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The scary fire issue - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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The scary fire issue

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  • The scary fire issue

    I think I've discovered the answer! I'm sure this is probably obvious to most people on this forum, but, there are scary fires and then there are SCARY FIRES.

    I had been having problems getting my oven to carbon burning temps i.e. the walls turning white. I have since purchased proper seasoned (about a year) red gum, burned it and Presto... white walls within an hour.

    There seemed to be quite a difference in the intensity of the heat/fire as it required much less wood to get to temp.

    Does this sound right? This would be useful info for newbies like me.

  • #2
    Re: The scary fire issue

    Hi Enzo!

    Crappy wood can certainly slow the heating and make a lot of crap in the process.

    I am in the Texas Hill Country where we have a "trash tree" that is a juniper that is absolutely free and burns like crazy - even when green! (A month or two of aging makes it incindiary!) When one tries to cook over it in a bbq it gives a tarry, resinous taste but in the oven it is a delight. Burns like hell and clears in aout 45 minutes. AND, at the high oven temps it is ODORLESS. And.. FREE! I love it! While it is fine for pizza i usually switch to hardwood just so it burns longer.

    It is my understanding that in the Middle East juniper is a preferred bread oven fuel for it heats fast. Do you have anything like that down under?

    Bake On!
    jay

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    • #3
      Re: The scary fire issue

      G'day Jay,
      I'm fairly new to the game, so I haven't sussed out too many wood type options yet. Sure seems as though there's an awful lot to learn about WFO's. I have only ever burned red gum, both for my open fire and WFO, I look forward to the on-coming disasters and triumphs.

      I know experimentation is the key, so as we say down here, "let's suck it and see"

      Cheers!

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      • #4
        Re: The scary fire issue

        I only use Whitegum (Wandoo) and Mallee roots. I pay $15 per small bag so it it is very expensive, but well worth the spend as the wood lights with 2 small firelighters and burns like crazy. I have been getting temps around 480 C with this setup and produces a good pizza fire.

        I did experiment with the cheaper Jarrah but results were poor so now only use the Whitegum/Mallee combo. Not sure if those trees are available down your way though but I would guess so!

        Rossco
        / Rossco

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        • #5
          Re: The scary fire issue

          Yep! Mallee is great wood, just very expensive down in Melbourne. I've heard it burns HOT and for a long time.

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          • #6
            Re: The scary fire issue

            The best wood is free wood. I try to reserve a few heavy, split, dry pieces after about 45 mins then finish with some thinner bits so they're all burnt up when I'm ready to remove some coals and cook.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Re: The scary fire issue

              "The best wood is free wood. "

              These ovens are not fussy. I've used many different woods and they all will do the job. The only essential criteria is that the wood is well seasoned.

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              • #8
                Re: The scary fire issue

                A quick sample pic of the woods that I use:

                White Gum (Wandoo) left
                Mallee root right

                Rossco
                Attached Files
                / Rossco

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                • #9
                  Re: The scary fire issue

                  Is that actually the root of a tree ?

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                  • #10
                    Re: The scary fire issue

                    Originally posted by rhollman View Post
                    Is that actually the root of a tree ?
                    Yes indeed ... allowed to dry and split (using a hydraulic splitter as they are VERY tough). Another excellent option is "vine stumps" - they burn forever too and at a high temperature. Unfortunately these are hard to find.

                    Rossco
                    / Rossco

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