Firedome_2 coming soon

For those two of you not too bored to get through the tedium that is my flatbread obsession, I made a couple observations  during the pita production to propel me into a few experiments which will inevitably lead to a new and simpler design for my Firedome pizza oven.  At the beginning of that video production, my thermocouple device was measuring 927°F with the door open and went as high as 987°F.  The entire few minutes was filmed with the door open.  I have to figure out if the top vent on the dome needs to be open or closed or if it makes a difference.  Basically, it seems that the open door really kicks up the combustion.

Because that hinged door required me to break the flanged bead of the bottom of the kettle lid, the lid fits sloppy, may be getting gaps that aren't thermally productive.  I may do away with the door; just cut in an opening big enough for a comfortable slide of the peel and big enough to increase combustion.  Dimensions of this will be a guess, but guided by a few more dry runs.  On the other side of the getting the temps up, is the rate of fuel consumption.  If I boost this thing to blast furnace temps, will I be able to cook longer than an hour?  It's looking like I might need a convenient means to do at least one charge mid cooking to get a couple hour feast in.  Not too worried about that.

Next couple weeks, I'll probably take another kettle lid as a casualty and also play around with placement of the pizza stone (it'll be placed away from the opening, not dead center), geometry of the firebricks beneath the stone which help orient the fuel properly and lots of measurements of the headspace temperatures and the cooking surface to make sure it's uniform.  Gonna be awesome!

Oh, and I'm probably going ahead with a plan with Fortin Iron Works to make a dedicated stand for this beast.  Should be a nice wrought iron simple stand; pretty much a 22" diameter and 3' high plant stand.  We sketched out one the other day and he quoted me about $100.

ps, To the locals:  I walk the alleys of C'ville all the time and I see what must be hundreds of pounds of these kettles everywhere - neglected (you bastards).  If you want, I'll take your lid and cut you an experimental design (usable on your existing bottom hemisphere).  You get a cool new pizza oven (which may not be optimal, but will be killer) and I get a data point.  Let me know if you're interested in the comments.


Andrew said...

Dave-my Dad and I actually recreated you original design. We also ran some high heat caulk around the base of the lid to make it sit higher and reduce gaps. How much charcoal are you using, and how long after you dump the charcoal does it come up to temp? Of course I'd love another lid, if you happen to see one on your walkabouts, I'll gladly pony over some cash for a mod!

Dave said...

Hey Andrew - my sincere apologies for not acting faster on yours. I was actually going to say this Saturday, but it sounds like you acutally did better.

Regarding fuel. The fastest way to get this thing cooking - believe it or not - is Match Light (Kingsford). You may wince, but just try it once. It'll be up to furnace temps in about TEN minutes. Ten minutes flaminging, cap it, and you're ready. Alternatively, a chimney of fuel scattered in the bottom, then top it off with unlit briquettes - about 6 - 8 lbs total. Should get you about 2 good hours cooking.

Andrew said...

So I assume the Match Light is just spread out around the outer edge, and then lit with a match? Still 8 lbs. of fuel?

Can't wait to try it.

Oh, and I actually scored a bunch of unglazed quarry tile-you want some?

Dave said...

Match Light around the edge - and stand back. Shocking how quick it ignites, calms down, and rips - than cap, no smell. Yeah, about 8 lbs.

I might just grab some of the tile from you. Let me know if it holds up to the heat.

TheKate said...

If you tell me where to bring it, we'll drop it off for you to cut. We are all about increasing your n.

TheKate said...

Sorry - I forgot to leave info. I'm on Twitter as tokatefromkate, my email is the same name and through gmail.

(If the lid works, you can keep it for your own pizza oven.)

Dave said...

Wow! I'll DM you on Twitter with my address. If it's a good design, and I'm pretty confident, I'll come by and give you a tutorial on its use.