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margie 11-19-2006 05:15 PM

new to forum - fireplace in kitchen

We bought a 1954 house in Seattle. There is a built in fireplace in the kitchen - designed for cooking. it is taller than it is wide. I am dying to use it but have been told that I should install a fan in the chimney if I intend to use it for cooking. I'm wondering whether this is true or not. When I built a fire, it did seem that smoke was wafting out of the fireplace.

Also, i'm wondering if I should install doors on it so I can reach a higher temperature and use it for pizza and bread. I also want to roast and grill in it.

So any help would be appreciated. Thanks

dmun 11-20-2006 05:00 AM

We would really like a picture. Taller than wide? Most fireplaces for open hearth cooking have been like little rooms, so that there is room on the hearth for rottiseries.

As far as draw, if the chimney is good enough to draw smoke out of the fireplace, it should vent any cooking fumes. You would want to watch out for grease accumulation if you did much cooking, but you'd have to do that if you had powered venting (which I, personally, don't like. It's usually an attempt to work around a bad flue design).

As far as baking, there have been ovens in fireplaces since colonial times. In some of those big colonial fireplaces the oven was in the side wall of the fireplace so that they shared a flue, but in most cases the oven was off to the side with a separate flue.

As far as baking on an open hearth, with dutch ovens and reflective ovens, that's sort of beyond what we do here, but we would like to hear about your experiences.

Good luck with your new fireplace.

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