VillaGok brick oven - Firing the oven

There are different techniques for firing a brick oven - this is how I usually do. At first I place a log or two in the center of the oven as a base for the fire.

Then I place some larger logs in the back...

...some large to mid-sized logs in the middle...

...and finally some small pieces in the front.

A little activation energy is added with the aid of a weed burner...

... and after a few minutes a nice little fire is burning. In this phase I watch the fire carefully - especially if the wood is not completely dry. If the flames die out, I just use the weed burner a little more

When the fire is burning steadily I leave it alone for some time. At this stage I start to move the fire a little around and add some more wood now and then. Notice that the soot is now beginning to disappear from the top of the oven.

This picture is taken 1 hour after the fire was ignited. The soot has now almost disappeared. The oven will be ready for pizza baking when these logs have turned into embers. If several bakings are planned, the fire is maintained for a longer period.

The hot embers are spread out evenly on the floor near the end of the firing. Notice that all soot is now burned off. For bread baking the embers are removed and the oven is closed. Baking can start soon after a short firing, but the oven usually rests with the door closed for hour or so after a longer firing.

For pizza baking I push the embers to the sides and keep a small fire going. Some wood is added now and then for as long as necessary.