My oven got really, really wet. How do I safely dry it out?

I am building our oven at our up north “get away” 3 1/2 hr drive. We go up when we can for the weekend. We have managed to accomplish the build up to the point just before layering the oven with insulation.

We would like to use the oven on memorial day and have limited time to work on it. Would it be alright to remove foam and start drying process and use it through the summer? Then apply insulation and finish after the holiday, or in the fall. We have many people who come up to camp out and we can’t wait to use this awesome oven in addition to campfire tripod cooking.

You should be a-okay.

We would prefer that the oven is wrapped & finished, but the excitement of firing up the oven can be too much - especially when showing her off to friends and family. Having seen 1000’s of pics from customers, you are not the first to do this (or the 2nd, 3rd or 4th…).

Obviously, it won’t perform as well as it will when it is wrapped w/ blanket, but it will most definitely cook a mean pizza or 30.

MAKE SURE THE OVEN IS DRY and the MORTAR IS FULLY CURED. In addition, keep the oven covered when you are not using it - at least until it is completely finished and watertight.

Thanks for the reply. I did manage to get 2" of Ceramamic blanket and two coats of stucco on it this past weekend. I know that I should at least paint the exterior to seal the stucco but that is not completed yet. Next question is without closing the opening, will rain be a problem as far as moisture being introduced on the oven floor between visits? I did manage to get a fire started for dying the inside out slowly. But since fire was burning inside I did not cover the oven when I left.

Do I need to cover the opening when I leave to prevent any rain water possibly dripping on to the floor? Thanks for your help. The oven so far has been easy per your instructions. I just want to be cautious with my WFO. Until I get a few dishes out of it.

Good question -

The BEST way to keep moisture out of any oven (not just our brand) is to…

  1. Use a door. This will prevent rain / moisture from entering the oven.

  2. Close the damper on the chimney when not in use. This is more to block moisture vs. keeping rain out. A damper will not keep rain out.

If you do have moisture in the oven or if the firebrick cook surface feels damp, you want to dry it out before you start a large fire. A large fire will turn the moisture into steam and as you know - steam can EASILY crack brick, concrete, etc…

True story - I was having a neighborhood pizza party on a random Saturday at my parents house (on one of the first pizza ovens we ever built). The night before, my father “cleaned” the oven by washing it - inside and out. Now, his version of cleaning an oven involves a scrub brush, water hose and about 500 gallons of water. Yeah - he’s old school.

Luckily, I noticed the oven was SOAKING wet (but super clean & looking like new), so I tossed a space heater in the oven, set it on HIGH then covered the entire oven with a tarp. After running all night, the oven was very, very dry the next day. This is NOT a curing method - just a drying method AFTER the oven has been cured.

Side note - if you have to do this, make sure the butt end of the space heater is sticking out of the oven / tarp as the thermostat in the space heater will turn the heater off once it reaches a specific temp. Periodically check on the heater to make sure it is running…

Hope this helps!

It worked for me -


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