Thermocouple / Thermocoupler Thermometer Installation

I am considering installing some K-type thermocouples into my Mattone Barile oven. I’m at the point of completing the herringbone firebrick hearth and will begin laying firebrick against the foam mold next. My thermocouple wires are three meters long and are rated to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. I plan to lay up to four or five wires into the mortar at various locations as lay the firebrick. I’ll then run the wires between the firebrick and ceramic fiber blanket toward the front of the oven where I can connect them to my digital thermometer. My questions for anyone who has tried this:

  1. Are there preferred locations in the oven that I should put the thermocouple sensors e.g. back wall, ceiling, midway up the sides?
  2. Should I put one in the center of the hearth where my pizzas will sit? Doing so would likely open the gap in my herringbone slightly as the wires are about 1/16" in diameter.
  3. Any advice on this approach would be appreciated.

Before you start performing surgery on your pizza oven, purchase an inexpensive laser thermometer from Lord Bezos or Wally and save yourself a LOT of time / trouble of installing a stationary temp gauge.

A handheld laser will INSTANTLY and accurately tell you the temp of any area in your oven.

Hi, John,

I agree with Kevin on this topic. It would be cool but useless to know the temperature at any point where you could plant a thermocouple.

The only temperature worth knowing in terms of cooking with your oven is the temperature on the surface of the hearth floor in the area where you plan to cook. Sometimes the “sweet spot” (or should I call it “heat spot”?) shifts around a bit while you’re cooking. A stationary sensor is not going to help with that.

I will respectfully disagree with Kevin on one point. You can installl a door thermometer as some builders have done, and it might be helpful in limited circumstances such as bread baking. It’s not hard to do, though you do have the extra complication of a probe coming out the interior side of the door. You need to seal it with the same kind of red silicone that seals the chimney plate (if you have that kit).

Here’s a link to a discussion we had last summer about the in-door thermometer, including a recommendation for a suitable thermometer.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your build.

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