Corten steel products come with the additional service that the corrosion process has already started by the time they are delivered. Upon delivery, it takes another 6-12 months for the initial corrosion to turn into a fully protective layer. Due to this the color of the products can differ.
For optimum user comfort, we recommend using oven-dried/very dry wood with max. 20% humidity to prevent smoke formation during cooking. Moreover, oven-dried/very dry wood is much easier to light. One should use a harder type of wood because softer wood like birch wood does burn down way too quickly meaning that huge quantities are needed. Be very careful when using tropical hardwood. It does generate a huge amount of heat and when using too much of it at the same time, it can cause the cooking plate to warp. Oven-dried beech wood is best, because it heats very well and burns down to a mass of coals that optimally heats up the cooking plate. Oak wood we prefer less because it burns down to thin ash. Ash wood is a good compromise between beech and oak.
The ideal size for the logs is around 10 x 30 cm. We advise against using larger pieces of wood. These do tend to catch fire quickly, but generally do not burn down properly due to the lack of space for oxygen in the cone. For the 85 model you need to use smaller logs as the opening of the plate is slightly smaller than the 100 model.
For an evening of cooking (4-5 hours) you will need in average around two OFYR® Wood Bags of around 50 liters each, depending on the outdoor temperature and the weather conditions.
Charcoal can be used for heating the cooking plate, but the plate might get less hot. A combination of woodfire in the middle and charcoal around it does work better. Coconut briquettes are the preferred charcoal to use. Of course, woodfire does create a much nicer atmosphere than charcoal!
Stack the pieces of wood two by two, as if you were building a log cabin, with the bark facing outwards to further prevent smoke formation. With OFYR XL one should build three “log cabins” in order to speed up the heating of the plate. When you light the fire and when you add new wood to the fire, it will generally smoke for a bit until it catches fire properly. By using the OFYR Buffadoo blowing pipe this smoke can be avoided to a large extent.
Every kind of vegetable oil can be used for cooking because of the higher combustion rate. It is best to start with olive oil. Olive oil has a lower combustion rate and will therefore form a a nice brown-black hue. After the first few uses (2-3 times) you can start using other oil types such as sunflower oil or groundnut oil, whatever your taste prefers.
It is important to light a smaller fire for roughly 30 minutes to allow the cooking plate to settle properly. During manufacture, the middle of the cooking plate was pressed down just slightly. When the cooking plate is heated, it will bend down even further, but if you light too big a fire during your initial use of your OFYR® Cooking Unit, this may cause the cooking plate to bend down too far during future use. It is very important to prepare the cooking plate properly using the procedure outlined above.
Once the cooking plate is really well heated, drizzle on olive oil and spread it with a kitchen towel. The olive oil will mix with the factory oil and will make it easy to remove the factory oil. If olive oil is put on the plate when this is not well heated, what comes off is a sticky black substance that is not easy to remove. Drizzle on olive oil 2-3 times. Then scrape down the cooking plate with the supplemented spatula and push the scrapings into the fire. Once all you can manage to scrape off is beige scrapings, the cooking plate is clean and ready for use. Simply drizzle on olive oil once more and spread it out and start cooking!
Depending on the weather conditions and the outdoor temperature, the cooking plate will reach a temperature of around 300˚C on the inner edge and around 200˚C on the outer edge.
The time needed to heat up the cooking plate very much depends on the outdoor temperature. The time needed can range from 25-30 minutes during spring and summer to 45-60 minutes during fall and winter.
No extra air supply is needed, enough air comes in through the opening in the cooking plate.
The cooking capacity of the 85, 100 and XL cooking plates depends of the type of food that is prepared. When preparing simple food like hamburgers and sausages, veggies etc. the capacity is for resp. 30-40, 60-70 and 150-170 persons. For entire multi-course meals, the numbers are 10-12, 15-20 and 30-40. Of course, these numbers will depend on the skills of the chef.
Temperature zones can be used to create a warmer and colder side of the plate. The hotter side can be used to grill, for example, meat. The colder side can be used to grill, for example, salmon or keep foods warm.
When the wood turns into coal you can start to create temperature zones by pushing around the coals. By pushing more coals to one side, the plate becomes hotter on that side.
If any food residue is left behind on the cooking plate, simply push it into the fire using the spatula. Rub the cooking plate down with an oiled cloth frequently, and it will be spotless again. We recommend that you do not allow a thick layer of residue to build up, because it will be hard to remove. It is better to scrape down the cooking plate frequently. If nevertheless thick layers of residue have built up, put ice cubes one the plate and scrape it with the spatula and the residue will disappear quickly.
The best way is to let the fire die out on its own. For safety reasons the flames can be covered by the Snuffer. However, the fire will not die out when the Snuffer is put on the plate, because there is still some air supply. When covering the fire for a longer period of time with the Snuffer, such will cause strong smoke formation. When then removing the Snuffer, such might lead to sudden and big flames due to sudden air supply. Hot ashes and charcoal that remain from the burned down firewood, can be covered by the Snuffer in order to avoid these to be blown away.
The ashes should be removed from the cone after each use. With the Island and Storage versions ashes can collect on the top plate under the cone. Remove both plate and cone to remove those ashes and to enable a proper flow through of rainwater. Ashes can be removed with a dustpan and a brush.
If for whatever reason the hot charcoal needs to be disposed of straight after cooking, the following procedure is best. Wearing heat resistant gloves remove the hot charcoal from the cone with a brush and a metal dustpan and put the hot charcoal in an empty zinc bin. Throw cold water in the bin till the hot ash is entirely wed and dispose of the ash as is allowed according to local regulations.
In order to avoid the cone of getting clogged, please remove the ashes after each use. When the ashes get wet and stay in the cone rust chips might form on the Corten cones and the coating of the Black cones might come off.
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After cleaning the cooking plate, a layer of vegetable oil should be applied to prevent the cooking plate from rust. Pancoating can also be used. Pancoating keeps the plate greasy for a long time and does not evaporate quickly. Treating the cooking plate with pancoating is also easier when the cooking plate is cold. When the cooking plate is not used for longer periods of time, we recommend treating it with oil or pancoating every 15-30 days. The amount of corrosion does very much depend on the climate. Salty, humid air is obviously much worse than dry air.
If you use your OFYR Cooking Unit a lot, a smooth layer of carbon residue will build up on the plate, making it extra smooth and extra comfortable to use. From time to time, this layer might come off here and there. When you spot it chipping in places, simply scrape off the chips using the spatula, and rub on new oil. The carbon residue layer will gradually renew itself this way.
While cooking oil splashes may form stains on the base. On the Corten steel bases these stains cannot be removed. However, the entire Corten steel base can be treated with oil using a kitchen towel making the stains invisible. Such treatment will make the entire base darker. When it rains, slightly greasy water may run off the Corten base, which may permanently stain light-toned stone or wooden surfaces.
The OFYR cooking unit can be left outdoors all year round. It is recommended to use the cover.
There is a small hole in the cone of the classic model. With the Storage and Island models the water runs through the double-walled side of the base. The PRO models have an ashtray. The cone always will need to be emptied after cooking, because otherwise possible rainwater will not run through.
It is recommended to store the wooden blocks indoors. Wood is a natural product and is therefore sensitive to weather influences.
The ceramic blocks can be left outdoors.
Although the coating of the Black Cooking Units is very strong, it is always possible that scratches will occur. Therefore with every Black Cooking Unit a touch up bottle comes for free, which can be used to repair minor damage.