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Starting the fire help and brush? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Starting the fire help and brush?

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  • Starting the fire help and brush?

    Do you have any tips to share for getting the fire going? It seems to be taking me a REALLY long time (nearly an Hour) and a lot of TLC to get the fire really going which is hard to do with 2 young kids. I am using twigs and cardboard to light oak pieces currently. I did just get a new batch of firewood so maybe that is the problem; but, the guy did tell me that it is dried properly (and I have used him before without problems). I figured that this can't be normal as you wouldn't be using the oven that often if this were the case. Any suggestions?

    Also, I know that I need to order the FB brush, but until then is there anything that you would recommend that I use? Would a grill brush work for now?

    I was trying to delay the upfront costs by only getting tools that I absolutely need and have purchased the peel, themometer and gloves. They are GREAT, but I need a way to clean the space where I lay the pizza. Do I have to spring for the brush now, or can it wait?

    As always, thanks so much for the help!!

    Claire

  • #2
    Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

    I do 1 match starts. 2 logs on the sides about wrist up to 6" with loose wadded newspaper in between. Then across that a layer of 3/8" or less x 6" long twigs, then 2 or 3 wrist or smaller parallel with the first ones. I build it in the entry, then push it in, and light it. Even with damp wood it still fires off.

    I do not put a whole lot of wood to start, once it is going I feed it.

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    • #3
      Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

      One match starts--that sounds nice. This plan does sound better than what I have been doing--more like one lighter starts :-)

      Thanks so much!!! I think I will go fire it up now.

      C

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      • #4
        Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

        Another thing that gets things moving faster is a propane torch on start-up. Build your fire with tender, kindling, and graduating larger pieces...tipi style is how I do it, then light it with the torch for a few minutes - you'll have a blaze going in no time.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

          "Would a grill brush work for now?"

          No. They have steel wire bristles and will degrade the surface of your fire brick. You want a copper or brass brush.

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          • #6
            Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

            If your oven is new it will still be moist and a bitch to fire. Just keep firing and it should get better. On the subject of a brush I always use a length of 12mm copper pipe to blow the ash away from the cooking surface rather than a brush. It works really well and is also useful for starting stubborn fires.
            Dave
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

              Originally posted by david s View Post
              On the subject of a brush I always use a length of 12mm copper pipe to blow the ash away from the cooking surface rather than a brush. It works really well and is also useful for starting stubborn fires.
              Thanks for that idea. I will use a length of copper piping for now and see how that works out.

              George
              George

              My 34" WFO build

              Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

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              • #8
                Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                Here, I found a pic of the firewood just before I push it in:

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                • #9
                  Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                  Yep, 1-match starts for me too (I was a boy scout so I get VERY frustrated if I lose it on the first match. ). My approach is similar to Tscar's except that I make a much bigger mess before I light it; it never looks as pretty as his. Same idea though: large logs on the bottom to build a "house" for the tinder and kindling, then I stuff wood in there until the outside of the oven starts bowing out (j/k). Then I light it and stand waaaay back. It's fun watching it explode into flame.

                  If you're having trouble, determine which stage you're losing it at. If it's immediate, your tinder is too wet. If that burns out without catching any wood, your kindling is too wet (or too big). This advice makes sense of course.

                  Best of luck.
                  Attached Files

                  Website: http://keithwiley.com
                  WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
                  Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

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                  • #10
                    Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                    Half the fun of these ovens is the playing with fire. That primevel thing, me Tarzan you Jane stuff. Hmm makes me feel like grabbing my wife by the hair and dragging her to the... sorry getting carried away.
                    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                      Forget paper. As a Boy Scout I stumbled on using wax paper! Heck of a difference and if it gets wet it dries fast. The wax helps generate higher temperatures. Just crumple up pieces of wax paper (I use it instead of plastic wrap whenever I can in the kitchen) like you normally would with paper.

                      Top Down fires only for me after learning about them here and trying them.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                        Especially for getting started... I would kind of skip the copper pipe. Do a search on bellows, I posted some plans to build some a while back.
                        I used an old shelf for the wood and some leather out of the scrap bin at a fabric store -- any thick upholstery fabric would work too.

                        Much safer than accidentally taking a breath with the pipe in the oven. And the bellows will blow the ash clear too.

                        About the brush, I have rather stringent budget concerns myself.... I use a wooden handled wall paper brush screwed to a long stick. Dip it in water or mist the bristles and sweep...

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                        • #13
                          Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                          Re oak firewood
                          I burn a lot of firewood keeping 3 buildings heated through 6 months of snow cover and of all the types of wood I burn oak can be the most tricky , The local red oak has to be aged 2 years before most of the locals will touch it . if it hissed or foam /wettness shows up on the end it's wet! Try putting the next firings wood in the oven when you have finished cooking and leave it in with the door open to ''force dry''
                          tim

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                          • #14
                            Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                            I cheat I use charcoal starter packs. I build the logs up like Tscar but instad of newspaper I put the starter pack on a thin piece of wood and light the pack on fire. Fastest way I have fould to get a good fire going. You can find them at home depot or I have a recipe somewhere on making them yourself.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Starting the fire help and brush?

                              Someone on a previous thread suggested used and dried teabags with the strings removed, placed in a jar of methylated spirits. I now do the same. I used to compost them but they don't break down for some reason and the strings are a nuisance.
                              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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