#1  
Old 07-10-2009, 09:30 PM
dougrappe's Avatar
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Default last curing fire / first pizza

Not sure where this post belongs, just thought I'd share this exciting achievement. I fired the oven for real for the first time this evening, prepared and determined to have some pizza for dinner. I had cured the oven for a week almost all the way, then took a week off after some crack repair and then got back to curing this week. Glad to say no crack problems, one hairline in the arch which opens up just a bit at high temperature.

My only concern was the amount of black smoke and a strong chemical smell while firing after about the first half hour. I started with a small hot fire (I'm amazed how easy it is to get a fire started in this oven!) then added some larger pieces of wood. I am guessing that the smell was creosote burning off the dome, or whatever the proper name is for the black residue that collects at lower temperatures. There was quite a heavy coating, I think because I did two rounds of curing fires. Does that make sense to anyone? The dome finally burned clear and the smell pretty much dissipated, so hopefully that won't be a problem again.

I should say that I am burning only hardwoods, kiln dried cut-offs from a wood shop, totally dry, no treated wood or plywood or anything like that. I read somewhere that kiln-dried lumber can actually create more creosote, but I haven't been able to find that reference and that doesn't really make sense to me.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Doug

oh, yeah, the pizza was great! Thanks to everyone here for helping me get this far!

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  #2  
Old 07-11-2009, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Quote:
I read somewhere that kiln-dried lumber can actually create more creosote, but I haven't been able to find that reference
You don't have to worry about creosote buildup. We have intermittent hot fires, not the all night smoldering situation you get in a woodstove.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2009, 10:22 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Bravo!

I would not worry about smoke or smells. They will quickly go away with use.

Glad to hear you made it!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 07-11-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Thanks Dmun and Jay, my only real concern is for the neighbors, I need to read up on the oven firing section of the forum. I'll try to get a nice hot fire going faster next time, I'm hoping that I won't get that kind of build up again with normal use.

Thanks,

Doug
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2009, 09:01 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Hi Doug! (again)

I burn juniper a lot which is quite readily available around San Antonio for free. It is really resinous and burns fast - really blackens the dome big time. It doesn't smell too bad - especially once at temperature. Your oven will be drying out and heating faster for some time. Once it is at temp it should be quite innocuous. There will always be a smokey period as you heat up. Be sure to involve your neighbors occasionally (if you can stand them) and any complaints should be minimal.

I wish I had hardwoods available cheap, but...so I am jealous of your wood! I only use hardwood when the oven is hot. (Cause I have to cut down several junipers a year to keep my property under control.)

Good Luck!
Jay
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

"Thanks Dmun and Jay, my only real concern is for the neighbors,"

Make sure you invite the neighbors over for pizza occasionally.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2009, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

So, I've been doing some research on my smoke problem, turns out firewood can be TOO DRY. I thought I'd share this for anyone else who is considering firing their oven with waste wood.

Can firewood be too dry?

I have only fired twice now, this weekend I'm hoping to get a cleaner burning fire. I have been using scrap hardwood lumber from my woodworking school, maple, oak, walnut etc. makes super hot fires fast, but lots of nasty black smoke too. I'm getting a better understanding of what's going on now after doing a little reading. I think I'm going to try misting some wood with water and then storing it for a few days to see if I can get the moisture content up. And to think I've been being so careful to keep that stuff so nice and dry! So if I'm at about 7-8% moisture now, I should try to get it to 15 -20%.
Maybe I'll break down and buy a bundle of actual firewood .

let's see what happens.

Doug
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:21 PM
Peasant
 
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Location: Sudbury Ont Canada
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Hi guy's just finished the 5th cure fire on my dome and a little smoke is leaking from the top of the dome I think a little motor will cure that but reading what you wrote about the wood being to dry I stumbled across a vidio that shows the start to an oven fire and the recomendation was to place 4 pc's of wood in the dome after the day before pizza and it will dry out the wood but like you said wood can be to dry so the deal is to add the regular seasoned wood to the dryed wood to make like a 60- 40 mix

Cheers!!
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2010, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Are you sure it is smoke and not steam?
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: last curing fire / first pizza

Good question, when I looked at it I see where there may be a hair line crack for smoke to come threw but now that you bring up the steam well maybe.
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