It is 90 degrees in a mid-summer heat wave and you’re thinking about firing up an oven? Absolutely! We enjoy a Forno Bravo Casa2G 90 wood-fired oven which is built next to our deck far from any air conditioning. Basically, the heat is kept outdoors and will not heat up your home that you invest in keeping cool. This is an energy saver in itself. It’s perfect for summer evening cooking as well as the harshest winter months. The actual time spent cooking in a Forno Bravo wood-fired oven is very intentional and generally fast compared to cooking with a gas grill. You develop the art of timing when cooking with wood and it takes a little finesse but it’s sooooo well worth it!
Summer is all about eating outside when it’s cooling down, enjoying your yard, and eating FRESH! Fresh everything. The tomatoes are actually red and juicy, the squash, eggplants, herbs, corn, are either fresh from our own garden or from local tailgate markets.
Supporting local farmers feels great as we know it feeds the local economy. When you own an oven you can cook light fare or cook up a feast, but the best part of all is when the sun has set you’re on your own deck or patio with friends savoring some of the finest flavors that could otherwise cost you a pretty penny. Around 6pm fire up the oven and occasionally feed it a few pieces of dry hardwood to increase the heat.
The exterior of the oven doesn’t put off high heat. It’s better than a thermos. The exterior may be warmed naturally from the sun, but the oven is so well insulated it is never too warm to touch. If the oven hasn’t been used for a good week or more, the interior behaves much like a cellar as it maintains what seems to be the same air temperature as outside if not a below ground cooler temperature.
After forty-five minutes to an hour, you have a fabulous bed of coals to push the heavy cast iron grill over. I put a cast iron fry pan nearer the entry but in front of the fire to caramelize summer carrots as we wait for perfect coals for the salmon filets.
As we were entertaining for a birthday party (and the crowd magically grew), we put ten salmon filets on a single heavy duty cast iron grill which took between 4-7 minutes tops to cook with the intense convection of the oven. Combine this with delicious cooler summer salads, corn, a fresh peach pie and homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert and you have some very happy campers. As the oven will still have retained at least 300-400 degrees overnight, we’re cooking a light fare meal tonight of eggplant with freshly made pesto, fresh tomatoes, fine bread with garden herbs. Forno Bravo wood-fired ovens are designed for year-round use and the enjoyment of wood-fired cooking unlike any other kind of cooking.
A Facebook comment we received from David Horn just today (during this heat wave):
“Great selection of your many products and services. Thanks again for the great job by Jim and Tom on our Forno Bravo oven in Lenoir. We have had lots of pizza and lots of guests over- more tonight!” This says it all.
Some links of interest:
Buy Local NC Facebook
Slow Food Asheville Facebook
Asheville Grown blog
Jim’s Wood Fired Ovens Facebook/ gallery of oven installations (please “like” Jim!)
Jim Erskine Masonry and Applications web/ masonry services at The ARCH