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bobnnorm 06-28-2011 05:58 AM

burning locust wood
I will be cutting down 2 large locust trees - 1 honey locust and one native locust tree. Are they ok to burn in a wfo.

Also, I am just starting to cure my oven and bought some package splits of wood at Lowes to do so. It burns ok initially but dies out and really produces a lot of smoke. Is this a common issue with store bought wood and should one avoid using it? What else would cause excess smoking?


Faith In Virginia 06-28-2011 08:09 AM

Re: burning locust wood
I don't have a problem with Locust. Locust is a slow burning wood and produces a steady heat. It also produces a small amount of ash. You will need to let them dry well before use perhaps a year or more.

I always have issue with packaged wood. I never really looked at the wood closely enough to determine if it's a good wood or bad wood. I look at the cost. A cord of wood measures 4'x4'x8' I would investigate the cost of a cord of wood locally then figure the cost of the packaged wood. It might be ok if you want a single fire in your fireplace at Christmas but to go that way with a working WFO you will need a second job to support that habit. The excess smoking could be the species of wood or moisture content of the wood. Wet wood tends to smoke burns slow and low heat. the species of wood could be if it smokes, burns hot, and burns out quickly( pine is a prime example of that) But that's just my thinking.

azpizzanut 06-28-2011 09:11 AM

Re: burning locust wood
Hello BnN,

Part of the problem is that your oven hasn't cured yet. After that's done you will notice a difference. The oven is damp/cool and the wood doesn't want to burn well.

Split the wood and stack it off the ground. Split wood dries better than wood with bark all around.

Best of luck,

horrocks007 07-03-2011 06:11 AM

Re: burning locust wood
MANY places sell improperly seasoned firewood. I have a wood stove we use to heat much of the house during the winter, having well seasoned wood, really means doing it yourself.

Buy your cut and "seasoned" wood this year for next year's use and you'll never have a problem.

Seasoned wood looks like old wood, it has a bleached brown to silver appearance, and when you hit two pieces together they make a loud clock, not a clunk, sound. If you split one and feel the fresh-wood in the middle, it should not feel overly moist or sappy.

If your wood isn't seasoned properly, then it wont burn as hot and it creates a lot of creosote in the oven and chimney, which means more smoke too.

Think of smoke as waisted fuel, if your wood is burning hot enough, that smoke is burned in the fire and use as heat instead.

As for your locust wood, that is excellent fire wood. One of the best for long burns. I would cut it into logs and leave it anywhere out of the way in your backyard for 1 year. Then split it and keep it somewhat covered under a tarp/out of the rain, for at least 3 months before burning it. Same goes for all new wood.

As a general rule mix your wood with other types to get different benefits of each wood. I would never start a fire with 100% locust wood, as the stuff seems hard to ignite. Maple seems to be the easiest to light, and oak or cherry are great all-around long-burning woods.

Getting the right wood is part of the art in cooking with these awesome ovens.

azpizzanut 07-03-2011 08:30 AM

Re: burning locust wood
Hi All,

I agree with Horrocks007. Even large, knotty, chunks, of mesquite wood burn well in a hot oven when it is dry. Otherwise, they set in there while other wood turns to ash.

Set wood off the ground to dry and stack it for good air circulation.


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