Curing Your Pizza Oven

The day has come!!!  Your beautiful new traditional brick oven has arrived or maybe you just put the finishing touches on a DIY oven.  Either way, you are ready to start making pizza, right?  Not quite yet.  It is extremely important that before you start cooking, you properly cure your pizza oven. 

What Does It Mean to Cure a Pizza Oven?

Simply speaking, to cure a pizza oven means to remove any potential residual moisture from the oven that might have accumulated through the build and/or assembly of your pizza oven.  This is a gradual process over several days where heat is moderately increased with the intention of removing the moisture slowly.  As you heat your oven, thermal expansion occurs allowing the moisture to exit the brick oven.  If you heat your new pizza oven too quickly, the integrity of the oven can be compromised. After you finish the process, protect your oven from the elements and you should never have to cure it again.  Curing is an essential step that should be performed with patience and care to ensure you are able to enjoy your pizza oven for years to come! 

Why Do I Need to Cure My Brick Pizza Oven?

Although your pizza oven might seem dry, there are often small moisture pockets that still remain.  All brick pizza ovens will develop small hairline cracks over time from expansion - this is normal and to be expected.  In fact, some pizzaiolos even see the small, superficial external cracks as a badge of honor, showing frequent use of their oven!  If you do not like the appearance of the small cracks, then you can use a crack repair kit to easily cover them.  However, if you heat your oven too quickly and/or at too high of a temperature without removing the excess moisture (aka curing your oven), your oven will more than likely develop larger cracks that can cause structural concerns and diminish the efficiency of your oven.  These brick ovens are built to last, but they need your help to strengthen their structure and live up to their potential. 

So now that you understand the importance of curing your new oven, your next question is obviously…

How Do I Cure My Brick Oven?

Once again, the most important step is to heat slowly.  Before you start, make sure that you have a thermometer and an ample supply of hard, dry wood if curing a wood burning pizza oven.  Some examples of hardwoods are Oak, Hickory, Apple, Cherry, Pecan and Maple to name a few.  It is not recommended to use charcoal, paper, treated wood or any other material.  Now you are ready to get started!  The initial fire should be on the smaller side and you will need to monitor your heat closely.  Starting with kindling placed inside of your pizza oven is recommended.  Slowly add wood as needed to reach and maintain the desired temperature.  This is the schedule that you will want to follow to properly cure your brick oven:

  • Day One: Heat your oven to 140 °F / 60 °C for 4-5 hours.
  • Day Two: Heat oven at 215 °F / 100 °C for 4-5 hours.
  • Day Three: Heat oven at 300 °F / 150 °C for 4-5 hours.
  • Day Four: Heat at 400 °F / 200 °C for 4-5 hours.
  • Day Five: Heat at 480 °F / 250 °C for 4-5 hours.

Tips While Curing Your Oven:

  • Close your oven Door and chimney flue after your cure to maintain heat and keep moisture out (note: do not close your oven door completely without vent holes open while the fire is burning during the curing process unless trying to diminish the fire)
  • Although curing 5 consecutive days is ideal, your curing days do not necessarily have to be consecutive. However, it is best not to let more than 2 days lapse between curing days if possible.
  • Do not use water to put out a fire or lower the temperature. If you find your temperature is getting too high, safely separate the wood to disrupt the fire.
  • Do not allow your flame to get too high or your oven temperature to get too elevated (especially first two days). Not exceeding the recommended curing temperatures if very important.
  • Never use soft woods, treated woods, paper products or flammable liquids in your oven.
  • Always protect your oven from the elements. Monitor your weather and if there will be bad weather or rain during the curing days, make sure that your oven is covered and start back on the next dry day.  If your oven happens to get wet, wait until the oven is fully dry and follow your curing instructions before first use.

Now that you have all of the information that you need about curing your brick oven, you are ready to get started.  Take care of your oven and it will take care of you!  Remember to always protect it from the elements.  If you have any questions or if you are interested in purchasing a new brick oven, feel free to email us at You can also check out our full line of pizza ovens at