Forno Braga Oven Owner User Guide
Dear customer, you have made an amazing choice in acquiring a very unique and genuine Mediterranean Woodfired Oven which will be a pleasure to use and provide you with many fantastic meals and fun for many years to come.
There is nothing quite like a nice hot pizza or a roast cooked in a woodfired oven.
These Ovens are 100% handmade using the oldest traditional Mediterranean methods allied with the latest finishing products. The design, construction and materials used allow these ovens to reach cooking temperatures of over 350°C in under an hour under normal conditions using quality wood.
They have outstanding heat retention and are very economical to use at about 3kgs of wood per hour.
Using a woodfired oven for cooking is not an exact science so you will need to “get to know” your oven and its capabilities by experimenting a little initially but the effort will be well worth it.
IMPORTANT NOTE – CURING YOUR OVEN
Your Oven is freshly constructed from masonry materials and in order to work efficiently and minimize cracking of the outer shell, it needs to be dried out slowly and thoroughly (cured) over a minimum period of 5 days. Cracking occurs when the oven is fired at a very high temperature if it is not dried out thoroughly because of rapid expansion of steam within the masonry so, to use your oven efficiently and keep it in top condition it is important to follow these instructions carefully. Failure to cure your oven correctly will invalidate your warranty.
CURING YOUR OVEN
Day 1, Light a small fire in the middle of the oven with the door left open, using small pieces of dry wood and keep it going for several hours if possible, but not exceeding 60°C
Day 2, Repeat process with a larger fire not exceeding 100°C
Day 3, Repeat process increasing the temperature up to 150°C
Day 4, Repeat process increasing the temperature up to 200°C
Day 5, Repeat process increasing the temperature up to 250°C
Please look at the You tube link below for a better understanding of the curing process
Close the oven door at the end of each firing session to allow the oven to cool slowly overnight
It is very important that the recommended temperature is not exceeded during the first 2 days of curing.
For accuracy you will need to use a laser digital thermometer (readily available on Trademe).
Stand approximately 1.5m in front of the oven and point the laser beam inside the oven and away from the flames to get a better reading of the surrounding temperature.
If in doubt, it is best to keep the fire smaller rather than larger over a longer period.
Note. If your oven is not kept under cover and it is not being used for long periods during cold and wet months, it will absorb moisture and will need to be dried out again by repeating the process from
Day 3 onwards, a couple of days before cooking.
COOKING WITH YOUR OVEN
If you have followed the curing instructions above, your oven will be ready to use for cooking.
Wood fired ovens work in 2 ways:
1) by direct heat with the fire contained within and
2) by stored heat in the firebrick inner walls which is released slowly back into the cooking chamber.
Light a small fire in the middle of the oven and slowly increase the size by feeding it continuously with medium size logs under 50mm diameter until the fire is well established. It should take about 45 minutes to an hour to reach cooking temperatures in the region of about 350° – 400°C depending on the quality of the wood as the oven walls absorb and store the heat so it can be released back into the cooking chamber over a longer period. After it reaches the desired temperature you will probably need to add a log every 15 – 20 minutes to maintain the desired temperature.
For pizza or grilling meat you generally need a very hot oven of up to 350°C but not roaring flames, (this will burn the pizza on the outside and leave the middle uncooked!!)
It is best to maintain a “mature” fire with lots of hot embers rather than big flames.
Push the embers to one side and sweep the floor clean from ash with a natural bristle broom to make room for the pizza(s). If the Oven is the right temperature, it should only take 2-3 minutes to cook.
For roasts you need a lower steady heat of about 250°C – 300°C and the door closed with just the door vent open partly to keep the fire alive. Bread baking is in the range of 160° – 200°C.
Use thoroughly dry good quality solid firewood only.
DO NOT USE: charcoal, pressure treated timber, chipped wood products (MDF), sappy wood such as pine, laminated wood or any other solid fuel material
These materials leave toxic or greasy residue which may compromise the operation and life of your oven, taint your meals and may be a health hazard.
DO NOT USE: liquid fuel (firelighter fluid, gasoline, lantern oil, kerosene or similar liquids) or any other accelerator to start or maintain a fire.
DO NOT USE: water to lower temperature inside the oven, or to extinguish the fire.
HAIR LINE CRACKS
In colder and wetter climates like NZ, even after you have cured your oven using the correct procedure above, you may find that some hairline cracks appear on the outer surface of the oven as in the photos below. This may be caused by some residue moisture still in the masonry or the metal fitted parts of the oven such as the door or the chimney which expand with the heat at a different rate.
This is absolutely normal with all masonry wood fired ovens and not a serious problem which can be easily repaired with our ULTRAFIRE SPECIAL REPAIR KIT which is available from Euro Woodfired Ovens.
Our ULTRAFIRE SPECIAL REPAIR KIT is a special high viscose refractory and waterproof paint manufactured specifically for this purpose which can bridge cracks of up to 2.6mm and has been independently Lab tested in UK for Carbon Dioxide emissions and Water/Vapor Transmission.
HOW TO REPAIR HAIR LINE CRACKS
To repair any small cracks that may appear it is best to do it while the oven is hot and the crack open. Brush the paint directly into the crack and let it flow into it. Keep applying the paint at short intervals until the crack is filled and as the oven cools down, the paint will be compressed inside the crack.
This procedure may need to be repeated over the next few firings until the crack is totally closed.
Final coat with ULTRAFIRE SPECIAL REPAIR KIT
After the cracks have been resolved and the oven is totally cold, make sure that the surface is completely dry, clean and free from dust and grease and apply one final thick coat of ULTRAFIRESPECIAL REPAIR KIT to cover the entire dome. This will waterproof and protect your oven.
After this you can paint the oven with a quality exterior acrylic paint of your choice.
EXTRA PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS
Even though your oven is now cured and waterproofed on the outside, it is advisable to keep it under some cover or at least a basic shelter as in photo below to further protect it from the elements.
Please look after your Wood Fired Oven and it will give you many years of fun and fantastic meals
Euro Woodfired Ovens – a division of Brustics Ltd
194 Bush Road
Ph. 09 478 2260
Email: [email protected]