Ready to get Cooking….
Spring is here, Easter is passed and most of us are in lockdown so have time on our hands. What a great opportunity to use some of that time to get your wood fired oven ready for the outdoor cooking season ahead.
If your oven has been out in all weathers over the winter – and we’ve definitely had all weathers here in South Devon – now is a great time to get it in good shape before you start doing some regular cooking.
Here’s some things to get sorted
Get your oven looking good –
- If you have a refractory oven, repair any cracks that have appeared. If they are on the outside render, use something like this. If the cracks are in the inside of the oven, use something like this.
- Paint the outside of your refractory oven with a couple of coats of outdoor masonry paint. Ours are inside and very well insulated so we use just a regular emulsion but an outdoor paint provides more protection if your oven is open to the elements.
- If you have a metal oven like our Alfa 4 Pizze, washing the coated surfaces in hot soapy water should be more than enough to bring its shine back. For the aluminium a gentle scourer and regular kitchen cleaner will do the trick.
- If you have a cast iron oven, like our Morso Forno, gently rub away any rust spots with a piece of fine emery cloth and touch up any bits that need painting with some black heat resistant paint.
Make sure the oven’s ready to cook –
- If your oven is indoors, it’s worth considering getting your flue brushed out by a chimney sweep to prevent a build up of soot and tar. Obviously it doesn’t get anything like as heavy use as a woodburner would but a professional clean every couple or years is way better then flue fire.
- A damp oven is inefficient and won’t perform as expected. Make sure you drive off any moisture that’s got into your oven over the winter with some small fires. These will drive off the water and you may see it as steam coming off the oven or even as water droplets dripping down. Carry on with these small fires until the moisture stops coming out.
- If you have an Alfa style oven, moisture may have got into the oven floor. Again a few small fires will dry them out – if you just start cooking at full heat, your oven floor tiles may crack or chip causing a rough surface which will become annoying over time. A bit of caution now with small fires means your floor tiles shouldn’t crack when you’re cooking.
- If you haven’t got a cover over your oven and it’s not one you can store out of the weather when you’re not using it, consider some kind of cover over the top of it. This will protect the oven from most of the weather and the cook – meaning you’re more likely to use the oven more often and won’t have to stand outside trying to cook with one hand while you’re holding an umbrella in the other!
- Stock up on good quality hard wood and store it out of the weather. We use Logs Direct who provide a great service.
- Sharpen your axe if it’s got blunt and have a couple of sessions of chopping the logs into smaller bits which will give you much more control over the fire and the temperature management.
- Make sure your pots and pans are ready to cook in – they might need a wash in hot soapy water and a rub with some sunflower oil once they are dry. We do this to cast iron and steel pans if they’re looking a bit tired – they come out looking brand new!
- Consider ordering a meat box or subscribing to a regular delivery. Then you’ll have plenty of options of what to cook and wherever the mood takes you.
- If you’re in need of some tuition to up your cooking knowledge, do subscribe to our youtube channel where there’s lots of information and recipes, send us an email or join us for one of our post-lockdown wood fired cooking classes.
That’s about it; you’re ready to cook all summer long!
David and Holly