Can I use the Barile series oven in the rain or while it's snowing?

If it’s raining, you might want to consider skipping a wood-fired pizza that day. But we understand that sometimes you start your oven when it’s sunny and by the time it’s heated, it’s started to rain or snow… We live in Washington state… we get it. Yes, your oven can get wet while cooking.

Now, and this is where we are going to promote using the blanket again, if your oven is wrapped with ceramic fiber blanket and finished with some sort of veneer like stone, tile, brick, etc… it is okay to fire up your oven and cook while it’s covered in snow, but be sure to heat the oven SLOWLY to prevent thermal shock. This is when your oven heats too quickly from cold to hot and can result in cracking.

But again, we really don’t recommend using any brand of wood-fired oven if it’s raining or snowing…

kinda limits use in Washington state. Any Washingtonians want to chime in on this? I am getting ready to finish my oven here in WA and this is the first I am seeing, don’t cook in the rain…

Hi Lee, and welcome to the BrickWood forum.

As stated in the original FAQ, @BrickWood himself enjoys your very well-hydrated climate, and he’s told me that he fires up his own home oven a few times a week. I think the guideline here would be that if you’ve got your fire going, and then the weather turns, use an umbrella and cook happy. On the other hand, probably not a good idea to start if it’s been pouring all day. (I know he’ll chime in if I misunderstood him.)

The advice about snow is near and dear to my New England home. Our winter temperatures have moderated a bit in recent years but still dip below 0°F in deep winter. Once the ambient temperature dips below freezing, pizza becomes a challenge for a simple reason: the dough freezes, and pretty quickly, too. I put my oven in “cold storage” last winter, carefully tarped against moisture and hibernating squirrels.

I do know people in the northern Snow Belt who still cook year ‘round, but they must follow the advice to start their fire “low and slow.” Most of us have double ceramic fiber blankets for that reason.

So I’d say, make sure you have non-slip footwear and surfaces to keep yourself upright; pay attention to weather forecasts (because Mother Nature doesn’t care if we planned to toss a few pies on any given day); and use common sense. You’ll get many more days when you can cook than not.

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I’m down in Oregon and really need to have the oven working year around. I use a shelter for me and the dough/bread while baking (we are a micro-community bakery) and keep covered when not in use. I’m looking forward to building a multiuser cover as soon as I can afford it.

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