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Using the Chimney Damper? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Using the Chimney Damper?

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  • Using the Chimney Damper?

    My oven has a short chinmney with a damper. This damper moves 90 degrees from open to closed positions.

    What I'm wondering is when do you use the damper? Should I dampen back the chimney when firing the unit to hold in some heat or is it better to let the fire go.

    When cooking with a fire inside, again should the damper be used? Or should I just control the fire with the fresh air damper in the door? Seems like if the fire is burning well and I can dampen back the chimney it will hold more heat and consume less fuel.

    And I'm assuming that if I pull out the fire/coals, it will be best to seal up all dampers to keep the heat in.

    Thanks for any thoughts based on your experiences.
    sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

  • #2
    I don't use my damper.

    Originally posted by Xabia Jim View Post
    My oven has a short chinmney with a damper. This damper moves 90 degrees from open to closed positions.

    (M) I have a metal walled flue in which I inserted a metal damper that I keep in the OPEN position. I would not again take the trouble to install one.

    What I'm wondering is when do you use the damper? Should I dampen back the chimney when firing the unit to hold in some heat or is it better to let the fire go.

    (M) I would be afraid of building up too much CO2 with it closed, particularly when first firing your oven. That would choke oxygen from your fire before it developed a good frontal draft. It also would prevent your flue from getting warm which also inhibits a good upward draft.

    When cooking with a fire inside, again should the damper be used? Or should I just control the fire with the fresh air damper in the door?

    (M) I'd use the front door as a kind of Venturi, possibly after perhaps 10 Min. to concentrate a strong draft toward the initial fire, but after about 10 Min. (you'd need to experiment as there are too many variables to speak unequivocally here) open the front door fully and let 'er rip!

    Seems like if the fire is burning well and I can dampen back the chimney it will hold more heat and consume less fuel.

    (M) That was also my conjecture but I've found that I'm "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul".

    And I'm assuming that if I pull out the fire/coals, it will be best to seal up all dampers to keep the heat in.

    (M) Yes, for baking ONLY, once all the coals have been raked out, then you have an opportunity to productively use your flue damper. But I'd never use it while doing a pizza with fire in the oven.

    (M) Closing the damper, and the front door may be of occasional use if you want to try to smoke meats or fish but this would produce, e.g., a BBQ smoked salmon and not a Nova Lox which needs cool smoke.

    Thanks for any thoughts based on your experiences.
    Ciao,

    Marcel
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
    but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)

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    • #3
      Thanks Marcel, makes sense to me!

      I plan on throwing a wet towel over the top when I switch to baking mode...hopefully some whole grain bread tomorrow!

      Enjoy every sandwich))
      sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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