Curing oven with or without door

Do you cure oven with or without door? I have built 4 fires up to this point but I didn’t see whether you start fire and close up door or not, I have come this far and don’t want to get it wrong!

Hi Mike,

Sounds like you’re well on your way.

With four fires under your belt, you know that the ones you’ve built so far are not very hot. They are intended to dry out the oven, and especially to fire-cure the refractory mortar. That has to be done in stages, but will result in a rock-hard mortar.

What I would do for the last two fires is:

  • Build the fire per instructions.
  • When you are down to mostly live coals (a few flares of flame are okay), spread the coals evenly on the oven floor and put on the door.

What this will do for you is allow the heat from the coals to “soak” throughout your oven walls. This also happens to be the same thing you’re going to do whenever you are baking items that are not pizza.

If you have a damper, you’ll also want to close that when you put on the door. There will be enough oxygen working its way around the door to sustain the coals for a long time. (If you have a gasket on your door, leave just a crack open so air can get around it.)

Hope this helps, and good luck!