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Thick Black Smoke out the Front - 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.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

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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Thick Black Smoke out the Front

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  • Thick Black Smoke out the Front

    I have just installed my new Napolino 70. I started curing it this morning with some kindling. But thick black smoke keeps coming out of the front of my oven. Even when it reached 300 degrees and I tried to keep it at temp, more wood meant more black smoke. What am I doing wrong? I used kindling that said fat wood. There is so much soot coming out that I am continually wiping it away. HELP!

  • #2
    Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

    Let me start by saying that I have a home-built Pompeii oven, not a Napolino 70... but I think my comments are still relevant.

    1) First of all, I would say not to worry about the black smoke right now! Black smoke is normal for an uncured oven. You may not believe it now, but all of that black soot inside your oven will burn off once your oven is cured and the oven is up to temperature.
    2) Some of the soot near the entrance will also burn away (but not all). I would not bother trying to wipe it away - you will make an unnecessary mess. Wait until your oven is cured and up to temperature before you assess the soot situation. You can clean up what's left then. Some soot is a sign of an oven that is being used!
    3) Lastly - make sure you use dry hardwood in your oven. (Oak is ideal) I don't think fatwood is a good idea - fatwood has a lot of resin in it so that it burns for a long time.

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    • #3
      Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

      I agree. As far as I know, Fatwood is pine, which is a softwood and that type of wood is not generally recommended, from what I have read. Try some good dry and seasoned oak or other hardwood, if you can find some.
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      • #4
        Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

        More to the point, fatwood is pine that is full of resin/sap. Great for starting a fire, and great for producing smoke in a fire that is already started!

        Find some hardwood limbs or chop it up so it's about as big as your wrist. Make sure the wood is seasoned.
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        • #5
          Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

          Down here, "fat wood" is called lighter'd. It is the very heart of ancient pine trees. It is a great fire starter. Even in wet conditions. But, it is full of pine resin which is rich in turperntine. It can produce nothing but, thick black smoke.

          Just sayin'

          Edit: You might want to try preheating the flu before you light the oven. Also, the "birdsnest material" sized twigs that fall from hardwood trees makes great firestarter. It and your wood need to be dry, though.
          Last edited by Gulf; 06-30-2014, 05:12 PM.
          joe watson

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          • #6
            Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

            Fatwood is pine that has been struck by lightning, turning the sap into something like turpentine. You would only want to use a very small handful of slivers to get your fire going, not use it as the primary fuel.

            As a kid, my brothers and I hunted fatwood and chopped and sold it as kindling. It will burn like a torch and destroy your axe, don't even think about ruining a chainsaw on it.

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