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Does my oven need a chimney? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Does my oven need a chimney?

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  • Does my oven need a chimney?

    I've been wanting to build a pizza oven for ages and some time ago I saw an oven built without a chimney, just a simple dome with a door. My oven will be built outside, so I was wondering if the chimney is really necessary, or is it like a woodburner where the hot chimney sucks the air into the fire to get it really going?
    My rustic oven;
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

    Ovens have certainly been built that way, but I'd have to say that they will not draw properly or create the desired venturi effect needed for complete combustion and really HOT fires. Add to that the inevitable smoke staining on the front of the oven. Build a chimney.

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

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    • #3
      Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

      Thanks Jim, I have struggled in the past with a woodburner which was fitted with a down-sized flue so I know what you mean. I have to say I quite like the smoke staining effect though!!
      My rustic oven;
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

        PerryPizza, I have two neighbors with wood fired ovens that were built without chimneys. The biggest drawback I have noticed is not the soot staining but when they are being fired the flames (that those of us have going up the chimney) bend out and up the front of the oven. The most recently viewed one was at my neighbor's birthday party this past weekend. This particular oven was also built without any landing and was in my opinion quite dangerous to the unwary when firing up. The owner had stand guard to keep back the curious who wanted to get close and "see". He usually uses if for bread not for pizza and doesn't have crowds.

        Neither oven has any problem with airflow and they both were built with the entry to interior dome height proportion very close to 63%. One is sort of on the French Canadian lines where it's footprint is an oval and the other is like mine.. a hemisphere/dome.
        Wiley

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        • #5
          Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

          Its actually quite easy to get the staining effect with a chimney...
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

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          • #6
            Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

            Wiley,

            These ovens vent out of the front opening? That does sound dangerous. The title is "does my oven need a chimney" - I'm sure they would work without one, but I assumed that there would at least be a hole for venting. I discover something new here everyday....
            Check out my pictures here:
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

            If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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            • #7
              Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

              Originally posted by Les View Post
              These ovens vent out of the front opening? That does sound dangerous.
              1000F heat and flames coming out the front opening? No thanks. Build a chimney (it's not too hard).
              Ken H. - Kentucky
              42" Pompeii

              Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

              Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
              Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

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              • #8
                Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

                Does my oven need a chimney? Do I need eyebrows? Build a chimney. I even added height to my chimney because it was close to the house, but it draws great, and I rarely choke on any smoke while it is heating up.

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                • #9
                  Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

                  To summarize. Yes, you need a chimney. :-)

                  But seriously, you really do. It not only keeps smoke, fire and hot air away from your eyebrows, it also creates the draw effect that moves hot air effectively inside your oven, creating natural convection which makes your oven heat up and cook better.
                  James
                  Pizza Ovens
                  Outdoor Fireplaces

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                  • #10
                    Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

                    Thanks for the responses, I will build a chimney!

                    The truth is I had always intended to, although I'd still like to hear from anyone who actually uses an oven without a chimney just out of curiosity. These certainly seem to be in the minority amongst the people on this forum! It is interesting that Wily has two neighbors who use this kind of oven, I can just imagine the scenario he describes...
                    My rustic oven;
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...oven-6770.html
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Does my oven need a chimney?

                      I think it's like a car without a windshield (or windscreen, depending on your version of English). It still works, but the experience just isn't the same.

                      There is no upside to not having one -- the only reason to not have a chimney is either expense or effort.
                      James
                      Pizza Ovens
                      Outdoor Fireplaces

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