Although your oven may seem dry, there are still small amounts of moisture pockets that need to work their way out.
If you build a large fire in your oven from the onset, you could compromise your oven’s longevity and cooking efficiency, and can ultimately cause permanent damage.
When lighting the first fire, keep the flames low so the moisture can be slowly released from the oven and surrounding masonry work. This curing process should be conducted at a temperature as close to 212°F (100°C) as possible (do not exceed that temperature) for a period of three days.
As an alternate method of curing you may build a fire in a separate location and place the coals into the oven. In this method, you will generate heat without the flame and the oven will cure as required.
Due to thermal expansion, small cracks may appear in the Dome or Hearth during the curing process. Do not worry; this is normal and the quality of your oven will not be compromised.
COOKING IN YOUR OVEN
After you have cured your oven and are ready to start cooking, light a small fire and slowly build it up. The interior Dome of the oven will at first turn black from the fire smoke. You will know the oven temperature has reached 572°F (300°C) when the inner walls turn from black to a whitish grey.
This is a perfect temperature for many types of cooking.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE!
Never cover the opening of the oven while there is a fire burning in the oven. This can result in an explosive combustion that could cause potential injury or property damage.
The door to your Forno Classico oven should be used only when the oven is cleared of all burning materials or embers.
The door which has a thermometer installed is provided so that you can monitor and maintain oven temperature to assure that you get the best results for baked goods.