Hi , I find that after about an hour and half my oven is read. I typically make anywhere from 7 -10 pies then I notice a significant drop-in the temperature of the floor. Then I have to take a time out respread the ambers and either wait or cook on the opposite side. I’m wondering if I keep it lit for longer period of time before cooking would it allow me to make 20-30 pies.
For the blazing hot hearth you need for pizza, you need to reset your fire periodically. The oven will retain a LOT of heat and release it slowly over a period of many hours. But the hearth won’t keep a contact temperature of 800+ degrees F for more than about 20 minutes.
Why? Heat rises. And, every time you slap another pizza in the oven, the cool dough absorbs some of the heat from the hearth.
A commercial pizza oven, with a gas flame below the hearth, is constantly getting energy from underneath. The Barile is getting its heat from above.
Your best bet is to cook on one side, and after 10 pizzas sweep the embers to the other side. Add a log or two to refresh the flame, give it a little time to get blazing again, and make some more pies.
If the waiting seems too long, you should be getting a share of that pizza for yourself.
I’ve had similar problems maintaining heat even after insulation and installing oven doors and dampers. The size of your oven and chimney placement also affect the inside temp evenness. I believe I have a solution as I build my new oven…
1 reduce the size of the internal chamber…even if just by 4 inches in height and depth.
2 install or use a good insulated door with a small window so you can look without opening the door
Most critical…3 install a propane gas nozzle in the chamber to either complement or rep l ace wood altogether. Get a good gas control flow knob and an auto igniter. This can get expensive but it will make tour life a lot easier when cooking.
I did a little more research. Andrea Mugnaini’s Art of Wood Fired Cooking describes exactly your experience as the typical one for a wood-fired pizza “environment” (as they call it). Middle of the oven floor at 650-750°F, thin pizza baking in about 2 minutes, and needing to add one to two pieces of wood every 20 minutes.
Also, you have an open face on your oven, so that’s going to let some heat out the front, but you’d want that for cooking larger items.
And, the sausage and peppers look like they’ll be amazing!
Getting 8 - 10 pizzas per firing is about average. And as the oven starts to cool over cooking / time, you have to refire the oven to return the oven to those scorching temps.
Simply pull all the remaining embers over the fire brick / hearth cooking surface (mostly where you are cooking) and add more firewood. Let the oven refire for about 15-20 minutes then resume cooking. Make sure you keep a few logs burning as you continue to cook (this helps keep the oven hot - which will reduce refiring times).
The process of refiring a wood-fired oven applies to all brands of wood-fired ovens. If you want a constant heat (800°+), you are going to need to install a gas burner in your wood fired oven.