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Aside from the oven, what else do I need to install it?

The first essential element is a sound, solid and level base. Various approaches can be taken to achieve this. Depending on the intended location you may wish to use a pre-fabricated steel frame, poured concrete slab or brick built plinth. As long as it’s solid, sturdy, weight bearing and level, pretty much any properly constructed sub-base will do.

Once again, your imagination can play its part.

Then you will construct the oven. Do you want a brick arch and chimney manifold? This needs to be decided before you proceed. Valoriani oven domes are self-supporting. They do not require any particular skill to put in place. A simple mortaring of the seams prepares the dome for the next steps. The insulation kit comes next and then you let your imagination take over for the final appearance of your oven. The goal when building a wood-fired oven is heat retention. A wood-fired oven operates on the three principles of heat transfer - conduction , convection and radiation. In order to achieve this it is essential to construct the oven using only the very highest quality materials available.

Properly installed, well applied insulation is of paramount importance. We can supply a full insulation kit to accompany each oven. The insulation kits include

  • an insulating sub-base
  • vermiculite mixed with refractory cement
  • ceramic fibre blanket
  • high temperature mortar.

Full instructions are supplied with every oven. If you run into any trouble or begin to doubt yourself we’re only a phone call away.

When you light your first fire…make it a small one.

The reason for this is to ensure that you gradually drive off any residual moisture left in the structure following the construction phase. It will also allow your new oven to settle. Refractory materials are meant to be heated and perform best under those conditions. A domestic wood-fired oven in Ireland will experience periods of cold inactivity. Be sensitive when re-igniting it following such a period….begin slowly! Gradually increase the intensity of your firings over the next few days until you build up sufficient heat to properly soak the oven with heat. The refractory dome and insulation will create a powerful thermal mass which will, with a bit of practice allow you to bake, roast, BBQ and grill your chosen foods. If you’ve built you oven correctly it can be as hot as 500˚C internally while the external surface will be cool to the touch. Temperature monitoring and heat management is more an art than a science and comes with experience. If you wish, you can either install a thermocouple to give you an accurate temperature reading or use a digital lazer thermometer.

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