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Alternate Fuels - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



New Forno Bravo Forum Feature

Forno Bravo Forum Community,

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.

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.

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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    Okay, I'm going to start playing around with some serious alternatives to wood. When I first started that over in brick-oven land I was drawn & quartered but this is a kinder, gentler place so there may be potential for creativity here.

    My two areas of investigation are going to be coal (anthracite) like the coal ovens of Lombardi's & Pepe's. There's a lot of difference in heat from various wood sources (we've seen some posts about that -- pine having only 1/2 the weight of oak has about 1/2 btus too) but it's about the same amount per pound (just that softwoods tend to weigh less then hardwoods). Coal on the other hand has about 75% more btu content by weight then wood so should deliver a hotter more dense fire. A small wood fire is required to start it but then the coal takes off. I am looking for local sources of coal in various sizes so I can do some research on what works best. (Our local coal guy retired a few years ago, oil was too cheap to compete with.)

    The other thing I want to do is a robust & controlled propane burner setup. The big burner I built is a great honking fast heater but I'd like something with a wider flame pattern that's more readily adjustable. I think that's the key to being able to use its radiant heat. All of the ones I've seen in commercial ovens are long and flat in terms of their flame patterns.

    Anyone have any ideas along these lines?


  • #2

    Ah propane and propane accessories. No reason not to use it to heat the volume up. My parents house in NorCal use propane for heating and cooking. No matter what the fuel is available, mom still manages to burn dinner once or twice, she has cooked on wood stoves, electric (managed to melt a pan onto a burner) natural and propane gas.

    check out this idea to heat your pool

    something on a smaller scale could be done to use the flue heat that is currenlty not tapped for use. I'm thinking something more in line with a foced air heater


    • #3
      Originally posted by jengineer
      check out this idea to heat your pool
      i'll be damned... this actually looks feasible. i took his calculations and applied them to my 20,000 gallon pool but adding one number which he was missing, which was the BTU content of wood. it turns out that 1 lb of wood contains about 7700 BTU's. using his math, and at 65% efficiency, i calculate that i could raise the temp of my pool 10 degrees with only 333 pounds of wood (or approximately 1/12th of a cord of oak; nearly all the wood that fits under the oven...).

      edited to add the btu's of charcoal: 16000 btu's per pound
      Last edited by Robert Musa; 09-09-2005, 09:53 AM.
      my site for our pompeii and tandoor ovens