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mrgweeto 10-28-2009 09:45 AM

Have put about 75 pizzas through our oven now and obviously using wood. Abslolutly love it. Some 20 years ago I had a wood/coal burning unit in my basement that I used for several years till I realized it was too much work and I went back to oil. I have a half dozen 80lb bags of pea coal left and was wondering if anyone has used coal in their WFO after making pizza to keep the temp up and cook bread or roasts etc.

Neil2 10-28-2009 10:51 AM

Re: Coal
I've used coal from time to time, usually when I am going to have a large group over for pizza (i.e 30 plus pizzas) and want to push the temperature higher at the start.

Works fine. Some people say it is the best pizza they have ever had.

mrgweeto 10-28-2009 12:08 PM

Re: Coal
Very good to know. Would hate to have to just throw the coal out. I trust it did nothing to the oven.

EADavis 10-28-2009 12:42 PM

Re: Coal
I seem to remember that Sally's in New Haven used coal - maybe that's their secret ingedient!

dmun 10-28-2009 03:41 PM

Re: Coal
We're asked this question all the time, because of the famous NYC coal fired pizza places. Let us know how it works out, shoot us some pics, tell us whether you use a grate, and anything else you observe from coal burning.

mrgweeto 10-28-2009 04:30 PM

Re: Coal
Most pizza restaurants that used to make bread used coal and kept it that way when they turned into pizza restaurants. I may gve it a try just touse up tphe coal. Coal does seem to bur longer but I'm not sure it burns hotter than wood when the flames are licking the top of the dome. I've been to Sallys many times since I'm only about 20mins away. Not quite sure its in the heat source though. If you make a really great sauce and use good ingredients all our pizza will be just as good.

Neil2 10-30-2009 04:44 PM

Re: Coal
"I'm not sure it burns hotter than wood "

I actually start the fire with wood and add a good shovel full of coal in about 20 minutes before "push back".

With a wood only fire I get to about 1000 on the floor with a one hour burn. With the coal added I get to about 1300.

Try to get a low sulfur coal (which your sacks are almost certain to be). Anthracite is preferred to bituminous although both work fine. With respect to sourcing, check with your local blacksmiths - they are about the only people who use any amount of coal.

mrgweeto 10-31-2009 05:31 AM

Re: Coal
I agree with you about it not burning as hot as wood. For one there is minimal flame. When I used both as a heat source the wood was dryer and hotter but did not last as long. the coal was not quite as hot but lasted throught the night into the morning. Did you notice any difference in the quality of your pizza with the addition to coal? I may give it a try just because I want to use up the coal. That 1300 degreees didn't affect your oven I assume.

Neil2 10-31-2009 04:34 PM

Re: Coal
I think I get the extra heat because with wood there is only so much fuel you can stuff in for the "big burn". With a combination wood/coal fire, you can get more fuel in the oven at once.

I let it burn down to coals before "push back" so I don't think it affects the taste that much. Some of my guests claim it does. The smell of burning coal is interesting and pleasant.

The 1300 degrees didn't bother the oven at all.

mrgweeto 11-01-2009 05:35 AM

Re: Coal
I have to agree. The smell of coal never bothered me when I was using it to heat thehouse when I was a pup. What botheredme was the fine ash that would always find its way up staird into the living area. All of a sudden I feel like pizza.

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