, then as it heats up, it becomes lighter; when it has reached a rather light colour, it means the oven is ready.
There must always be a small, steady flame in the oven, which is needed both to keep the oven at the right temperature and as a source of light to check the cooking point of pizzas.
In the oven, the pizza is cooked by CONDUCTION as it receives the heat from the base, by CONVECTION as it receives the heat present inside the oven and by RADIATION as it receives the heat coming from the dome.
Those three types of heat as well as a high temperature are essential for a well-cooked pizza.
In the oven, the pizza has to be turned by 180° after halfway through the cooking time and placed in the same position, as the side exposed to the fire receives more heat and therefore cooks more quickly. Once the pizza is well cooked all over, take it out of the oven and serve it hot.
To clean the cooktop use a brass brush. Do not use water or hit with the peel.