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mark4604 11-07-2008 06:00 PM

tropical hardwoods?
Hey everyone, finally I have solved most of the problems I encountered building my oven, thank god!! I am here because I am wondering if anyone one knows or can suggest types of wood in the Dominican Republic or more generally tropical areas? I have access to a wood called roble and also mahogany. I know better to use any type of pine, cedar or fur but I am kind of lost when it comes to tropical hardwoods that are safe for a wood oven, can anyone give me some advice?

mark4604 11-07-2008 06:19 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
I forgot to ask can I burn coconut wood husk or shells? orange tree wood or anything? I have been looking on the internet and I cannot find any info about hardwood that I can burn in wood oven. please help!!

Les 11-07-2008 06:34 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
I don't see why not - if you can eat the fruit, I would think it's safe to burn the wood. I envy you! An orange coconut flavored pizza sounds pretty damn good.


mfiore 11-07-2008 06:37 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
No personal experience, but apparently citrus wood burns extremely hot (relatively)

RTflorida 11-07-2008 08:24 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
Citrus burns extremely well...and hotter than hades (speaking from experience, still using a cord that I purchased in the spring). My first fire with it scared the crap out of me - I proceeded to build my usual raging inferno, throwing in the same number of logs as I had with hickory and oak, 5 minutes later I had flames boiling out of the entry and out through the spark arrester on my 4' chimney pipe. My IR thermometer went into error at a temp in excess of 1450 F. I thought the whole damn oven was going to melt and fire spread throughout the neighborhood. My point - Great wood for an oven, but its burn characteristics are not what I had previously experienced...REALLY, that first fire did wonders in quelling my pyromaniac thoughts. If you can get your hands on it, citrus is a great choice...just don't load your oven like the boiler on a steam locomotive.


Les 11-07-2008 08:28 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?

Originally Posted by RTflorida (Post 44499)
I thought the whole damn oven was going to melt and fire spread throughout the neighborhood.


RT - That cracked me up!!!!!!!

RTflorida 11-07-2008 08:37 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
I chuckle now.....there was genuine fear in my eyes at the time.

Wiley 11-08-2008 09:15 AM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
I would suggest asking locals what they use for cooking. Your question indicates that you are aware many tropical woods are poisonous in many ways. Of course, stay away from cashew but I'm fairly certain other local woods will sicken if not outrightly kill someone foolish or ignorant of their properties enough to cook with them. Lots of tropical hardwoods have local names and so asking the locals would to me seem the safest bet. Coconut husks are used throughout the tropical world for cooking on open fires but my experience is they burn quite smokey (fine for keeping the bugs at bay but perhaps not suitable for a WFO). Citrus burns well but hot.

And it doesn't have to be the tropics to be careful of what one burns their WFO. Every year one can read of someone visiting California who has unknowingly thrown dried or leafless branches of poison oak upon a campfire and as a consequence ends up in an emergency room.

I must admit I do not fully understand the prohibition against coniferous woods. If for instance it is permissable to drip all sorts of animal fats upon the hearth with the reasoning that they will burn off why is it not so for the volatile resins of conifers? And in places like Greece where hardwoods are so scarce that they make their wine casks and barrels out of pine (hence retsina wines) certainly they do not have sufficient quanities to burn on a regular basis in their WFOs.


dmun 11-08-2008 12:28 PM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
I regularly burn construction cut-offs in my oven, which are f-p-s, fir, pine or spruce. No problems so far. I like to have some hardwood for the pieces you add to the fire while cooking, as the raw pine spits and pops, leaving black chunks on the pizza.

ThisOldGarageNJ 05-21-2009 03:12 AM

Re: tropical hardwoods?
i like dmun also burn construction cuttoff's. Many times i have pulled over to a site and they happily let me raid their dumpster. They get more room in it and i get wood. Another area i find wood is s little strange, Often in the spring check along our lacal highways and parkways, I travel early in the morning to work and often see a tree the state has cut down, if i can stop safely i pick it up then, if not i will pick up the next day, its usually still there (just be careful of traffic)

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