Warning: Long post (with water balloons)
What seemed correct with the Firedome to date was a symmetrically placed ring of fire about the cooking surface. It's served me (and friends) well for over a year now, but a few lingering flaws forced me to persist in its development.
1. briquettes are good, but lots of byproducts and I could not boast "wood fired" to a more discerning crowd. I wanted to switch to wood. Something easier and cheaper to use and recharge on the fly without a mid-burn disassembly.
2. A wood fire would be hard to maintain in a circular configuration.
3. Any good pizza oven I've observed has the fuel source "indirect," not directly below the food, but in a pile offset.
4. I have a continuous stream of wood on my property. Oaks give it up every time it's windy (remember Ike?).
5. One pile of fuel is trivial to start; a ring is often a pain.
All modifications must still result in uniform cooking top and bottom of the dough.
Today the wood fuel vision begins to come into focus; I think we might be hitting the oven that was intended in the first place.
A chilly morning seemed the perfect time for a fire and it's always a good time for lightly smoke-infused flatbread. Made some dough, fired up a chimney of briquettes (briquettes are a killer starter for any fire by the way). After a few clumsy reorganizations, I placed the fuel on one side of the lower grate of the Firedome, placed the cooking surface on the upper grate and positioned the clay cooking surface on the opposite side of the grill. On top of the briquettes, I placed several pieces of oak, they started immediately, a kick ass fire in minutes. I capped the dome, lifted the door, positioning the opening so the blazing fire was on the right and the cooking surface to the left.
Here's how the morning progressed in a few frames and a few movies:
|The circle of fire is ok, but laborious to maintain. Also!.. note the decorative chimnea stand I scored in someone's trash. Elegant? I think so.|
This was shot after I moved everything to either side. In this way, I could add to the fire by pitching wood right through the door as I need. The flames would swoop around and I'd be cooking "in the tube" of the firewave. It also tolerates water balloons tossed in when you need that extra bit of humidity.
|Final product. To be eaten with tonight's roasted red pepper hummus.|
Final notes for those following along with your own pet Firedome:
1. one chimney full on one side of the lower grate
2. add small, ca. 8" logs of wood, on the briquettes
3. place upper grate in place with one side of the grate open in a way you can toss wood in
4. place Firedome on top of roaring fire with the hatch open, wait a few minutes and cook away
5. getting some wood this size might require a chainsaw