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We're mostly anti-ash slot around here. For ovens which are used for primarily bread, and you're raking out large live fires, it could be useful, but it comes at a cost of a big hole in your entry, a waste of space in your wood storage, and you have to clean it out sooner or later anyway. The coal receptacle has to be pretty much airtight, or you'll have a nice fire going down there when you rake out your fire.
If your oven is mostly for pizza, your fire produces one small shovel of ash the next day, which is easy to remove, and dispose of. An ash slot turns a simple scrape and dump task, into a much delayed boiler room chore.
I bought an old fashioned galvanized garbage can with a tight fitting lid and a wire handle that swings up to lock it. Works fine when i need to smother a fire for retained heat cooking. More important, I can put it out of the way when I don't need it.
I concur. Ash is pretty much an non-event. Just stick your peel under what ash is left after 2 or 3 firings and dump it on the garden. Me, I just spread it in the woods behind my oven a few days after the fun.
It's really amazing to me. I would think a wood fired oven would be a huge amount of clean up. Very little ash is left after each firing. My oven looks as good today as it did when I built it almost 3 years ago. Wish I could say the same for me.
It's good your researching this stuff now. It's great to hear from people using their ovens and see what they do.
Yup, ash slot not necessary. I've only made bread a few times (only had the oven working for 2 months) but when my dough is ready to go in and the oven is the right temp, the LAST THING I WANT TO DO is use my brush and pull the ashes toward me, yes the chunks would go down the slot but there is always ashes flying at you as you pull it to you. It's much easier to push the ashes to the back of the oven, clean off your area in front of you and set your loaves there. And like Christo says, a few days later, you shovel out a small amount of ashes. Good question, keep asking and you'll good info, Dino
"Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame
I will dissent on this. (If we all agreed on everything we wouldn't need more than one of us)
I have an ash slot and it works well. It is 1 inch wide and extends the full width of the door immediately in fron of the hearth bricks. I flared the opening as it went down through the 4 inches of vermiculite into a 4 inch round opening in the 4 inch suspended slap. The slot in no way interferes with making pizza or sliding pots and pans in.
It also serves as a conduction heat break between the hearth bricks and the counter top.
Part of the reason it works for me is I don't have a closed wood storage space below my oven.