Firing Up The Oven Today....

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by tractorman44, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    [​IMG]

    With the door pretty much out of the way, it was time to block in the front. It wasn't too hard with the firebrick already prepared for interlocking the corners.

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    More progress, still not presenting too much of a challenge.

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    Time to forget the firebrick and go for the limestone.

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    In no time at all the front was beginning to fill in and it looked like we could see a light at the end of the tunnel....

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    So we're back to one of the first pictures in the thread....the finished oven, complete with one of the mule shoes that was dug up during the recovery.

    You'd think we'd just go ahead and fire this thing up....but still we had to spend a good amount of time curing it with low temp fires and also build a covering over it. I know, I know.... I can hear the deep sighs all the way over here in Missouri. Hang in there, the story is almost done. I told you all I was just a tad long-winded on occasion.
     
  2. Minnesota Marty

    Minnesota Marty

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    tractorman44,
    What an incredible accomplishment and a fine job. It looks spectacular!!! And it is going to cook like "all get out". Thanks for taking the time to capture and share all the photos. That too is an accomplishment.
     
  3. papadave

    papadave

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    Definitely a lot of work to document in pics.
     
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  4. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    Mn Marty and PapaDave....Thanks for the thumbs up on the project. It kinda is a bit difficult 'reconstructing' it with words and trying to single out pictures in sequence to post the progress. This is actually the third time I've written this up for two other forums but I haven't copied/pasted any portion of those stories and probably have used several different pictures among the three forums. I do remember going into much more detail on some of the shots though I've not re-read either of those two for many months. A lot of the descriptions accompanying pictures, though factual, could even be totally different. It just depends on what a fellow is thinking of at a particular time.

    We completed the oven back in mid-'014 and though the memories are still quite vivid, some of the exact dimensions may vary slightly....a fellow just caint remember EVERYthing..... But anyway, thank you again for the positive comments.
     
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  5. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    [​IMG]

    The door was topped of with a home made spring loaded latch. Push down on the top handle (it swivels left and right) to pull the pin out of the receptacle, tilt the door backwards then pick it up with one hand on the latch handle and the other on the horizontal handle across the bottom. To keep the heat from transferring though the metal, thick springs were welded on the handles where you grab onto them. They do not get hot enough to burn your hands even with an 800 degree oven temp.

    Photobucket is really goofy tonight. Its not allowing access to a lot of my pictures so I gotta try again later. Sometimes it is extremely difficult to use as a photo hosting site.
     
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  6. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    I logged out and back into Photobucket and it seems to be operating faster now......

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    We'd taken out a huge dead oak prior to starting the project, leaving a stump to be dug with the old backhoe. Catty-wampus, the stump measured pretty close to 40" IIRC. Once done, a buddy carpenter stopped by and stenciled in a paving stone profile in the newly poured sidewalk. My brother also poured a couple piers right by the pavilion and ran a couple underground conduits to them. He has two antique Skelgas gas pumps to mount on the piers. One may be a Shellgas pump, no matter, they'll eventually have their lighted globes wired in to a photo cell and so they will automatically turn on at dark.

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    Prior to this time we had been firing small curing fires as evidenced by the black smoke stain from the oven door opening as well as from the actual flu opening in the rear. Barely more than a kindling fire, we did not want to exceed 250 degrees dome temperature for at least a couple days. Due to the heat and smoke, a fire was not kept burning continuously while the lean-to was being built.

    For a covering it was decided to utilize a few 12" x 12' bar joists recovered from a jobsite a decade or more ago, a 6" I-beam and a couple 6" ductile iron pipes for posts. The tail pieces of the bar joists were notched thru the metal wall of the pavillion and attached to the band board.

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    2 x 4's on edge were then attached perpendicular to the joists so the metal decking could be screwed down.

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    So here it sits fully covered and protected from the elements and ready to get down to the business of baking.

    I know it was an arduous trip for you all to read the steady stream of drivel accompanying the pictures, but I thank all of you that were interested for taking the time to hang on for the long haul.

    Next up : Trials and tribulations, successes and failures coming out of the oven. Lets just say, now two years later, my belt has been let out at least one hole.....
     
  7. cnice_37

    cnice_37

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    Epic build :dex:
     
  8. papadave

    papadave

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    Ok, but you don't need to stop.
    We also like pics of stuff that comes out of the oven.:drool:
     
  9. WeldrDave

    WeldrDave Military Outpost Moderator

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    I'm late "again" to this thread but I only have one comment, "WOW"!!!!! What a beautiful thing and what a wonderful honor your paying to your GGD and the future generations to use that! TM44, you deserve a medal and "LOTS" of frosty :cheers:. "AWESOME"!!!:drunk:
     
  10. HighCountry

    HighCountry

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    I think that once you get that thing up to temp, I will feel it all the way over here in New Mexico. Be careful, you may get cited by the government for contributing to "Global Warming". Sorry, went a little political there. My apologies. :doh:
     
  11. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us. Definitely would like to see pics of the baking that came out of it and some pics of action shots, if you have them, of the oven being fired and used.
     
  12. papadave

    papadave

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    Really, there's no reason that Jon should have the pleasure of torturing us all to himself. :D
     
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  13. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    cnice_37, papadave, I'm glad you'all enjoyed it and again thank you for the nice comments, and there will be pictures of ovenfare very soon. Weldr Dave don't look too close at those welds...they didn't have to be x-ray'd.:picard:

    HighCountry, back in '75 I drove the largest U-Haul available to move my brother from Minnesota to Taos. Going through Rattoon pass, that old doggy Ford topped the peak on the floor in third gear at 35 mph !!!
     
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  14. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    Yes ma'am, coming right up !!! I thank you personally for your particular comments. I do have a number of pictures with, of course, descriptions of what they were if I can remember. It has been a lot of fun baking the crazy things we've done so far and each time we learn a lot more. My goal is for bake two Thanksgiving turkeys in it hopefully this year.
     
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  15. papadave

    papadave

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    Well now we have not only the next burning season to look forward to, but also a two turkey bake in that beautiful oven this fall.
    Can't wait to see how that comes out.
     
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  16. lukem

    lukem

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    Food. Where is the food?.
     
  17. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    [​IMG]

    We figured to 'test the water' so to speak, with some small expendible items. Buns fit the bill. The first one was set in all by itself at a 550 degree oven temp and was left in for 4 to 5 minutes. It looked just as good as the ones in this photo, but cooked so fast it was almost completely hollow !!! Ok, lesson #1: lower temperature for buns. It was however immediately slathered with butter and jelly and ripped into 4 pieces and devoured in literally 20 seconds !!!!

    There was no time to take a picture of it...... Those in the above picture were tossed in individually a bit later when the oven temp was at 450 degrees for about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes and were absolutely perfect. Warm and cooked all the way through and not hollow.

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    Well we knew from the start that the oven was too hot for buns, so immediately following the first bun, this very first pizza was tossed in at 550 degrees. Five minutes later, this was the product. The dough is scratch made by one of my daughters and darn if I remember all the condiments on this first one.

    The brown stuff on the stainless steel peel is corn meal we tossed in on the cook stone so we can slip the peel under easily when the pizza is done. It's also used on the peel to allow the pizza to slide off easily as it goes into the oven. But you guys all knew that stuff before I did.....

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    We started off making 'personal' sized pizzas because of the number of kids around, plus we didn't wanna waste a lot of stuff if one turned out bad. My daughters had pre-diced all kinds of good stuff like different peppers, tomatos, pepperoni, pineapple, zucchini, mushrooms, onions,and (home killed) cooked sausage and Canadian Bacon plus plain bacon in addition to multiple kinds of cheese.

    One very noticeable difference between this style oven and the modern pizza ovens is the absense of fire and/or coals during the actual baking as evidenced by the lighter colored crusts shown on the pizzas. They will brown if left in a bit longer, but they are fully cooked and good to eat as they are. We found that basting light butter or olive oil on the perimeter causes browing also.

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    It took no time at all to pop in, cook and watch at least 15 of those little pizzas disappear. A few larger were then done for the big guys, mine a robust meat lovers....meat, meat and more meat for me !!! Well, a little cheeze and a touch of tomato sauce, but not enough to change the flavor of the mixture of meats.

    Here's a couple loaves of bread awaiting their bake time....mostly as a novelty AND for sandwichs later in the week. Side note: Squeezable jelly with the little flat slot in the lid is the greatest invention since the pocket on a shirt !!!! No muss, no fuss....just squeeze the heck out of it while aimed at a half bun and you're good to go !!!
     
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  18. tractorman44

    tractorman44

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    One of my daughters is a vegetarian (shudder).....so she diced up the guts of a zucchini and sprinkled some spices and other sundries inside the hollow half and in it went. Surprisingly it took a pretty long time to cook thoroughly but when it WAS done, she wouldn't stop smiling...

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    A different set of three loaves ready to pull out. We opted to make the loaves like the old timers and not in the actual bread-baking tins that result in a rectangular base. Dunno why, but it sounded good at the time. No matter as they turned out just fine.
     
  19. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    The bread looks awesome. I wonder if you used pans, it would brown too fast on the outside and not cook in the inside. There was a reason for why they did things back then.
     
  20. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    Yummy first bakings!:drool:
    Continued awesome chronicling tractorman44 :thumbs::)
     
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