Periodic Thermal Cleaning

Note: The instructions below are for regularly-scheduled periodic thermal cleanings. If your oven has significant build-up, please watch this video.

Establishing A Thermal Cleaning Routine

Wood Stone ovens are typically operated at temperatures which preclude the need for cleaning of the interior walls, ceiling (the dome) and floor of the oven. If, however, you routinely operate the oven at floor temperatures lower than 450° F, you may notice a buildup on the interior walls and/or ceiling of the oven. If you operate below 525° F, you may notice some buildup on the floor. If this is the case, use the following procedures to periodically clean the oven. The frequency of thermal cleaning will be determined by the amount of buildup experienced. The amount and rate of buildup will largely be determined by the type of wood burned to fuel the oven (if in a wood fired oven), operational details (such as if you are re-heating pizza slices and grease runoff from cheese is building up directly on the floor) and by how long the oven is operated at temperatures low enough to allow buildup to occur.

Periodic Thermal CleaningThermal Cleaning: Gas-fired Oven

The Floor: If a Wood Stone gas-fired oven is operated at low temperatures (below 525° F), it is possible that grease and debris from food could build up on the floor of the oven, especially in the doorway where temperatures are cooler. Often, this build up is perceived as the floor flaking away. To remove the buildup that has accumulated on the floor of the oven, simply turn the radiant flame to its highest setting and set the floor set point at 650° F. Monitor the floor temperature displayed on the controller. When the floor reaches 650° F, lower the flame slightly so as to maintain the oven floor temperature near 650° F for 2 hours or longer. Often, it is easiest just to leave the oven on overnight at this elevated setting to ensure that the debris on the floor’s surface has reached sufficient temperatures to make the build up easy to scrape off.

WARNING: OVEN DOORS SHOULD NEVER BE ON WHEN OVEN BURNERS ARE OPERATING.
Scraping is usually done early the next morning using the utility peel or one of our floor scraping tools (pictured below). When scraping the floor it is important to keep from pushing the debris into the burner well – debris in the burner well can cause problems with the radiant burner. Often people will use a pan to shield the burner when the floor is being scraped. Repeat this thermal cycling as needed to keep the floor clean. Once the oven is clean, allow the oven to return to normal operating temperatures and continue normal operation. It is a good idea to clean the floor early in the day so that the oven is given time to cool back down before the lunch rush begins.

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The Dome: If a Wood Stone gas-fired oven is operated at low temperatures (below 400° F), it is possible that grease from food could condense on the walls and ceiling of the oven. To remove the grease that has accumulated on the walls and ceiling of the oven, simply turn the radiant flame to its highest setting. Monitor the floor temperature displayed on the controller. When the floor reaches 600° F, lower the flame slightly so as to maintain the oven floor temperature near 600° F for about an hour. Once the oven dome appears clean, allow the oven to return to normal operating temperatures and continue normal operation.


Thermal Cleaning: Wood-fired Oven

The Floor: If a Wood Stone wood oven is operated at low temperatures (below 525° F), it is possible that grease and debris from food could build up on the floor of the oven. Often, this build up is perceived as the floor flaking away. To remove the buildup that has accumulated on the floor of the oven, at the end of your cooking day simply move a portion of the coal bed to cover that part of the floor covered with grease (if necessary you might do this in sections on consecutive days). Leave the coal bed over the grease build up. By morning most of the grease should have been burned away. If necessary, proceed with scraping of the floor.

Scraping is usually done early the next morning using the utility peel or one of our floor scraping tools (pictured above). If the oven is a combination gas and wood oven, please note that when scraping the floor it is important to keep from pushing the debris into the burner well – debris in the burner well can cause problems with the radiant burner. Often people will use a pan to shield the burner when the floor is being scraped. Repeat this process as needed to keep the floor clean.

Once the oven is clean, allow the oven to return to normal operating temperatures and continue normal operation.

The Dome: Starting from an existing fire, increase the fire’s intensity (by adding wood) so that the floor temperature goes above 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain this temperature for approximately 1 hour or until all visible signs of sooting are gone from the walls and ceiling of the oven. It should not be necessary to physically remove any material from the walls and ceiling with a brush or otherwise. Once the oven dome appears clean, allow the oven to return to the normal operating temperature and continue normal operation.