Cleaning the hearth / fire brick cooking surface before inserting Bread or Pizza

I’m just starting to use the oven and getting a feel of how it works.

Although I can’t see the info anywhere I seem to recall that I shouldn’t use a damp cloth to wipe the hearth before putting food on it.

Last night I got the temperature up (not as high as it probably should go, but that’s part of my learning process). I put the embers at the back and scrubbed the hearth well with the brush.

I put some nan bread on the hearth. Although the bread cooked properly the ash on the bread make it unpleasant to eat. The same, I presume, would happen with pizza.

To me the obvious answer would be to dampen a cloth, put it over the brush and wipe the hearth. Is there anything wrong with that? Am I dong something else wrong?


Before placing bread or pizza on your firebrick hearth cooking surface, make sure you clean the surface w/ a metal bristle brush - if you use a plastic brush, the bristles will instantly melt (ask my wife…)

Once the surface is clean, blow on the surface w/ a few deep breaths to remove any remaining ash. If deep breaths are difficult - keep a can of compressed air nearby (but keep away from the fire). Blasting the surface with short bursts of compressed air will remove the surface of any lingering ash.

After that, soak an old t-shirt or rag in water… ring all the water out of the shirt / rag and wrap it around your brush. Quickly wipe the firebrick hearth cooking surface - but don’t let the wet fabric sit on the firebrick. A light hit of moisture won’t hurt the firebrick, but if you let it sit on there, it could possibly damage the firebrick.

Wipe, wipe, wipe… then let the firebrick dry for about 30 seconds before you place food on the hearth surface.

Bada-Bing, Bada-Boom… That’s it!

Great info - thanks for your help