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I think that at least one problem is that charcoal burns at a much higher temperature than wood. Charcoal can easily burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce small localized hot spots even higher than that. Those temperatures are going to destroy a brick oven pretty quickly. At least the floor.
One theory says that charcoal was invented by our ancestors to smelt metal - because wood fires could not get hot enough to do that.
I think that at least one problem is that charcoal burns at a much higher temperature than wood.
I believe there have been several people here that have used it. I have a friend that just bought an egg and it has fire brick - he's burning coal. I never tried it because my wood is pretty much free.
Well maybe so but I can get Royal OAk Lump for about 6.50 a bag and I buy it by the truckload for my BGE so I have it on hand ALWAYS.
I have Live Oak all over the place cut and stacked that I dont like to use in my big BBQ pit anymore. Partial to Post OAk and Pecan. Im going to have to experiment i suppose. Hopefully this Live Oak will work in the WFO because its just gonna sit here. I find it too bitter for my Brisket, Ribs and Yardbird
Beehive ovens - which are similar to our WFO's - are what were used by the pioneers to MAKE charcoal. Light a big fire in your oven and close the door. You'll have plenty of lump charcoal. I doubt it burns any hotter than wood without the introduction of forced air (e.g., a bellows)
I burn mostly hardwood. Apple, cherry, maple. I'll use Doug Fir or cedar to start my fire - but it pops too much to cook with it. Doubt you get much of either of those down in Texas
I used lump charcoal to cure my oven and it worked very well. I was able to control the temperature and the duration, I would let it go for hours at very steady temps, of each burn easily with no ill effects to the oven or the oven floor.
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." - Peter Clemenza
Forno Bravo say, or at least they used to, that their warranty would be void if you use charcoal as the fuel. Give them a call or if anyone from FB is moderating, maybe they could chime in. I use brickettes (a brown coal product here in Australia) to cure ovens because it produces virtually no flame which works really well when driving the water out of a new oven.