Heat Management – Cooking with Gas

With a basic understanding of Flame Height Management, it is possible to consistently control the operating temperature of any Wood Stone gas-fired oven. We have discovered a simple cycle consisting of three basic flame heights:  Heat-Up Flame, Holding Flame and Cooking Flame.

The following examples refer to a Mt. Adams 5′ gas-fired oven, and should result in a temperature of around 570 °F to 600 °F if you are using natural gas (NG). If you have a different size or model oven, run the oven on liquid propane (LP), or wish to maintain a different temperature, some adjustments to the flame heights will be necessary, but the basic concepts are the same.

If you have any questions, please contact our chefs at 800-988-8103.

The Flame Height Cycle:

  1. Heat-Up Flame until you reach your target temperature
  2. Holding Flame to maintain the temperature until you are ready to cook
  3. Cooking Flame when you put food into the oven
  4. Holding Flame (again) when you are done cooking

 

Each of these steps is described in more detail below:

heat-upFlame

holdingFlame

cookingFlame holdingFlame

1. Heat Up Flame

At the start of your production day, turn the flame all the way up. Using natural gas with good gas pressure, this is approximately a 16″ flame. Use a Heat-Up Flame until you reach the target temperature. Heat-up time can vary depending on the target temperature and the amount of time since the oven’s last use. In most scenarios, expect at least 1-2 hours.

2. Holding Flame

When the oven reaches your target temperature, turn the flame down to approximately 8″. The 8″ Utility Peel is a great visual aid for determining this height.

This flame height is called the Holding Flame because when there is no product cooking in the oven chamber, the Holding Flame will maintain a consistent temperature for as long as necessary. It is the flame height that ultimately dictates the temperature of the oven.

Important Note: The actual height of the Holding Flame will vary depending on your temperature needs. Some operators find they want a higher temperature, which requires a higher flame.  Others want a lower temperature and therefore require a lower flame. We have found an 8″ flame, and a temperature of 570 °F to 600 °F is a good starting place. From there, you can establish a consistent pattern to adapt to your specific situation.

3. Cooking Flame

When you begin cooking and introduce food into the oven chamber, increase the flame height 2-3 inches above your Holding Flame. This height is known as the Cooking Flame.
The increased flame height will help maintain temperature as energy leaves the oven and
enters the food.

4. Holding Flame (Again)

When you are done cooking and the oven is empty, return to the Holding Flame. This ensures that you will return to a consistent oven environment. If the burners are left at the Cooking Flame height with no food in the chamber, the oven will quickly rise above the desired temperature. For this reason, we recommend making a habit of returning to the Holding Flame as soon as the oven is emptied.