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Old 01-29-2011, 06:08 PM
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Default Coal Fired Oven in Australia

Does anyone use coal to fire their backyard oven?

I live in Newcastle which it it claimed is the largest coal exporting harbour in the world. They ship over 160 million tonnes of coal a year from the port but do you think that I could find any to buy (I only want a sack full & not a whole ship load).

Where we walk our dogs on a local beach there is a coal seam on a clif but as there is no vehicle access I couldn't be bothered carrying any coal I dug out back home.

Coal Fired Oven in Australia-116-burwood-beach.jpg Coal Fired Oven in Australia-117-burwood-coal-seam.jpg

It would have been fun to try coal in the oven but it will have to wait until I can find some.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

Really hate the smell of burning mineral coal. Its mineral and they extract chemicals for Dyes Plastics and even petrol can't be good on your food.
By the way our American friends call "Charcoal".... "Coal" so they might be a bit of confusion with that and some of the replies

Regards Dave
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

America is full of coal mines, so Im sure they wont be confused...
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

There are different types of coal. Ideally what you want for your pizza oven is a low sulfur anthracite (sometimes called hard coal).

With respect to health risks, this source:

Lung Cancer and Indoor Pollution from Heating and Cooking with Solid Fuels ? Am J Epidemiol

states that:

"when comparing cooking by coal with cooking by wood, we found a significant increase in risk related to wood. "

So, if you have access to hard coal, that may be the way to go. If you contact your local blacksmiths they may be able to steer you to a local source.

Last edited by Neil2; 02-09-2011 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

Dave, Americans do not call Charcoal - coal. Many people in the US use coal to heat their homes. We know the difference. My understanding is that many pizzerias in New York use coal in their ovens.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

My understanding is that most coal fired ovens are "white ovens" meaning that the fire is not built in the same chamber as where the cooking ocurs. The Pompeii is a black oven, becuase the fire is in the cooking chamber. I don't think you want coal flavors in your pizza, but wood flavor is ok...
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

coal fired pizza ovens are black ovens.
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:59 AM
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Red face Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

Ilwood
Sorry to generalise... came across the term in a post were a bloke had made a charcoal burner so he could utilise the left over "coal" from his wood fired oven.
Australians use the term "Coals" to discribe the Glowing embers in a fire so I made the connection.
Fasinated to hear that Coal was burnt in a black oven. The main black ovens I can remember as a child were the old "welch side draft ovens" used in most bakeries which were difinitly wood fired. Some "white ovens" and there were quite a few in the bush when I grew up used coal as fuel. There was a coal mine in the next town and many of the men folk worked in it. Coal however was the last thing you would burn as the smell didn't make you popular with the neighbours.
Still can't stand the smell of burning coal so I'll leave it up to someone else to experiment with it.

Regards Dave
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

YouTube video on commercial black oven burning coal...

YouTube - Lighting The Coal Oven
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Coal Fired Oven in Australia

That YouTube is very interesting. They start the fire on the side and leave it there. The oven (and it looks like a pretty big one) burns clean in exactly the same way, and in about the same amount of time, that our wood burners do. It also produces a considerable amount of flame.
Quote:
We use clean-burning anthracite coal to make the world's best pizza.
Clean? Well maybe cleaner than bituminous, but anyone using "clean" and "coal" in the same sentence is trying to pull something over your eyes.
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