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Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it) - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

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  • Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

    We have a ton of cottonwoods here in Colorado and getting wood from those trees is very cheap. Has anyone used it as fuel in a pizza oven. I have perhaps two truck loads of the stuff and wanted to hear any feedback prior to splitting in into useable pieces. I'm going to guess it would be a very neutral wood.

  • #2
    Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

    Other than the fact that it burns fast so you will have to feed the fire more often from what I have heard what wood you burn is essentially immaterial. The WFO temp burns all the organics so...even noxious woods for BBQ like juniper (here in Texas) are no problem. The biggest consideration may be that you want to switch to a slower burning wood like oak once you actually start cooking. But for firing the oven and for baking it is not a big deal.

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    • #3
      Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

      I have some apple (from an old orchard) and some aspen ... the aspen is pretty much worthless as it's mostly water and rots when I attempt to dry it. I think ash is available, but cottonwoods are extremely common. thanks for the reply

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      • #4
        Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

        AFAIK, Cottonwood is one of the most worthless firewood types one can find. It has very low BTU content. It's miserable to cut and split. When I was growing up, we had a cottonwood round that we used to set all the other wood on when we split it. In 10 years that thing never split.

        See it near the bottom of the list here http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm
        Last edited by deejayoh; 10-09-2012, 09:47 AM.
        My build progress
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        • #5
          Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

          I'll spring for a few cords of real wood (like Oak) down the road. Thanks for that list. Very informative.

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          • #6
            Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

            I've used it in my fireplace insert to heat my home. It burns F.A.S.T! But, if I had a truck load of it for free, I'd use it. Like Texassourdough said, you want a long burning flame while you cook. Heat with the cottonwood and cook with another, harder wood.

            How about a picture of your oven Fred?
            Lee B.
            DFW area, Texas, USA

            If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
            Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
            An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

            I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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            • #7
              Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

              Still under construction but should be done this week

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              • #8
                Re: Cottonwood / Poplar as fuel (anyone try it)

                I agree, all dried woods burns in the oven, but oak, apple and cherry burn slower. We have burned cotton wood slabs, added after the coals get going.

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