Essentials for your wood fired cooking
If you are going to cook successfully with your wood fired oven, there are some bits of kit you really need. All of it can be bought online. Here are our can’t-do-withouts –
Your hands will be in and out of a very hot oven so they need protection. We use welders’ gauntlets which are long enough to go up your forearms and flexible enough to hold things easily.
A gadget to test how dry your wood is – a moisture meter in fact. Very easy to use, you just take the lid off and shove the 2 prongs into the bit of wood in question. Remember, less than 15% and you’re good to go.
These eco-lighters are great. Apparently made of champagne case packing shavings and candlewax so no nasty chemicals.
A good box of matches
A zapper thermometer for testing temperatures all round your kitchen.
A probe thermometer for testing the internal temperatures of meat and loaves of bread just out of the oven.
A variety of peels. From the left –
- We bought a lovely wooden one however it split on its first use but still good for placing loaves in the oven.
- A dirty peel for placing pieces of wood on the fire and for moving embers around.
- A large metal peel for pizzas. Load the pizza on the peel and then shuffle it off on to the oven floor; remember to use plenty of flour or semolina underneath the dough or your pizza won’t be going anywhere.
- A smaller metal peel for moving things around in the oven.
- A bristle brush for brushing the oven floor clear of flour from the bottom of pizzas and other breads.
- A large metal brush for cleaning the floor as and when necessary. This is usually covered with a damp teatowel to clean the oven floor after moving the fire to the back of the oven.
A couple of axes for splitting logs into smaller pieces and kindling and a sturdy chopping block for putting the logs to be split on (sorry bad grammar…) – just a big bit of wood really with a flat surface.
Plenty of very dry seasoned hardwood logs cut into 25cm length and stored undercover on their sides.
And finally a selection of good sturdy pans like these.
The 3 in the front right come from our friend John at BigFire in Dartington; top right was found in a junk shop in Ashburton covered with soil and rust after living in someone’s garden as a bird bath; the top left 3 small ones were in another junk shop – £6 for the 3; and the bottom left big frying pan was from David’s Aunty Kay when it became too heavy for her to lift. So as you can see you don’t have to spend a load of cash on your pans – they tend to be the ones no-one else wants any more!
So now you can start cooking!