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Puy de Dome 11-02-2008 04:17 AM

A few photos of smokey fire
Hi all,

This post is nothing to do with the top-down method to reduce the incidence of smoke, but rather to do with me perhaps not using seasoned wood.

I bought my current supply from a nice chap out in the country a couple of months ago. He said that the wood was seasoned. I could tell for myself that the wood was not green, and it felt 'light' considering the size.

But if you see the photos I have attached, you can see how much smoke was being produced. In fact, this was my second BIG fire, and cooked some great pizza last night.

To illustrate the question further, when I had finished cooking last night, I put a bunch of logs into the oven, because I had read here that this would dry them out further.

So this morning I made another little fire in the oven and put on the dried-out-further-in-the-oven logs and then hardly any more smoke!

Perhaps I have answered my own query? Extremely dried out and pre-heated logs = rapid combustion and the minimum of smoke?

And that's the neighbour's house in the photo.

P de D

ross 11-03-2008 04:08 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire

This is somthing I worry about as my neighbours are close and not particulaly nice...

The smoke over the fence wood be a good excuse for a council call....

Anyway RE: wood...I cooked a few weeks ago using really dry seasoned wood from a local nursey at 2 a bag it was great...after building a fire like james showed on the video forum and using 3 firelighters there was smoke for 5 mins and it was then roaring only when I added large logs did it smoke a little so I was able to gauge how much wood and what size to put on...I didnt smell of smoke nor did the neighbours washing.

Anyhow I went back to the same supplier this weekend to cut a long story short I tried logs that although looked dry werent last years wood and so not seasoned...It was crap
the hissed and smoked alot and took alot of smokey wood to get it to heat..

A lesson has been learnt by myself - Only ever used seasoned "white" wood no matter what the cost you use less so it saves money...

ross 11-03-2008 04:13 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
In Addition mate you might want to try what Im thinking of doing for next spring..

As you can see from my oven pic my chimney is just a small drainidge pipe turned upside plan is tobuy a metre and a half of enamel or stainless steel pipe half and in wider than the pot...During initial firing im just going to slide it over like a sleeve this will take most of the smoke up and over the neighbours..

I reckon form the pics a couple of meters added to your chimney would take anysmoke well doesnt add much wait to the stack either

Puy de Dome 11-03-2008 06:57 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Nice one, Ross, thanks.

I'm fortunate that the neighbour's house in the photo, or rahte rhte neighbours themselves are reasonable enough people (we have a pair of right cnts on our immediate boundary to the right, and I wouldn't put anything past them, Mr & Mrs Awkward-For-The-Sake-Of-It I call them).

I think that splitting the logs down into smaller segments wil help. At present, these logs are halves of a trunk perhaps 8 inches in diameter. I think using them smaller will help with the smoking.

I have to say that the fire, when REALLY at it's height, was ferocious, and very little smoke.

Cheers bud

P de D

nissanneill 11-03-2008 02:08 PM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Hi Puy de Dome
another thing that you should look into particularly if you are having difficulty in sourcing fully seasoned and dry wood, then put your next firing wood into your cooling oven after cooking has finished to dry further moisture/sap out of it.
Don't cook it as you may produce charcoal!
Also start to collect suitable wood and store/season it yourself as it will get used next season. Also best to split it prior to storage as it will season at around 1" per year.
I have about 3 ton of fully seasoned wood and 6 ton of freshly cut wood for my slow combustion heater and buy very dry, fully seasoned split redgum from a local supplier for the oven at Aus$280 per ton. Sounds expensive (and it is) but I only use around $5 per firing. A small price to pay for something ass special as the WFO pizzas/breads and foods.
Another thing that you should do id to extend your chimney so that it exhausts the smoke higher where it will not affect the neighbours. MY flue is 10' high and works/draws a treat. Guarenteed no worries with the neighbours!!!!


Puy de Dome 11-03-2008 02:20 PM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Thanks Neil,

I'm deffo going to be more careful about choice of wood. Not that my supplier was bad - he's a genuine guy, working out of his yard in sleepy rural England. THe wood is seasoned to an extent, I'm sure of it.

It's down to me to split it down some more (I have a splitter now), and store for the next season's cooking. Kind of rotate my stocks.

And I can see how I'm going to have to find a long terracotta pipe for the flue top...

Thanks for the replies guys. I should come on here more, as I would use the oven more if I armed myslef with some more info, and you lot are inspiring - that's why I built the thing in the first place.


P de D

Puy de Dome 11-03-2008 02:36 PM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Just a quick thought - if I stuck a 4" clay pipe on the top of the chimney, how would the fire behave? I mean, would that impede the exit of the smoke/gases?

nissanneill 11-04-2008 12:39 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Don't restrict your chimney at all. At the very least, keep the extension to the same dimensions as the existing section. It will choke the flow and cause smoke and heat to escape through your entrance arch, exactly where you will be working.


Puy de Dome 11-04-2008 12:42 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
That means trying to match the bricks... might be tricky. So those that have a flue/pipe extending beyond the first part of their chimneys are inviting the smoke to act in the way you describe, Neill?

nissanneill 11-04-2008 12:50 AM

Re: A few photos of smokey fire
Why not make up a section that will fit snugly int the top of your chimney with say one or two circular flue extensions (3 or 6'), put it on top of your chimney prior to lighting your fire and using approriate gloves, reach up and remove it once the smoke has ceased.
That way, you don't detract from your oven appearance and it is only used when needed and you don't havre tho do additions in matching bricks/mortar colours etc. You should be able to store it behind or under your oven.


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