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No fire without smoke? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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No fire without smoke?

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  • No fire without smoke?

    Hi, my first post here. The forum has been very helpful during my build this summer. I live in Sweden and have built a 42Ē low vault oven. I built it on a metal stand so almost portable

    It makes good pizza, 60-120 seconds. I burn dry birch wood for 2 hours and then its up to 4-500 C.

    My problem is it generates a lot of smoke when I fire it up. I have neighbors on all sides of my garden, close on.

    Even when itís hot and it doesnít smoke anymore thereís still a lot smoke if I add a few logs to keep the flame alive.

    I havenít completed the chimney, itís a temporary on the pictures. But will an isolated steel chimney make a difference?

    Does anyone have some ideas on how to do it better? Iím thinking about the vent design maybe isnít optimal? Other ideas? What happens if I make a chimney twice as high?

    Thanks for any advice.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: No fire without smoke?

    Nice build. Cheers.

    Couple of things to suggest here. your vent does look small, but that doesn't change the smoke volume, just how it moves. My question would be the birch wood. Can you try some well cured oak or other hardwood? once they are burning well, smoke is greatly reduced.

    Is your smoke bothering you as the cook or the neighbors?

    Texman
    My Progress:
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/t...ild-17324.html

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    • #3
      Re: No fire without smoke?

      Try this, next time you fire up your oven, and after the coals go out, put the wood for your next use inside. Shut the door...it may dry out the wood so as to minimize the smoke...Your wood may be a bit wet.
      " Life is art, live a masterpiece"

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      • #4
        Re: No fire without smoke?

        All ovens smoke more when they are new. You may just need to fire it more.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: No fire without smoke?

          Hello Likson,
          You want to make sure the wood you are using is dry and seasoned. Sappy woods tend to cause smoke and we recommend oven owners not use them.

          Oak, applewood, and cherrywood are some great options. We are located in California and have oak readily available.

          I hope this information is helpful.

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          • #6
            Re: No fire without smoke?

            Thanks for your comments.

            @Texman, I can stand the smoke, but the neighbors are bothered. I try to get some oakwood for next fire. It's not often used for fires in Sweden, pricy, but worth a try.
            Then put some wood in the oven after it burned out for next fire.

            I also try having some wood inside a small room with a dehumidifier.

            You don't think it could be lack of air (oxygen)?

            Thanks again

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: No fire without smoke?

              Sort of, more like to much fuel and not enough heat....Try using smaller pieces of wood, take the bark off, use the "top down" method of starting, you can even use a electric leaf blower to intensify the burning..till you get to the hot coal stage...Really should'nt be more than 20-30 mins. of smoke..Birch is fine to use..If all else fails, offer some pizza to the neighbors..Really dry wood is most important. P.S. if the oven is drafting, then your chiminey is good, albiet,taller might get the smoke further from your neighbors.
              " Life is art, live a masterpiece"

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              • #8
                Re: No fire without smoke?

                Drying wood out in the oven after a fire is great. However, make sure the oven is down around 400F/200C or cooler before doing so. Otherwise you'll end up with charcoal at best and an unexpected fire at worst! You may have known that already, but I made that mistake the first time I tried drying wood in the oven...
                My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

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                • #9
                  Re: No fire without smoke?

                  Thanks for all good advice. I'm drying wood now.

                  I'm also moving the oven tonight. (if possible with only pallet lift). Closer to my house and a higher chimney will leave the smoke well over my house and hopefully away from neighbors.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: No fire without smoke?

                    You're going to get smoke on startup no matter how you start the fire. But that should only last 10-20 minutes. You should not get smoke when you add wood to a hot fire if 1) you use smaller pieces of dry wood (as others have suggested) and 2) you don't let the fire die down to coals before adding more wood. If you are cooking pizza, you should have a live flame at all times anyway. (It looks like from your picture you're letting the fire go to coals) Add the wood when the flames have stopped licking too far up the side. It will ignite immediately and produce almost no smoke. If you wait too long, any wood smolders and smokes before lighting.

                    And have those neighbors over for some pizza. Helps reduce the complaints!
                    My build progress
                    My WFO Journal on Facebook
                    My dome spreadsheet calculator

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                    • #11
                      Re: No fire without smoke?

                      Good advice, if I get only 10-20 minutes of smoke next time I will be very pleased:-)

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                      • #12
                        Re: No fire without smoke?

                        Also make sure you invite. The neighbors over for pizza or take them bread, it is amazing now that I take the neighbors bread they look forward to it whenever my oven smokes a little, you can be strategic and take the bread in the direction of the smoke for maximum value.
                        Chip

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                        • #13
                          Re: No fire without smoke?

                          Also, try preheating a couple of bits of wood in the entry before adding them to the fire. They will catch alight almost instantly.
                          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                          • #14
                            Re: No fire without smoke?

                            Originally posted by mrchipster View Post
                            Also make sure you invite. The neighbors over for pizza or take them bread, it is amazing now that I take the neighbors bread they look forward to it whenever my oven smokes a little, you can be strategic and take the bread in the direction of the smoke for maximum value.
                            Thats genius! thanks

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