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What is the temperature used in a tandoor for making naan or kulcha? I know it's higher than 500 deg. F [260 deg. C], but don't know the exact range of temperatures resestaurants use.

Update: Having baked my naan in a Big Green Egg knockoff for more than a year now, I can say that the ideal temperature seems to be between 600 deg. F and 700 deg. F. This may not be the range of temperature in a tandoor, but for baking naan on a pizza stone in a ceramic oven, the range I mentioned seems to work.

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There isn't much detailed information for this online. Even the various manufacturers don't generally cite desired temperatures. Wikipedia says up to 480C/900F, but does not cite a source for this temperature. The NY Times says that a traditional charcoal tandoor gets up to 750F, but does not mention a source either. Homedoor, the one manufacturer who mentions a temperature, says that their units go up to 650F.

None of these sources mention a desired optimal temperature, though. It seems likely that the temperature would be similar to the optimal temperature for Neopolitan pizza, between 600F and 700F.

Also, a tandoor is designed so that the clay walls will be hotter than the air inside the oven -- I'd assume probably 50-100F hotter, but that's basically a blind guess as I can't find any measurements anywhere.

The one thing I can tell you from personal experience is that you cannot make Indian naan with the proper texture in a home oven with a pizza stone which only gets up to 525F. Believe me, I've tried.

Links:

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Thanks for your answer. I agree with your comment about home ovens. However, I am trying this out in a ceramic charcoal oven (similar to the Big Green Egg brand), so I can actually reach a temperature of upto 900 deg. F. –  Avinash Bhat Aug 27 '11 at 20:51
    
The Big Green Egg should work admirably well as a tandoor. That's essentially what it is. –  FuzzyChef Aug 28 '11 at 21:24
    
Update to my question: I tried making naan at approximately 650 deg. F and it seemed to work well. –  Avinash Bhat Aug 29 '11 at 14:05
    
Glad to hear it. Now I know too ... –  FuzzyChef Aug 31 '11 at 22:35
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