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kitchengidget 08-26-2008 06:13 AM

Gas Starter for Oven?
We're building the Pompeii oven and considering running a gas line out to the oven to install a starter in the dome. The starter would be at the back of the dome not to cook with but to simply get our wood burning. Does this make any sense? With the intense heat in the oven could this be at all dangerous. I've never seen these ovens with gas starters so perhaps there is a reason for that.

brokencookie 08-26-2008 08:10 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
There are a lot of large safety considerations when you add gas to the oven. Most builders have decided it is not worth the effort, permitting hassle, and potential explosion risk to install.
If you overcome these challenges you will probably not want to install it it the back. Your fire should be built under the chimney and then pushed back once it is going. If you want to use a gas starter simply use a small propane torch. Much safer and easier. If you really want to start with a large fireball, use a propane weed burner. I think there is a video on one of the threads of someone firing off their oven like a rocket with one of these.
I have considered plumbing in natural gas for various purposed around the oven and decided the best method would be to create a dedicated under counter area to store a 5 gallon propane tank. Using this and a 6 ft hose I should be able to accomplish anything I need to that requires gas. This should also be a lot safer. :D

brokencookie 08-26-2008 08:22 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
1 Attachment(s)
found it !

Here is the thread that discusses starting your fire

If you search for propane or burner on the forum you will also find 3 or 4 threads with a lot of informaion about this.

Ken524 08-26-2008 10:38 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
Hi Kitchen,

I wouldn't bother, for all the reasons that BrokenCookie mentioned and its just not worth the extra hassle or expenditure.

If you use properly seasoned wood, you will have a roaring fire in no time, every time.

Breven 08-26-2008 10:47 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven? literally takes a minute to start your fire, certainly not worth all of the hassle. If you were using it to heat your house and you had to light it every day, it would make sense.

PIZZAMANMIKE 08-27-2008 07:14 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
Well Kitchen, I agree with the rest, It is a big hassle. The only reason I can think of is for use as pre heat as you are in Ohio and I guess it's cold in the winter. I've made and installed a few for that reason. At best you only shave about a half hour or so in heating your oven. I Do Not Think I Would Bother with it. If you want to add it, add it to the side you plan on cooking on, and make sure you have a gas valve under oven and a key valve on the oven face as it is very easy for someone to turn the gas valve on or not turn off completly (ie kids, Husband) and that = BOOM!!!

kitchengidget 08-27-2008 08:38 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
Great responses thanks everyone. Aside from the hassle and expense though, Pizzamanmike you raise the issue that I'm most concerned about--the potential for real danger. But your solution seems to be a pretty good one. Is the valve and shutoff idea enough to make this thing safe? Are there any other hazards anyone can think of? Also why do you say install it on the side you cook on--won't the oven just heat up evenly? And also you mentioned cooking in the cold. I thought we would have to close the oven down after November or when the weather got really cold. Are people cooking year round in cold climates like mine?

Breven 08-27-2008 08:52 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
I like the propane torch that Brokencookie pointed out. You can help start your fire and speed up the initial heat up process, avoid the extra work and hassle, and eliminate the risk of exlpoding. Seems like a good option to me.

There are a bunch of people here that live in cold climates...I know they cook year round (I've seen videos on utube with people cooking in the snow).

PIZZAMANMIKE 08-27-2008 09:02 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
When I lived in NY I BBQ year round, so use your Pizza Oven year round as well.
The pre heat is just what it says pre heat. You can turn on the gas and pre heat the oven, It will heat to about 500 or so you still need to start a fire, most stack their starter wood in oven when they lite the gas, once the oven heats up they lite the wood and shut the gas off when they push the fire back.By stacking the wood in the oven while pre heating, it will dry the wood while heating. The gas burner I built heats the deck as well as the dome. By installing on your cooking side your deck will be over 400 when you lite your fire. which means less time to heat the deck.also keeps the ash away from the burner. The two valve is the safest way just short of putting a lock on the gas valve (just don't lose key or forget combo)you can PM me if you have other questions

james 08-27-2008 11:03 AM

Re: Gas Starter for Oven?
The Boom concern is a real one. I say this all the time, but gas doesn't have anywhere to go in a pizza oven, so a leak just pools up in the top of the dome and you could get a serious explosion. Our commercial gas oven has a serious burner control system with a rapid gas shutoff -- and it's very expensive.

Also, the commercial ovens are operated by professionals in a restaurant. Having a gas burner around kids, neighbors and pets scares me.


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