I recently installed a wood burning oven at my house. It's an Italian product called the Piazzetta Chef - specs are here http://www.piazzetta.it/en-US/Product/Details/cooking/chef-102. It's a barrel-vault shape, with a front door (as you can see in the link).
We've fired it up a few times already, with reasonably good results. But I'd like to get more consistently high temperatures, and am wondering:
1) What temperature do you fire your oven to before baking? And for long do you fire up before you bake?
2) How do you measure your temps? I have an infra red beam thermometer that measures a spot beamed on the surface. My surface temps are between 200 and 250 ˚C (390- 480 ˚F) at time of baking. Should they be higher than that?
3) Any tips for maintaining consistent high temps inside the oven?
4) What are your views on oven curing? Our oven came with fairly vague instructions to "start with several moderate ignitions" (Italian instruction booklet!!) So we fired up 2-3 times at 180 to 250 ˚C. Will it take longer than that to retain its heat? I'm hoping we haven't done any damage by going too hot too fast..