Wood Burning Pizza Ovens, Imported From Italy to the USA!

Curing Guide

These steps are crucial for the longevity of the oven, DO NOT rush through it and you will enjoy your oven for a very long time!

Curing is the process by which your oven is gradually and uniformly dried out of the humidity that might have been accumulated in the oven during the building and assembly stages.
During the process of heating up, thermal expansion occurs, and to maintain the same rate of expansion and to prevent structural cracks, the materials need to be as dry as possible.
Small hairline expansion lines are normal and will not affect the performance of your oven, while larger, structural cracks could diminish its efficiency and cause issues down the road, so this is a step you do not want to skip or rush through! While curing fires do not need to occur on consecutive days, best results have been achieved with no more than two days between heat cycles.

The objective of curing a wood burning Subito Cotto pizza oven is to increase the temperature inside the oven gradually (no more than 50 degrees C/hour), avoiding thermal shock. To achieve that, start a small fire in a separate location, such as a charcoal chimney starter, and only place the pan in the oven when the flames have decreased in intensity (you want to avoid a flame touching the dome).
Add coals or small amounts of wood to feed the fire while avoiding large pieces that would generate a large flame, moving the pan inside the oven every 30 minutes or so to ensure the entire floor is heats up evenly.

Once your entire oven has reached 200 degrees Celsius (dome, walls and floor), maintain that temperature for around 2 hours, let the fire go out and allow your oven to return to ambient temperature.

You will need to repeat those steps for every curing fire, with the following temperature targets:

  • 1st Fire 200 C/2 hours
  • 2nd Fire 250 C/3 Hours
  • 3rd Fire 300 C/2 hours

The remaining curing fires can be started directly in the oven, as long as the fires are small and you allow your oven to heat up slowly. If you have purchased an oven with a gas burner you can start using the burner to continue the curing. Continue curing the oven with the following schedule:

  • 4th Fire 350 C/2 hours
  • 5th Fire 400 C/2 hours

Your oven is now cured and you can start cooking!

Your oven will release water during curing, when it does keep the temperature steady until it stops and then resume your curing fires. From the technical standpoint, water will be expelled until the entire oven has reached 350 degrees C. for 3 or 4 times, so it is not unusual to see water even after several fires. As you cure you might see small expansion lines, they are normal, but are exasperated by too much heat too soon, so always bring your oven to temperature gradually.
If your oven was ever to suffer from water infiltration, let it dry completely for at least 7 days, (you can use a small space heater to decrease the humidity) and then cure again. We also recommend a mini curing after prolonged periods of inactivity, and should you be using your oven during the winter months a gentle heating up to prevent thermal shock.

For your continued enjoyment, please follow these simple Do`s and Don`t



  • FOLLOW the instruction for curing your wood fired oven. Failure to follow the curing instructions can cause damage to the oven.
    ALWAYS ensure that children and pets are kept at a safe distance from your wood fired oven, both during and after operation. We suggest children under the age of 16 should be supervised when using the oven
  • ALWAYS ensure the oven is sited on a level base. The stand MUST NOT tilt
  • DO NOT modify in any way the wood fired oven from the manufacturer specifications
  • DO NOT block the flue pipe
  • ONLY USE untreated, well-seasoned, dry hard wood
  • DO NOT burn rubbish in your oven
  • DO NOT use any kind of flammable liquids or fuel (Including, but not limited to firelighter fluid, gasoline, diesel, Kerosene etc.) at any time to start or maintain a fire
  • BEWARE of High internal temperatures. Your oven can easily reach temperatures in excess of 400C°, use caution when cooking and baking food in your oven
  • DO NOT insert unprotected hands or arms inside your wood burning oven while or after operations. If burns occur, immerse in cold water and seek medical advice
  • ALWAYS used approved bakeware, long utensils, gloves and mitts when using your wood fired oven
  • DO NOT leave a fire unsupervised.
  • DO NOT allow your oven to become wet. If it does, wait until the oven is fully dry (at least a full week since water intrusion) and follow your curing instructions to dry it properly before use. You can use a space heater before the first curing fire to reduce the moisture content.
  • DO NOT use water to calm or extinguish a fire, except in an emergency
  • DISPOSE of cool ash in an approved bin, add to compost or spread it on garden as nutrient.
  • DO NOT inhale ash or dust.
  • DO NOT place frozen foods in a hot oven.

How to set up your wood fire oven.

  • Follow the Assembly instructions.
  • Check that all bolts are securely tightened using an adjustable wrench.
  • Decide where to place your stand. It needs to be on the heart and level surface, preferably in a concrete, tiled or decked area, which can easily hold the weight of the oven (depending on the model, it can exceed 750 pounds)
  • Warning. there is a risk of toppling if not sited level or if sited on soft ground. To prevent the risk of toppling we recommend siting the oven up against a wall, fence or hedge.
  • DO NOT lean against the oven.
  • Make sure the oven is in a safe distance from any flammable surfaces and that there is enough space around the flu pipe for smoke to disperse.

How to care for your oven.

  • You do not need to clean the oven with cleaning product because the high temperature will kill any germs or bacteria. Any food spillage will simply get burned to ashes which you can sweep out each use or when ash has built up, allow the ash to cool and sweep it out the oven with a metal brush into a suitable metal container. Afterwards you can use the cool ashes as fertilizer.
  • Never throw water into the oven or introduce frozen food into a hot oven, as the thermal shock could damage the oven.
  • It’s a good idea to clean the flu pipe every once in a while. Use a brush to loosen up any soot stuck inside the pipe or underneath the rain cap.
  • Metal components may be resprayed with heat resistant paint such as barbecue paint available in a DIY stores
  • The different density between the refractory concrete and mortar allows for thermal expansion and contraction. Over time, it might be necessary to touch up the seams between the concrete parts to maintain optimal performance.

Learn Why Zio Ciro Ovens Make The Best Pizza Ever

Questions? Call us and ask!