That pork looks nice Mark. To check the heat retention of your oven, which will help you when you are slow cooking meat, next time you fire your oven up fully, check how the temperature falls. I would close the door, and chimney if that's possible, and measure the internal oven air temperature over the next day or 2. I use a wireless probe, which is held a few inches above the hearth, and record the temperature every hour or so [can miss overnight] and then plot a graph of the temperature fall. If you look at how long it takes to fall from say 150'C to 110'C, this will tell you for example how long you could leave a joint of pork in to slow cook. If your heat retention is really good, you cook start cooking at 130'C and leave it in for say 8 hours till it falls to 110'C. I find the temperature fall is pretty similar with an empty oven to one with a joint of meat in.
G'day A good level of insulation will maximize the heat that you put into an oven. Davnotts right about measuring you oven so you'll know how it preforms. What a lot forget is that you only get what you put into an oven. Heat will only move through the brick at roughly 25 mm per hour. So most brick ovens will generally require 4 hours of heat to be fully saturated. That's not a big fire especially not one with the flames roaring up the chimney. It's a good steady fire doesn't require lots of wood but requires good wood over time. These are old school ovens not instant ones. In saying that above I do often fire my oven for an hour. Put my airtight door on and kill any fire. After 1/2 an hour. Scrape out the remains into an covered drum.( save the charcoal). A good wet mop out will get you a steamy 220c oven and 4 loafs of bread. At the end add a roast and 2 to 3 hours later it will be done. You don't have to take you oven to the max to wait till next day for it to cool enough to use. Regards dave
This is my method of making bread. I'm not interested in being the best bread maker on the planet but I find this gives me a consistent loaf ever time without the fuss. Regards dave
PS. I've just re read this method after a few years of just doing it. I did notice that it recommends 2 to 3 hours of heating the oven, all that says is know you own oven as davenott first said.
I use a similar method. Because our family can't eat more than a loaf of bread in a day we usually only cook a couple of loaves at a time, or maybe one loaf and a couple of baguettes. My short cut is to use a bread maker on dough setting. This means I can make up 1 Kg at a time. The bread maker mixes and proves the dough while I light the oven and feed the fire. I stop after exactly one hour and let the flames die, by which time the oven has reached around 250C. It is not saturated with heat but has stored plenty to cook a couple of loaves. The dough has risen nicely and I turn it out, shape the loaves and place them on trays. This helps prevent ash on the bottom of the bread and takes the sting out of the oven floor. I don't remove the coals, but just push them aside, they go out once the door has been placed. This method saves time and fuel on firing up, removes the need to empty the coals and ash from the oven and the mopping of the floor. Probably not the best method for cooking a big batch of bread, but pretty fuss free for a couple of loaves.
Today I did a slowed cooked loin of pork with pears. I followed the good advice on here nd cooked the pork for 6 hours at 130c . I took the meat out and brought the fire up to cook pizza for the kids. Then when the fire had cooled , cooked the sweet potato and crisped the skin on the meat. The whole meal was a massive success , the meat was perfect.thanks for all the help!