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Old 08-06-2006, 08:16 AM
CanuckJim's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Prince Albert, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,480
Default Firelogs


I've used wax, sawdust logs in my fireplace, too, but only when there was a thick bed of ash on the hearth. I'd stay away from them in your pizza oven, because the wax will penetrate the brick and the taste will be unpleasant.

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Old 11-04-2006, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Santol. Boac, Marinduque, RP
Posts: 37
Thumbs up Rosin (like the stuff they put on the bows of violins)

We have a small package that comes wrapped in leaves here. It is called rosin, we open the leave, and spread a small amt on the stick, light the stick and then
put the stick in the bottom of the kindleing. The stuff is cheap. It is sticky, so one would need to avoid getting the stuff on your hands. Here in the Philippines many natives use rosin on a stick to start a fire to cook their daily meals. The rosin on the stick, light with a wooden match and put the stick on the hearth, then add other sticks or in the case of an oven, put the burning stick under tha kindling, works very quickly, cheaply and almost fool proof. No need for newspapers which are used to wrap fish in. The same newspaper may be used 50 times before it becomes starter for the evening meal.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Granite Bay, California
Posts: 2
Default Re: Starting your fire

I'm new to the forum but have been cooking on my pizza oven for about 3 years. I start the fire with Weber Fire starting cubes, available at almost all BBQ stores, BBQ Galore here in Sacramento. Build a log cabin of hardwood kindling, or dead branches from fruit or other hardwood around 3 cubes to start the fire. I do not use pine in the oven as it leaves to much resin and a bad flavor. Oak and almond are availabe for the 1/4, 1/2 and full cord around here. The fire starting cubes, about 1 inch square, leave no residue and burn long enough to start the kindling. After that its pretty standard. Put on 3-4 logs, burn down and push to the side, put on more wood and let the flame burn the soot of the dome. Push some coals to center to help heat the floor. I can get my floor temp to 700 and interior to est 850 to 900 in an hour.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:13 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mishigame & Iberia
Posts: 1,168
Default Re: Starting your fire

Welcome Woodrow

I'm a pyro from way back. Heated with wood only in upper Michigan and in Minneapolis too! Burned many a open fire...nothing like a fire, every one is different!

Crumpled up paper, small pieces of wood, larger pieces of wood. Light with match and let 'er burn. Log cabin style or teepee, if it starts small and gets air, it's going to burn as you add larger pieces of wood.

Bad fire, wet wood? The small propane torch is great! I've used it regularly to get my paella pit fires going. (Green wood?, switch to the indoor oven)

I tend to use a lot of junk wood to get a fire burning. I kind of get ready for the fire....Sticks picked up in the yard, pieces of pallets, paper and wood trash, bark...whatever, if it burns I'll use it! (Okay, I have not tried tires! and I stay away from hazardous waste) But, save your pinecones or pick some up when you pass some conifers....they make a great fire starter.

My philosophy is to get the fire burning and hot...save the better woods for cooking once the fire is hot. I do use pine here but it's a dense southern style pine that has been well dried. It actually provides a nice flavor. I also use designer chips (hickory, mesquite, apple...in Michigan) soaked in water and put on or near the fire when you want a nice smoke flavor.

And the best fire aroma? Yes, some rosemary branches near the fire while you're cooking whatever with your friends...natural air freshener.

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Tiempo para guzarlos.....
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...enjoy every sandwich!
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:31 AM
christo's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 910
Default Re: Starting your fire

Looks like a torch similar to Roberts is on sale at HF. I put the coupon below.

No financial intererst and I don't know how good it works....
Attached Thumbnails
Starting your fire-ignitor.jpg  
My oven progress -

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Old 05-04-2007, 06:35 AM
james's Avatar
Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648
Default Re: Starting your fire

I can't wait to see how the geo-dome ovens work. Christo -- go slow.

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Old 05-04-2007, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 96
Default Re: Starting your fire

I've got that Harbor Freight weed-burner torch, although without the pushbutton ignition. It works great. Don't put it inside the oven and open it full blast. It uses up all the oxygen inside the oven in about five seconds, and snuffs out. I set the flame on low, and put it under the wood pile for a few minutes. It acts as kindling, without having to scrounge for small sticks, etc.
I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:

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Old 06-16-2007, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 6
Default Inconsistent flame intensity

Hello - I've used my oven about 6 times (post-cure) now, and while I've gotten it pretty hot (white dome) and made the best pizzas I've ever had(!), my oven firing seems to be giving me trouble.

I start out with a bunch of kindling and fire starters, which gets going nicely, and then I put on a 3 diameter inch log, which seems to catch for 5 or so minutes, and then the flame dies and it smolders a bit.

So I throw some more kindling on to get the flame going again.

Sometimes when I put on a new log and try to move it into place (or push the fire to the side), the flame smothers completely, and I have throw on more kindling to use my safety lighter to nudge it back to life. My kindling supply is dwindling rapidly.

I guess I was expecting that I could start a big fire and keep it going rather easily, instead of having the size of the flame ebb and flow, requiring me to be paying constant attention to it, which makes me fall behind in the pizza prep.

I am using almond that seems fairly well seasoned, and it's taking me about 2 hours to get a white dome.

I did just order the log holder, so maybe that will help.

I have the feeling I am getting some basic firemaking technique wrong.

Any clues, advice?

Thanks a lot. -- David
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:29 PM
Archena's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,214
Default Re: Starting your fire

You're putting too big a log on too small a fire. Go from tender (twigs) to kindling (small branches) and then to the actual logs. You want the kindling to be burning well before you put the first log on. Once the logs catch well it should burn okay. Never tried an oven but I suspect it will take a bit more tending just because it's so enclosed.
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

"Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:26 PM
maver's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 571
Default Re: Starting your fire

It sounds suspicious for wet wood if it starts to catch and then goes out. I know in my area the wood never gets really seasoned as it is just too damp. After your next bake, once you rake out the coals and the oven has cooled down to about 400-500 (give it an hour or so with the door off and no coals) place some of your wood (enough for a few fires) in the oven and place your door or some bricks over the opening to get a fairly good seal. Just leave it there until you are ready to fire the oven again. Take some of this wood apart with a hatchet for kindling. If this doesn't burn very easily then you have some other major airflow issue, and I don't think the log holder alone explains this. You may need to consult with a boy scout for further tips. And I agree with Archena, you may be going too fast from small to big, but 5 minutes ought to be enough time to get a well seasoned log burning.
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