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liksom_killen 09-04-2013 01:53 PM

No fire without smoke?
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Hi, my first post here. The forum has been very helpful during my build this summer. I live in Sweden and have built a 42Ē low vault oven. I built it on a metal stand so almost portable ;)

It makes good pizza, 60-120 seconds. I burn dry birch wood for 2 hours and then its up to 4-500 C.

My problem is it generates a lot of smoke when I fire it up. I have neighbors on all sides of my garden, close on.

Even when itís hot and it doesnít smoke anymore thereís still a lot smoke if I add a few logs to keep the flame alive.

I havenít completed the chimney, itís a temporary on the pictures. But will an isolated steel chimney make a difference?

Does anyone have some ideas on how to do it better? Iím thinking about the vent design maybe isnít optimal? Other ideas? What happens if I make a chimney twice as high?

Thanks for any advice.

texman 09-11-2013 12:14 PM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Nice build. Cheers.:)

Couple of things to suggest here. your vent does look small, but that doesn't change the smoke volume, just how it moves. My question would be the birch wood. Can you try some well cured oak or other hardwood? once they are burning well, smoke is greatly reduced.

Is your smoke bothering you as the cook or the neighbors?


thickstrings 09-11-2013 12:58 PM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Try this, next time you fire up your oven, and after the coals go out, put the wood for your next use inside. Shut the may dry out the wood so as to minimize the smoke...Your wood may be a bit wet.

david s 09-11-2013 01:45 PM

Re: No fire without smoke?
All ovens smoke more when they are new. You may just need to fire it more.

moderator 09-11-2013 04:11 PM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Hello Likson,
You want to make sure the wood you are using is dry and seasoned. Sappy woods tend to cause smoke and we recommend oven owners not use them.

Oak, applewood, and cherrywood are some great options. We are located in California and have oak readily available.

I hope this information is helpful.

liksom_killen 09-12-2013 12:04 AM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Thanks for your comments.

@Texman, I can stand the smoke, but the neighbors are bothered. I try to get some oakwood for next fire. It's not often used for fires in Sweden, pricy, but worth a try.
Then put some wood in the oven after it burned out for next fire.

I also try having some wood inside a small room with a dehumidifier.

You don't think it could be lack of air (oxygen)?

Thanks again

thickstrings 09-12-2013 05:01 AM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Sort of, more like to much fuel and not enough heat....Try using smaller pieces of wood, take the bark off, use the "top down" method of starting, you can even use a electric leaf blower to intensify the burning..till you get to the hot coal stage...Really should'nt be more than 20-30 mins. of smoke..Birch is fine to use..If all else fails, offer some pizza to the neighbors..Really dry wood is most important. P.S. if the oven is drafting, then your chiminey is good, albiet,taller might get the smoke further from your neighbors.

rsandler 09-12-2013 06:11 AM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Drying wood out in the oven after a fire is great. However, make sure the oven is down around 400F/200C or cooler before doing so. Otherwise you'll end up with charcoal at best and an unexpected fire at worst! You may have known that already, but I made that mistake the first time I tried drying wood in the oven...

liksom_killen 09-12-2013 07:48 AM

Re: No fire without smoke?
Thanks for all good advice. I'm drying wood now.

I'm also moving the oven tonight. (if possible with only pallet lift). Closer to my house and a higher chimney will leave the smoke well over my house and hopefully away from neighbors.

deejayoh 09-12-2013 09:08 AM

Re: No fire without smoke?
You're going to get smoke on startup no matter how you start the fire. But that should only last 10-20 minutes. You should not get smoke when you add wood to a hot fire if 1) you use smaller pieces of dry wood (as others have suggested) and 2) you don't let the fire die down to coals before adding more wood. If you are cooking pizza, you should have a live flame at all times anyway. (It looks like from your picture you're letting the fire go to coals) Add the wood when the flames have stopped licking too far up the side. It will ignite immediately and produce almost no smoke. If you wait too long, any wood smolders and smokes before lighting.

And have those neighbors over for some pizza. Helps reduce the complaints!

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