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Alternative fuel sources - 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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Alternative fuel sources

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  • Alternative fuel sources

    Anybody familiar with using alternative fuel sources (other than Jim's LP)?

    Someone asked about charcoal and pelletized wood. Any thoughts?

    James

    Has anyone considered using pellitized wood in these ovens?

    This company
    has successfully used the wood pellets in their barbecues and smokers.

    The dealer who sells pellitized wood heating/cooking stoves here in Lancaster is a friend and he sells a huge number of the pellet stoves (he has about 20 styles in his store at any one time) and they develop a lot of heat with much less fuel than the traditional wood stove.

    He sells only the Energex wood pellets as there are no additives.

    It seems to me that the pellets could be used to do the primary heating of the oven, then the residue raked out and regular wood added late in the heating time, perhaps burning in a different area of the oven, left in the oven to maintain the temperature.

  • #2
    don't you need to force air with a fan over the pellets? i remember there was a winter storm a few years back that cut off power to the placerville area here for a long time and everyone who was heating their home with pellet stoves was*out of heat. of course you could always stand*in front of*your pizza oven*with the trusty hair dryer ...*
    Roberts

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    • #3
      The best source of fuel (by far) for a brick oven is cull lumber from Home Depot or Lowes. It is 100% free. And for a loaf of bread they will precut it for you.*
      Dianne

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      • #4
        I have several ovens running on alternative fuels other than timber. We have one running on pelletized wood waste; however, this is a commercial oven using a sophisticated control system to deliver forced draft to the combustion chamber. The other fuel we have in use and works very well are hardwood shaving and sawdust made into briquettes. This fuel delivers a very good heat and is much improved if you can mix it with a little amount of softwood sticks. The sticks seam to have the effect of drawing more oxygen through the briquettes and increasing the heat of the fire.

        Briquettes unfortunately are very expensive and very a great deal in quality so if you need to use them make surd they are made from wood rather than paper / cardboard waste

        Alf

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        • #5
          Alf,

          Are these the French ovens, where the combustion chamber is below oven floor and heat is delivered into the oven using a directional vent? Is that a common design for larger wood-fired commercial bread ovens?

          James

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          • #6
            This design of oven is certainly a very common one for ovens in France used for large-scale high quality bread production and is derived from the Italian Viennese ovens of the mid 1800s. Along with the German side-fired ovens they have several advantages over the standard Roman or the prevailing Scot style ovens, in that they provide the commercial baker with an oven that can be fired to certain temperatures for certain applications, also with the fire being under (or in the side fired type to the side of) the oven there is less mess to clear from the baking chamber before baking commences.

            The Bettys and Taylor’s oven has a baking chamber of 2.7 wide x 3 meters deep. The first one-hour firing of the baking day (80 kilos wood) will provide enough energy within the oven to bake three loads of bread (each load will contain approximately 80 – 110 loves of 500 grams). The oven can then be refired for approximately 45 minutes and be ready for another three loads of bread and can continue in this way for however long the baker requires it to do so. Once the bread of the day has been taken care of, the oven can then be allowed to cool and be used for cakes, pies, biscuits, casseroles, slow roasted meats etc.

            I stress that these are commercial bread ovens used in a commercial bread baking environment. However, I believe that we can lean from these “high tech wood-fired ovens” and transfer some of their characteristics into the home occasional oven. First of all, as I have posted before, for a home user “go round”! – why ignore thousands of years of Mediterranean culture that have produced such ovens? Keep the thermal mass low (as opposed to a commercial oven) and the insulation high to assist in quick heat up. Use your oven as often as possible and above all have lots f fun.

            Alf

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