Friday, July 17, 2009

Why the front of my oven is black?

Right now my chimney looks different. It was redesigned. I use a barbeque starter from Home Deport. Stole the idea from master Mario. :-) I cover it with a ceramic tile, as I do not have roof, when not in use. I try not to forget to remove it before starting fire or I will get smoke in the face.

We have a lot of rain here and some times I even bake pizza when weather is far from perfect. Summers are good so.

As for black part: all wood burning ovens I saw have this. I believe it mostly happens when I start the fire: first there is no air flow yet trough the chimney and second I put wood very close to the mouth ( and under the chimney). So, when a with a still wet wood and no established fire and flow there are a lot of "fat" smoke. That make this black thing.

After fire is established and I move it to the back of the oven, there is virtually no smoke and you can even see "afterburner" fire going from the chimney if you load too much wood at once. :-) Dig in my blog, I should have some SPECTACULAR picture of "firing" chimney at night: it looks very surrealistic :-)

Talking about oven: this one use "Italian heart", special mold and it come with some steel chimney. So what you see outside is just mainly a decorations, that play a very small role in performance. They only thing about chimeny, is not make it too long or it will draw hot air and insulation of the oven is also a very important thing. If oven is not hot enough it will not bake a proper pizza and in cold weather it is very hard to keep a small oven hot.

So how big or tall the chimney is and if it "covered" with roof all have to be tried and tested, to get results you like. The key point is not have a chimney that sucks all hot air out and does not allow any smoke from front ( that may be very important for indoor - smoke can be nasty and very dangerous and if you ask me, I do not even fire my fireplace anymore; even the best design let smoke into the house if you use wood (gas do not have that problem). What you want to check if how good oven work when fire is established ( 30min-60min) and if temperature not dropping rapidly when oven is "ready".

If you see that fire is not burning right you need a bigger and taller chimney. If oven loosing heat and pizza can not be properly baked in 90 sec without burning ( fire should be calmer when you bake, just to maintain the heat) you need to reduce the flow.

Note, that door or "mouth" is used for air / heat control a lot. When you start the fire, it is wide open, hence this black on front. When fire is going up, you half close it, but you should still let air in, or oven will chock. :)

What I like to do for my oven: I have unusually big front table ( that I like a lot ) I put a door parallel to the mouth but about 5 inches from it. That reflects heat back to the oven, but air can still get from sides. With other models you may half close or put door at an angle to achieve same results.

Hope this helps :-)