The Fresh Loaf

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Fire and smoke issues...

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chester52101's picture
chester52101

Fire and smoke issues...

I have built an Allen Scott oven that obviously needs a little cosmetic brick and stucco work yet. But I am practicing a little and have had trouble with lots of smoke coming out of the opening a hard time getting the fire to burn. I am not getting that "white hot" brick look when I have a fire. I am using very dry white pine.

How long do you usually fire an oven before cooking? Is baking in Winter going to be a problem?

 

Thank you for your help.

tchism's picture
tchism

I'm no expert since I'm new to firing this kind of ovens myself. This video deals with a smaller oven like I have but the principles should work for you too. I found it really helpful 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rUwmV6ci9Q

Good luck!

polo's picture
polo

If your oven is recently completed there is a good chance that it is still not completely cured. It took several fires in my oven to finally get it to the temperatures adequate for cooking or baking. I would also recommend using a seasoned hard wood (Oak, Cherry, Ash, Maple), seasoned meaning having been air dried for at least six months and preferrably longer. White Pine will get your oven to temperature, but you will have to burn a lot of it.

Any more info on your oven (how long have you cured it, size, amount of thermal mass, etc.) may help give us a better idea of what could be wrong as well.

chester52101's picture
chester52101

Very helpful! Thank you, I will give these ideas a try!

 

embth's picture
embth

Using lots of pine wood will build creosote in your chimney quickly.  I know this is a new oven, but depending on how wide the diameter of the chimney and how much you have been firing the oven, you may have some build-up already. That would explain the smoke coming out the door and the lack of draw that would make your fire difficult to maintain.  I will use bits of pine to start a fire, but hardwood is truly the better fuel.

Good luck!

chester52101's picture
chester52101

The reason I am using pine is because Allen Scott's book says to use it. My chimney is a stack of concrete construction block 1 1/2 as tall as the depth of the oven. Does this sound big enough?

embth's picture
embth

So….the chimney opening is 10" square?   It would take a lot of burning pine to build significant creosote in an opening of that size.   The chimney on my oven is 8" round ….and I run a brush through it every 4 or 5 firings.  I often notice an improvement in the chimney's draw.

chester52101's picture
chester52101

The chimney opening has 2- 5" or 6" by 5" or 6"

embth's picture
embth

Perhaps the two flue design of your chimney creates a problem in the drafting of the oven.  I think it would be best for you to consult a professional mason for advice.   

polo's picture
polo

You would need to know the size of the oven's interior to have an idea as to the size of the flue. Chester's flue area is very large though, and should not be causing the problem.

chester52101's picture
chester52101

Wahoo! Two nice fires in a row! I think I may have been rushing things and using too large of a log.