After the pizza oven was cured I naturally couldn’t wait to fire my first pie. Mrs Quincho Project had purchased a couple ready-made pizza dough balls, some mozzarella and some pizza sauce (I know, I know – store bought – but hey, I didn’t have time) from the local Trader Joe’s. So I rushed home from work, and began to follow the ritual of firing the oven for a pizza burn.
It was much easier than I thought. There are two things you want to accomplish with your burn when getting the oven ready 1) Preheat the walls and 2) Superheat the tile floor of the oven. Here’s how I did it.
First, build a good hardwood fire in the middle of the oven. Once the fire gets going, push it back to just behind center. Let this flame hit the top of the dome until there’s about an 8 inch white circle of burned off soot. You may need to add fuel. This takes around 20 minutes.
Push the burning logs to the left side of the oven and add yet more fuel. Spread it out over about 2/3 of the perimeter. The fire’s flames should be rolling up the side to the middle of the dome. The soot will burn off on this side (the other will remain black). This takes at least a half hour. Add fuel if you need to – use your own judgment. Now push the logs to the right side of the oven and burn off the soot there, leaving a layer of coals in the center to heat up the floor. Another 15 minutes or so.
Move the logs and coals back to the left side along the perimeter of the oven and sweep up the remaining coals and ash with your brush – bushing it into the log pile. The coals and logs should make an oval shape. You are ready to fire!
Here’s what it looked like with my first pizza in the oven
Here are a couple of beauties fresh out of the oven. They were fantastic. Peperoni, black olive, mozzarella and jalapeno (Mrs Quincho Project’s favorite pie). I really can’t understand why EVERYONE doesn’t have a wood burning oven in their yard!