Daily Operation: Wood-Fired Ovens

The Fire

Use only, seasoned hardwoods with a moisture content of 20% or less. Use of soft woods, such as pine, cedar, hemlock etc., and wet or ‘green’ wood, will cause a build-up of residue throughout the exhaust system. (See Wood Stone’s Fuel Wood Facts, or consult factory for information on what types of wood can be used for oven fuel.). The fire should be ignited a couple of hours before the oven needs to be at cooking temperature, and can be located practically anywhere in the oven. Once the oven is being used daily, the fire can be ignited using still glowing coals from the previous day’s fire. The oven is heated more evenly and effectively by the fire positioned on the side rather than in the rear of the oven. Adding about 25 pounds of wood per hour should bring the oven temperature up about 100 degrees per hour (this will vary slightly de-pending on the type and moisture content of the wood and the size of the oven). The floor temperature is indicated by the digital thermometer and should not exceed 650 degrees. Once the desired temperature is reached, maintain it by addition of wood as needed. Don’t fling wood against back or side walls of oven. At the end of the work day, put night door(s) into door opening to hold heat in the oven overnight (MH ovens ONLY). Do not over-fire this oven. If flames are spilling out of the door opening, or if oven floor temperature exceeds 650 degrees F., you are over-firing the oven.

At the start of the following work day, push glowing coals out of the ash pile with 8″ utility peel. Remove ash with ash shovel, leaving live coals to start the day’s fire. Place ashes into metal container with a tight-fitting lid. The closed container of ashes should be placed on a non-combustible floor or on the ground, a safe distance from all combustible materials pending final disposal. They should be retained in the closed container (like the Wood Stone Ash Dolly) until all cinders have thoroughly cooled. CAUTION: Never use gasoline, gasoline-type lantern fuel, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, or similar liquids to start or freshen a fire in this oven. Keep all such liquids away from the oven while it is in use.

Video: Building a Wood Fire in Your Wood-Fired Oven

Care and Cleaning

OVEN FLOOR: As needed, brush food particles and stray fire debris from the oven floor using a long-handled floor brush. If something spills on the floor of the oven, wait for it to burn and/or dry up and then clean the residue off with the floor brush. This process can be sped up by moving a small portion of coals onto the spill causing it to bake off quickly. For removal of fine particles (burned flour or ash), wrap a warm, damp cloth around the brush head and use it to briskly wipe the floor.  Do not scrape the oven floor with metal tools having sharp edges or corners!!

Stainless Steel Surfaces

The oven tools, the mantle, the night door(s) and the oven doorway should be cleaned, as needed, using warm soapy water. Do not use abrasive metal scouring pads as they will scratch the stainless steel. Avoid the use of excess water when cleaning the face of the digital readout or oven controller.


As with all commercial cooking equipment, regular cleaning and maintenance of exhaust system is necessary to prevent the possibility of a hood and/or duct fire. The frequency of inspection and cleaning will depend upon hours of use and type and moisture content of the wood used for fuel. AVOID FLUE FIRES; BURN GOOD QUALITY WOOD AND ESTABLISH A REGULAR CLEANING SCHEDULE.

NIGHT DOORS: These solid stainless steel night door(s) are used for night time heat retention for our MH ovens ONLY. NEVER operate the oven with door(s) in place.

Mountain Home Night Door

Mountain Home – Mt. Chuckanut 4′ Night Door Shown

HEAT-EFFICIENCY DOORS: These perforated stainless steel night door(s) are designed to help decrease the heat-up time of our BH ovens ONLY.

Bistro Home – Heat-Efficiency Door Shown


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