All ingenious things are simple. So is tandoor.
Tandoor’s design has remained virtually unchanged for the past three thousand years. The recent modern technological modifications have merely improved tandoor’s heat conductivity and transformed the oven from stationary into portable. A fire is lit inside the oven. As wood chips are gradually burning and turning to coals they are generating strong long-lasting cooking heat while the oval shape of tandoor oven provides for superior heat conductivity making sure that food is cooked evenly.
Things you should know about your tandoor and Frequently Asked Questions
- The first time you use your tandoor, ensure that you gradually increase the temperature to condition the interior of your oven. This step is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your tandoor. This can be done by starting with a very small fire and slowly adding fuel to gradually increase the amount of heat inside the tandoor.
- You may notice some hairline cracks forming in during conditioning but don’t be alarmed, this is normal and will not interfere with the performance of your tandoor oven. When your oven cools off, the hairline cracks will barely be noticeable. They are essential in allowing the clay body of your tandoor breathe. Please see the following link for some more information (thermal expansion and contraction)
- The slower you increase the temperature inside the tandoor during your first use, the fewer hairline cracks will develop.
A much more detailed guide is available in PDF format below
The cracks do not affect the longevity, operational properties and structural integrity of the Tandoor, rather they act as thermal joints during heating that are necessary for the efficient operation of all ceramic ovens.
Once the Tandoor has cooled down, these cracks will become almost invisible.
We cover that in our maintenance video.
For normal operation of your tandoor we recommend using firewood.
Once you have a small fire started, load your tandoor 2/3 full (or more) with firewood and wait for the fire to burn out. Softer type is recommended since it burns quickly and with higher intensity vs hardwood. You can find the perfect firewood in convenience stores at gas stations (in US and Canada).
In 40-50 minutes that intensive fire will heat up your tandoor enough for the soot (black carbon on the inner walls) to turn white. That is how you know your tandoor reached high temperature and it’s ready for cooking.
At this time if you still have chunks of firewood left inside of the tandoor, you can remove those through the top (using provided scraper and shovel), or just break up the remaining burnt wood inside your tandoor. Spread those ambers on the bottom, and you are ready to load your food.
The objective is to heat up your tandoor evenly so it does not crack further (too cold on the outside and too hot on the inside – tandoor walls are very thick and it takes time to heat them up)