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How much soot?

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  • How much soot?

    How much soot is normal on the front of your oven?

    I get a pretty good draw of smoke up my chimney, but some comes out the front while the fire is young. I'm burning slightly damp wood and haven't been able to achieve pizza hot temperatures yet, so those may be factors.

    What do you think, given these pictures after curing fires?
    Attached Files
    Keller TX
    Artigiano 39"
    former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
    www.leanblog.org
    http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: How much soot?

    Mark, that's certainly more soot than I see with my oven, even with damp wood. Your chimney draws better when hot, so be sure to start your initial kindling fire right under the chimney - usually for about 10 minutes. Once I start a fire in the dome a lot of smoke accumulates in the dome, but by preheating the chimney this is rapidly drawn up the flu rather than leaking out the front of the oven. I think the dome fire is also easier to get started once the oven is breathing well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How much soot?

      Thanks. With the artigiano oven, the vent is out in front of the oven opening. To build directly under the chimney, I'd be building the fire out on the stone landing at first. Does this seem wise? I'm going to try today with the fire as far forward in the oven as possible, then pushing it back.
      Keller TX
      Artigiano 39"
      former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
      www.leanblog.org
      http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How much soot?

        I think the problem would be alleviated if not elimated by the use of a draft door. A friend of mine, Lloyd Johnston, a highly qualified if not famous blacksmith, is working with me to build a combination draft and oven door. The Alpha version is finished, and the Beta version will incorporate a few tweaks to make it function better. I'll post pics when I have them. Also shot some video of Lloyd at his forge. When I figure out how to handle the footage, I'll post that, too, if it would be of interest. Lloyd also made me a forged rake, and he's thinking about how to go about making me a shovel long enough (and light enough) to reach the back of my oven.

        Cheers,

        Jim
        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How much soot?

          Originally posted by mgraban View Post
          To build directly under the chimney, I'd be building the fire out on the stone landing at first. Does this seem wise?
          Well, my landing is firebrick, but that's how I do it. The brick on my landing has become a bit discolored, but more from raking ash out of the oven than from building a fire on it. The landing brick also never gets hot enough to burn clean like the hearth does. I agree with Jim that a draft door may also help, but it would have to seal pretty well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How much soot?

            I will jump in with this.

            Mark, you mentioned that your wood is a little damp, and that you are chopping your own kindling. A slightly damp and more smokey fire will also create more soot. If you build a drier fire in the center of the floor, and let that catch nicely before adding wood, your fire will combust better and put out less smoke and result in less soot.

            Give that a try as well.
            James
            Last edited by james; 01-22-2007, 10:27 AM.
            Pizza Ovens
            Outdoor Fireplaces

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How much soot?

              Originally posted by james View Post
              I will jump in with this.

              Mark, you mentioned that your wood is a little damp, and that you are chopping your own kindling. A slightly damp and more smokey fire will also create more soot. If you build a drier fire in the center of the floor, and let that catch nicely before adding wood, your fire will combust better and put out less smoke and result in less soot.

              Give that a try as well.
              James
              I'm going to wait until I have really dry wood before I fire it up again. Kindling has been a bigger problem, trying to get enough good kindling.

              I've also been having to research how to clean soot off of stone! :-)
              Last edited by james; 01-22-2007, 10:28 AM.
              Keller TX
              Artigiano 39"
              former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
              www.leanblog.org
              http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How much soot?

                Mark,
                How did your last fire work? Have you hit good pizza heat yet?
                James
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How much soot?

                  Originally posted by james View Post
                  Mark,
                  How did your last fire work? Have you hit good pizza heat yet?
                  James
                  No, still wasn't burning hot enough. It stopped raining after a week, so I've left my half-cord uncovered to dry out.
                  Keller TX
                  Artigiano 39"
                  former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
                  www.leanblog.org
                  http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How much soot?

                    I think you should just go longer and longer with your burn until you get there. When your oven is up to heat and fully cured, you can add some pretty damp wood and it will still do a good job of combusting.
                    You have the pleasure of curing an oven in a weird, wet and cold winter.
                    James
                    Pizza Ovens
                    Outdoor Fireplaces

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How much soot?

                      That, and I'm not exactly a skilled fireplace person, campfires, boy scout stuff, etc. I'm learning many things at once. I already know dough making, I think, at least.
                      Keller TX
                      Artigiano 39"
                      former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
                      www.leanblog.org
                      http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How much soot?

                        Looks pretty normal to me. If smoke comes out the front you're going to have some soot build up. Adds character. Mine looks about the same.

                        Jim
                        sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How much soot?

                          Originally posted by Xabia Jim View Post
                          Looks pretty normal to me. If smoke comes out the front you're going to have some soot build up. Adds character. Mine looks about the same.

                          Jim
                          sure, I'm not going to worry about keeping it obsessively clean.
                          Keller TX
                          Artigiano 39"
                          former Phoenix resident and Pizzeria Bianco fan
                          www.leanblog.org
                          http://mypizzaoven.blogspot.com

                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How much soot?

                            i actually had a fireman friend happen by when i did my first fire(s) and, as it turned out, i was a rather fortunate that he did. when i started my first fires(s) the initial smoke lapped up the face of my oven while it tried to find the chimney - i quickly thought to myself that it wouldn't be long before there would be soot build up on the face of my oven (which i didn't want) if this was going to be the norm.

                            but when my fireman friend saw this he rolled up a piece of newspaper tightly, lit it on fire, and once it had a good-sized flame going he held it up to the flue/chimney opening - after a few seconds of him doing this you could actually hear the air being sucked up the chimney, like a wind tunnel, and along with the air the smoke from the rolled up newspaper. once the chimney was "primed" none, and i mean none, of the smoke of my fire(s) even came close to lapping out the front of my oven. it was as if it didn't have a chance once it neared the strong draft started by the rolled-up newspaper.

                            anyway, whenever i now start my fires i always "prime" my chimney in the same manner and smoke coming out of the oven is never a problem - nor is soot.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How much soot?

                              Brilliant. Thanks for that one.
                              James
                              Pizza Ovens
                              Outdoor Fireplaces

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