March 17, 2009
The Wood Burning Oven
Wood cooking has helped define Wildfire’s culture and has always been the main component of our food preparation. At any given time, you can see our herb marinated chicken spinning on our rotisserie. Or perhaps you’ll smell the aroma of our cedar planked salmon in the wood burning oven.
Several years ago we traveled to Bellingham, Washington to the test kitchen of a company called Woodstone, the makers of our wood fire stone hearth ovens. From the moment I started to work with the equipment, I knew it was right for Wildfire. I must admit I was sold. It takes approximately four to five hours everyday to heat up the oven to its desired temperature of 600 degrees. We use cured Oak, known for it's long even cooking with a favorable smokey finish. A restaurant will burn a couple of cords of wood each week.
Cooking on a wood burning oven is fun and believe it or not, easy to use. One simple rule we follow is controlling the cooking time and caramelization of an item by how close we place it to the intense flames. So it is important to determine where the hot spots are. For even cooking, the food item is placed in the middle of the oven.
After all these years, stepping through the revolving doors, I’m home. The warm, cozy feeling of the roaring fires... the wonderful aroma of wood... it’s Wildfire. Click here for one of my favorites recipes from the wood burning oven, the Baked Goat Cheese.
From the wood burning oven, Joe Decker