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Wlodek 08-11-2007 06:46 AM

How much smoke?
Dear All,

I am now thinking about locating the oven.

How long and how much smoke will the oven generate when starting the fire? Is there much smoke coming out at later stages? I know this depends on the material (say, dry faggots and then dry seasoned hardwood), but is this comparable to staring a normal barbecue or is it much more?

I am asking because of the possible smoking the neighbours out. The preferred site is several metres (4-5) from the back of their house (with no windows), and barbecue I put there experimentally did not seem to be too bad. Any experience, advice, suggestions (will a taller chimney help? how tall?).

Perhaps there is someone on this forum who is not too far from here and who would be kind enough to invite me for a firing so that I can see for myself? This is Google Maps link to where we are

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Best wishes,


maver 08-11-2007 07:32 AM

Re: How much smoke?
There can be a fair amount of smoke when starting the oven for the first 15-30 minutes depending on the wood. Starting with smaller fires and slowly bringing it up to temperature gives less smoke. Once it is up to temperature there really is no smoke - just clear gasses. I'd be interested to know if anyone on this forum has a neighbor who is upset with having a pizza oven next door - my experience is it only takes a few donated slices to keep the neighbors happy.


DrakeRemoray 08-11-2007 01:00 PM

Re: How much smoke?
I guess it really depends on which way the wind is blowing. Mine is only about 12 feet from my house and less than 30 feet from the neighbor's house. As Maver said, the key is to give them pizza and bread!


Wlodek 08-11-2007 01:31 PM

Re: How much smoke?
Thanks :)
I know a little corruption should help. Will a taller chimney help too? 10ft? Taller?


DrakeRemoray 08-11-2007 02:19 PM

Re: How much smoke?
10' chimney might be more intrusive than some smoke. The chimney is there all the time, the smoke only when you start your fires...

Wlodek 08-11-2007 03:17 PM

Re: How much smoke?
Good point Drake, but the chimney ain't going anywhere, the smoke does, and with my luck it will go and suffocate the neighbour, which might be a solution of course, but not of the kind I am seeking. I am far too nice for that.

Seriously though, there are buildings around: the back wall of the neighbour's house (as in ground floor, first floor and the roof) is some 4m away, the back of my garage (quite tall for a garage, gable wall, sloping roof) is 2.5m away, there is a low garden shed leaning to the gable wall of the garage with the roof sloping towards the site where I want to put the oven and dropping down to some 5ft. The oven would not not be sat in an open space and if I design the chimney right it might not be obtrusive, or at least shouldn't look like a sore thumb. I'd love to be able to use a CAD program and play with scenarios, but I can't.

I did build a tall (6ft) barbecue (dry bricks - a test run for the oven) with a sort of chimney walls pretty much on the same spot and it looks OK. The smoke from the barbecue is very brief (I use charcoal) and it mainly goes over my garage and away. But if there was to be a lot of it, I would be worried.

Also, I am planning to build a sort of patio roof covering the oven and a sitting/cooking area (it is chucking it down even as I am writing these words), so that defines the minimum height for the chimney anyway.

I did not give all these details in the original question - just shows you how much of a newbie I am.

Bedtime for me.

All the best,


maver 08-11-2007 04:33 PM

Re: How much smoke?
You should have your chimney at least 2 feet higher then any part of the garage within 10 feet of the chimney (that's building code for us) for fire safety. I don't know if a taller chimney will cut down on smoke much unless you are overloading your oven to start with and need help with draw. If you make it real tall there's less chance the smoke will disperse in your neighbor's yard (but maybe more chance the chimney will topple on their house). I have to imagine your barbecue puts out more smoke than the brick oven will, even if it's not real smoky. The oven will put out no smoke at all once it is hot (unless you add wet wood).


Wlodek 08-12-2007 01:52 AM

Re: How much smoke?
The chimney will be more than 10ft from the garage (luckily for me, as with my building skills toppling might be the outcome ...). It is likely that building regulations will be similar here. Thanks for the comments though, I am slightly paranoid about these neighbours I must say.


Unofornaio 08-12-2007 07:23 AM

Re: How much smoke?
Taller chimney will not reduce smoking. :(

You will need to choose a material and method of initial fire up to reduce smoking. That may mean buying special wood just for the initial fire. Also as mentioned starting with smaller quick burning fires initially will reduce smoke. In my experience though it really depends on the condition and type of the wood.

dmun 08-12-2007 07:38 AM

Re: How much smoke?

Originally Posted by Wlodek
I'd love to be able to use a CAD program and play with scenarios, but I can't.

Don't neglect google sketch-up, a free utility that does not only CAD like things, but full 3D integrated modeling. It's ideal for this kind of backyard planning. Watch the video, then download the program.

It doesn't do everything that a CAD program does, like useful dimensioning, and DXF export, but it can do a lot.

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