Al Fresco Pizza Ovens

How to repair a cracked pizza oven – Tips & tricks

To understand how to repair a cracked pizza oven, why pizza ovens crack, and how to prevent it from either happening or minimising the cracks, we’ll be sharing a few essential pointers on how these cracks develop and how to take care of your wood-fired pizza oven. You’ll also want to hear why Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens are so special. When you use one of our wood-fired ovens, you will most likely never have the nightmare of waking up to a cracked pizza oven again.

Why do brick pizza ovens crack?

When pizza ovens are built, moisture is trapped in the layers of brick or cement. Before you can start using your pizza oven, the oven needs to be prepared through a process we call curing. Curing is a slow process, where you build small fires to allow the heat to rise slowly. This pushes the water out of the oven dome. The steam created from the water in the oven materials will start to escape the oven walls, which in turn dries out your oven instead of damaging it. If you don’t follow the curing process, your pizza oven will crack inside and outside the dome, which can cause immense panic if you have just purchased your brand new pizza oven. If the curing has been done correctly, most moisture will evaporate, and it will prevent calamitous cracks and cause fewer headaches for you in future. In most cases, curing a brick, wood-fired pizza oven requires special attention in a process done over several days. However, with Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens, the curing gets done at the factory. This means if you buy an Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Oven, you only need to burn your oven with a small fire for two hours, keeping the temperature under 200 Degree Celsius. Then you are ready to start cooking in your oven.

Identifying the cracks and how to repair a cracked pizza oven:

Although we do not specialise in repairing pizza ovens, except for our own wood-fired ovens, we will try to explain why some ovens crack and what to do when the cracks are getting out of hand. Even if you have made the curing a very slow process, as explained above, superficial cracks will still show up inside your pizza oven. Some wood-fired pizza ovens may crack more than others, but these superficial cracks won’t create any structural damage, which means your oven will still have a very affluent lifetime.

Larger cracks inside your brick oven

Usually, larger cracks inside your pizza oven are because the fire started inside the oven was too hot and started too fast. However, you will still often find people complaining about large cracks inside their brick oven even if they follow the curing process precisely as instructed. This is just the quantum mechanics of wood-fired pizza ovens, so the best advice I can offer you is to keep your fires very low and keep the burning process slow when curing your pizza oven. Also, keep in mind that it’s best to use your pizza oven for at least six months to allow it to crack wherever it will before you repair or paint your wood-fired pizza oven. Although we cannot speak for all the other brands, we can confirm with confidence that Alfresco Wood- Fired Pizza Ovens will continue to hold heat and still cook everything perfectly, even if some minor cracks appear inside the dome of the pizza oven, because we do most of the curing process directly at the factory.

Cracks on the face of my wood-fired pizza oven

In some cases, the face of your brick oven can also crack. This is because raging hot fires were created before your oven was cured correctly. In this case, remember if your pizza oven is standing outside uncovered, water can re-enter the oven walls if it rains, which means the moisture will again try to escape when you start a fire inside your pizza oven, which can potentially cause more cracking. However, you can escape this disaster with Alfresco Wood-fired Pizza ovens, as our ovens can withstand any weather conditions. Still, we will explain in more detail at the end of this article why Alfresco Wood-fired Pizza ovens are different from all the other pizza ovens.

Small cracks are a sign of a well-loved oven 

Remember that small cracks are expected inside your oven if you use it often. If you have followed the curing process correctly, and these small baby cracks do not affect the oven’s operation, you have no reason to worry at all. These tiny cracks are your ‘brag-award’ for a pizza oven well-loved and used to its full capacity.

Protecting your wood-fired pizza oven

You will see a lot of advice and articles online on how to protect your pizza oven against wind and weather and to avoid cracking. Some will tell you always to cover your brick oven when not in use; others will say to you a ‘rinse-and-repeat’ method works best. This means you should cure your oven regularly to remove excess moisture that might have built up between uses. They will also continue to explain how you cannot heat a soggy oven, as it will crack your dome in the process. So in other words, even with a full-time cover over your wood-fired pizza oven, if it is an outside fixture, there is no guarantee that your oven won’t crack, and you will need to still continue the curing process from time to time to avoid any new unwelcome cracks. All of the above are constructive and valuable tips. But ask yourself, why buy a pizza oven prone to cracks in the first place? By now, you’ll want to know why Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens are so special. Why is buying one of our ovens a lifestyle investment and why don’t we specialise in the repairing of other pizza ovens, except our own product? Because we pride ourselves on cultivating top standard pizza ovens. After all, wood-fired ovens are about more than just perfect pizza; it is about family, friends and good times!

What makes Alfresco pizza ovens stand out above the rest?

In a nutshell, let me share the main pointers why you should consider buying one of Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens if you want to have more peace of mind. And if, like me, you prefer a few easy instructions on how to use your pizza oven, instead of a long list of dos and don’ts.
  • We use the highest quality of refractory materials that ensures superior heat absorption and retention, which is the primary function of a wood-burning oven.
  • The oven floor is made from a 42% aluminate refractory brick; it ensures maximum and quick heat absorption.
  • Our ovens take between 45 – 60 minutes to heat before cooking.
  • With exceptional heat retention, our ovens use much less wood.
  • Our ovens are pre-cured, saving our customers a lengthy process before using the oven.
  • Ovens are delivered as a complete unit, so no assembly of dome and floor is required.
  • With a weatherproof finish that makes this oven suitable for outdoor use but still elegant and functional to be built indoors, this is the most versatile oven available on the market.
  • The standard chimney length is 800mm. we use 304-grade stainless steel that won’t rust even in coastal areas.
  • Our ovens also come with an optional mobile stand, with a wood rack, accessory rack and hooks as well as a stainless-steel table on sliding rails.
  • So, you can either set your pizza oven outside, when hosting a birthday party or move it onto your veranda, if the weather doesn’t play along.
  • For people renting, you can take your oven with you, wherever you go.
  • Alfresco Wood-Burning Pizza Ovens come with a tempered glass thermometer and choke system on the chimney. This makes our ovens suitable for not only pizza but all other baking that can be done in a regular oven.
  • All ovens come with a 2-year guarantee, as well as a professional backup service for all our customers.

So, How can I truly repair my cracked pizza oven?

The best way to repair a cracked pizza oven is to buy an Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Oven. That way, you won’t need to Google tips to ‘repair cracked pizza oven’, and you will never have to worry about a cracked oven or having to repair your cracked wood-fired pizza oven. As mentioned earlier in this article, I cannot speak for other pizza oven brands, I can only offer useful tips and advice on how to care for Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens. Together with my dad, who sadly passed away two years ago, we designed, built, developed and improved Alfresco Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens to the majestic oven it is today.  It took us many hours of sweat, tears, failing, and trying again, and again until we developed a wood-burning pizza oven we knew would be of the best quality and user friendly for amateur chefs like ourselves.
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