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Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

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  • Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

    I've been using a couple small squares of non-toxic Fire Starters (Diamond Strike-a-Fire) and kindling to fire my oven. Just bought a bag of Fatwood which is a 100% natural, high-resin pine.

    So I'm wondering if either of these 2 products produce any ill-effects on my oven.... long-term or short. i.e. The Fire Starters use a wax... could this affect the oven floor?

    The Fatwood is a high resin pine... can toxins from burning this be absorbed into the oven?

  • #2
    Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

    I use a little piece of firestarter. I break up the longer sticks into chunks smaller than a piece of charcoal. If you use the "top down" method, and put the kindling on top and the firestarter just below it- wedge it in there, and then light it, you'll get a good fire nearly every time. I haven't noticed a problem with buildup since I use such a small piece, and I wouldn't think that a piece of fatwood would make a problem either.

    I know purists would say you don't need one, but I hate having to stand there making sure it's lit.
    Elizabeth

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

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    • #3
      Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

      I just keep stuffing crumpled newspaper in a cavity in the laid fire pile. I keep doing it until the fire starts to crackle and roar. Must be the pyromaniac in me. Besides, newspaper is free. Contrary to all reason, they keep dumping the stuff on my steps.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

        Since I'm the one doing most of the prep work as well as being in charge of the oven, quick -n- easy is the best. I tried newspaper during curing & it was a HUGE mess... never used it again.

        dmun... so are you saying the fire starters or Fatwood are not good??

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        • #5
          Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

          I think he's saying he's cheap. Being cheap myself, I have a soft spot for 'free'.

          I use food wrappers and cardboard packages. Don't really have to save much - a tissue box stuffed with twigs and a couple taco wrappers as a 'fuse' tucked under the pile is usually plenty. That saves newspaper for the more important litter box liner....
          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
          [/CENTER]

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          • #6
            Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

            Originally posted by Archena View Post
            I think he's saying he's cheap. Being cheap myself, I have a soft spot for 'free'.

            I use food wrappers and cardboard packages. Don't really have to save much - a tissue box stuffed with twigs and a couple taco wrappers as a 'fuse' tucked under the pile is usually plenty. That saves newspaper for the more important litter box liner....
            Well a 4lb bag of Fatwood, about 100 7" pieces... enough to last me a year or 2!... is under $4! They are contained nicely in a bag and ready to light, stick under your logs and walk away confident your fire will start. The time savings is well worth the 4 bux!

            Now if they were effecting my oven or food tastes somehow, then they wouldn't be worth it.

            So far, no one with any evidence of ill-effects of these fire starters???

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            • #7
              Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

              Do you get Fatwood at a store or online?
              Shay - Centerville, MN

              My Outdoor Kitchen/Pompeii WFO Build...

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              • #8
                Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                Originally posted by blacknoir View Post
                Do you get Fatwood at a store or online?
                I got mine while at my local Menards (Home Center) the other day.

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                • #9
                  Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                  It's just high resin pine - shouldn't be a problem unless you burn a ton of it and build up creosote. But those little starters shouldn't cause any noticeable creosote in the chimney and the oven will burn off any residue easily.
                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                  "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                  [/CENTER]

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                    I hunted, cut, bundled and sold fat-lighter as a kid in North Carolina. Made good money too.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                      Originally posted by Archena View Post
                      It's just high resin pine - shouldn't be a problem unless you burn a ton of it and build up creosote. But those little starters shouldn't cause any noticeable creosote in the chimney and the oven will burn off any residue easily.
                      Yeah, I guess my concern comes from reading somewhere... when I was 1st setting up my oven & reading everything I could, trying to absorb it all... that soft pine was bad to burn in an oven because of residue.

                      But doesn't all wood produce at least some creosote?

                      Is this the only concern with burning soft pine... the creosote? If so, I suppose the small amount used for kindling wouldn't be an issue.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                        Pine has three issues:

                        1) fast burning - it's not an efficient fuel wood for long burns. (But since it is often cheaper than hardwood it may not be any more expensive to use depending on local supply.)

                        2) Creosote - it will build up over time if a sufficient quantity of pine is being used. Good chimney maintenance will take care of the problem - it's not going to gunk up the chimney in one firing. (Remember, your chimney gets its teeth brushed once a year whether it needs it or not - and whether you use pine or not. Chimney fires are bad things.)

                        3) Flavor - Pine is highly resinous and imparts a strong flavor. Not a problem if only used early but the closer to cooking time the more likely it will alter the flavor. (This isn't necessarily bad - but few Americans find pine palatable. Unless you're preparing a medieval feast this probably won't work out well. If you are planning a medieval feast think pork or lamb.)
                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                        "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                        [/CENTER]

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                          How do you clean your chimney? I should do that this summer.

                          Do you think newspaper gives of Creosote?
                          Shay - Centerville, MN

                          My Outdoor Kitchen/Pompeii WFO Build...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                            Originally posted by blacknoir View Post
                            How do you clean your chimney? I should do that this summer.

                            Do you think newspaper gives of Creosote?
                            I remember having a chimney fire in my family's fireplace when I was young. I don't believe my Dad was burning pine. Based on that, I'm going to assume that burning any kind of wood gives off at least some creosote that can build over time.

                            Regular chimney cleanings were in order after that incident.

                            My oven chimney has a removable spark arrestor/cap on top so I would imagine it's just a matter of pulling that off & giving it a brushing. ???

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fire Starters or Fatwood Bad For Oven?

                              For the small chimneys on an oven a good brushing is more than enough. Probably need to give the arrester a good scrub while you're at it. A house chimney should be done professionally - they're bigger and trickier and REALLY bad if they catch on fire.

                              All wood produces residue - creosote is associated with resinous woods like cedar and pine. Doesn't matter - any wood will eventually gunk up a chimney. Only retorts and masonry ovens burn so thoroughly that the residue is nearly non-existent. The interior of the oven burns off the residue - but not in the chimney.

                              Newspaper doesn't produce creosote. Creosote is a residue of resin - the resin turns to vapor when burned and returns partially to resin when it cools. If it happens to smack into the 'cooler than the oven' wall of the chimney it sticks. When enough builds up it becomes flammable (technically, it just gets thick enough to hold a flame) and can catch fire - which is very, very bad.

                              Don't freak about it. Brush once a year - twice if it does get gunky - and you're good.
                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                              "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
                              [/CENTER]

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