It's time! You have bought a Vonken and are ready to test all its possibilities. Vonken is of course more than a wood oven: it is a barbecue, kamado, pizza oven and outdoor stove in one piece. But how do you start here? In our new series Sparking Up Your Skills we are going to give you some tips for the smooth use of Vonken.
Make fire! It sounds simple but where do you learn that? In the youth movement? On discovery channel? Or ever learned from grandpa or grandma? It's essential to work sparks well, and actually quite easy, if you keep an eye on the following tips.
- Use finely split dry wood , preferably beech or hornbeam, but ash, birch, long-dried oak and other deciduous species also work well. Never use pine or processed wood, as these sometimes contain chemicals in addition to resins that you do not want in your food.
- Make sure the air vent is open so that the smoke can escape initially. Also make sure that the door remains open, so that sufficient oxygen can flow in. On a day with a lot of wind, place your Vonken as sheltered as possible. Strong winds can tease the oxygen supply and smoke exhaust a bit.
- Place a few firelighters on the baking floor and build a kapla-like construction around it with four small blocks of wood. Make this in the middle of the baking floor, either on the wood holder, or simply loosen it on the stones. Do this fairly deep into the Sparks. Don't worry about the firelighters, they will burn completely through the process called pyrolysis (look out for our blog with more information about this process).
- Very important for beginners: build up slowly! It is better to start with 4 small blocks than with 5 large ones. Once the fire in the Vonken starts to stir, the temperature will follow, and those extra blocks really don't matter anymore!
- Light the firelighters . If you use good dry wood and make a slowly built-up fire, you will notice that the smoke will disappear after about 10 or 15 minutes, and that the fire will mainly consist of pure flame. That is complete combustion: the temperature of the added oxygen is so high (thanks to the fire) that all smoke particles are burned up and a very pure fire is created.
- When the fire is burning well and the smoke has been reduced to a minimum, you can use the poker or brush to move the fire to the side (left) and lift the cubes into the wood holder (or, if you are in the wood holder, started, move the wood holder to the left with the poker). Now you can see how the flames are racing across the ceiling from left to right.
- It is smart to only place an extra block of wood on the left when the flames die down a bit and there is no smoke.
With these tips you are definitely ready to start cooking!
Do you have a good fire or do you have a subject that you would like tips on? Tag us on Instagram ( @vonken.ovens ) or Facebook , and share your inspiration for further blog posts with tips in our Facebook group Vonken Family !
Sebastian & Adrian
Sparking up the good life!