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Lighting a fire - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Lighting a fire

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  • Lighting a fire

    OK, I know construction, not good fire starting! I am having trouble starting a fire in the oven I made. I downloaded the instructions from this site and ended up building the oven pretty close to spec. It has an ID of 40" and is about 18-1/2" high at the center. The door opening ended up about 18-1/2" wide and 12" tall/ The reason I give this is I hope I am not choking it off of a good air supply! I lit the paper fire in it the first time and it burned quickly and drafted reasonably well. But when I go to burn wood it looks more like a barbecue fore and never really takes off! Perhaps the wood is wet? Maybe I am just too impatient and don't build a good base fire before I add the split wood? I don't know. I did see the primer on this site. Any other ideas??

  • #2
    Re: Lighting a fire

    Could be wet wood. Also, try the top down approach...
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f41/...ideo-5294.html
    Drake
    My Oven Thread:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Lighting a fire

      Dry, dry, dry. The top down method works extremely well. Also you can't be in a rush to throw on logs...you should not have anything bigger than 1" or 1 1/4" in there for the first ten minutes or so. Once these sticks start to take off, you can progressively get bigger, 1 or two logs at a time. By twenty to twenty five minutes you should have a really big fire.....amp it up to a scary fire for 15 minutes to 1/2 hr longer and the dome goes white. With really dry hickory or citrus my dome goes white in 45-50 minutes, the current batch of oak takes about an hour.

      the key is those first few minutes with good dry kindling stacked "top down".

      RT

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      • #4
        Re: Lighting a fire

        Thanks, I will watch the video and give it a try. I take it no one is thinking there is a construction flaw at this point!

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        • #5
          Re: Lighting a fire

          No, the door to dome and dome height proportions seem just fine.
          Drake
          My Oven Thread:
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lighting a fire

            I tried the top-down approach for the 1st time last weekend and it really works! Definitely worth giving it a try.
            Picasa web album
            Oven-building thread

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lighting a fire

              I really agree using dry wood is the secret.

              I light my fire differently, when I build my fire I lay small logs or splits maybe 3" in diameter in two rows one each side of the entrance and two deep (end to end) forming an alleyway. I then simply crumple several sheets of newspaper and throw between and cross stack with dry 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch splits and cross stack again and then again each time closing the the distance so it is smaller at the top than the bottom. This going maybe four layers high. I then light the front of the newspaper, place the draft door in place and in a few minutes my WFO is panting and then burning well. The alleyway ducts the flames and literally a single strike with a match and one can stand back and it takes care of itself. Time to fetch a beer and watch the show!

              After twenty minutes or so I pull the door and stack on 2" logs a couple at a time and the oven is hot enough that the burst into flame very quickly.

              Lots of ways to start a fire and this one works for me.
              Bests,
              Wiley

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              • #8
                Re: Lighting a fire

                Try this..
                After your coals have died down,way down, fill the oven with the next days wood and let it kiln dry in the already hot oven

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lighting a fire

                  Originally posted by pizzaziggy View Post
                  Try this..
                  After your coals have died down,way down, fill the oven with the next days wood and let it kiln dry in the already hot oven
                  Ziggy, do you leave the door open or closed for this? Can you do it with recently cut wood?

                  Daren
                  Picasa web album
                  Oven-building thread

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lighting a fire

                    I always do this procedure even the day after , I fill the oven with wood even if its dry, yes close the door, if its fresh cut it will produce steam so crack the door a little, on the next firing I take it all out stack a pile in the oven (the rest under the oven storage to keep it dry ) (top down fire) a bunch of 1/2"-1" split 2 x4 dry of course I pick up at any construction site just cutoffs that are thrown away, on top of 1-2' oak or hickory or whatever you use to fire the oven, and place in the mists of the kindling a few fire starter purchased at Menards,a 5lb of 8"long 1/2" thick wood saturated in pine oil put a lighter or a torch (that's what I use it starts much faster )to the starter and watch it take off it works like a charm, not sure of the name of the starter its located in the fireplace section, only costs $5 you could start many fires with that one bag,
                    Last edited by MAVANO; 06-19-2009, 09:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lighting a fire

                      "After your coals have died down,way down, fill the oven with the next days wood and let it kiln dry in the already hot oven"

                      Make sure your oven has cooled to below about 451 Fahrenheit or you may end up with a "mid night firing".

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lighting a fire

                        Thanks for all of the tips! I tried my version of the top down method and could not have been happier with the result. There is no doubt that there is no design problem. Just my own impatience! I like the idea of using the oven heat to dry out the wood for the next fire. Great thought. I have a lot to learn yet, as I am more of a builder than a baker. But now I must enjoy some fruits of the labor and get some food cooked this weekend. Thanks Guys!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lighting a fire

                          I'm with you Mavano. I'm still in the curing process for my oven, however my good friend always piles in some wood (away from the ashes) after he has finished cooking for the day. This ensures that the wood he uses to spark his next fire is always as dry as possible, hence less smoke, and quicker heating time.

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