Author Topic: Fatwood?  (Read 3641 times)

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Offline thomasshawn

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Fatwood?
« on: October 02, 2005, 01:24:34 PM »
My inaugural post, how cool.

anyway just finished adding a 28" domed brick pizza oven to my outdoor kitchen/living area. Still in the firing process of the new oven and am simply using twigs and newspaper for the first few fires as recommended by my mason. He cautioned against commercial firestarter blocks because of the chemicals used and the flavor that would then be imparted onto the bricks. That being said, newspaper can be messy and I wonder if small particles might not end up in/on the pizza.

Reading some other sites I have come across something called "fatwood" (actually a colloquial term for kindling here in the south)  a brand name/generic term for a specific type of non-toxic ?food safe? pine fire starter. It is basically sap laden fragments of wood from the stump of a pine tree.

Anyone have any experience with this type of product for wood burning ovens?

http://www.fatwood.com/



Offline jimd

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2005, 04:22:23 PM »
I also have an outdoor oven, although it is at a summer cabin and I do not get to use it nearly enough.

I have tried using fatwood to start my fires, and have come to believe that it is not a good alternative. The small twig-like pieces of the fatwood seem infused with a sticky oil (which I think occurs naturally). The fatwood burns well, but the oil, which is almost like a resin from pine, has a distinct, "sweet", odor to it, that I do not like and I think my hang around the oven (could be my imagination). As the wood burns, the oil "boils"   out of the wood onto the oven floor, where it is tough to get rid of. I still have some stains on the porous tile from the oil.

I use the commercial firestarter bricks available at Home Depot and other stores without problem. They have no odor and burn nicely. I understand that Mugnaini ovens are shipped with a free box of these starters, which I take as at least some kind of endorsement as to safety.

Good luck with your oven. It is truly a romantic notion to have your own backyard oven, and just about every guy I have to the house for a pizza party falls in love.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2005, 04:38:54 PM »
I use this for starting all my fires (in the brick oven, BBQ pit, charcoal grill):

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&langId=-1&productId=592&R=592&issearch=17384


Hook it up to a 20lb. propane tank. If your wood is well-seasoned, it starts the logs up in a few minutes.  I'll take photos next time I fire up the oven (Tuesday, I hope).

Bill/SFNM


Offline thomasshawn

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2005, 06:38:41 PM »
jimd, you said "commercial firestarter bricks" how are these different from the "firelogs" that appear to simply be lighterfluid soaked pieces of compressed sawdust. Or is that what you are refering to?

as for the fatwood, thanks for the response, when i read about the sap in the wood I winderred if just that thing might happen. as for the TORCH, which I think id WAY cool. Trying to avoid the whole 20# propane tanks, would one of those handheld torches scrwed onto a small tank, also avail at Home depot serve the same purpose, or do they not get hot enough?

just for clarification

Thanks

Shawn

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2005, 09:52:35 PM »
Trying to avoid the whole 20# propane tanks, would one of those handheld torches scrwed onto a small tank, also avail at Home depot serve the same purpose, or do they not get hot enough?

Shawn,

I've never used the small tanks, just 20# ones. Not sure the smaller ones have the BTU power to get a fire started. What's the problem with 20# tanks?  The one I use for starting all my fires lasts 2-3 months on one filling. On Tuesday I'll post photos.

Bill/SFNM


Offline jimd

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005, 09:11:05 AM »
Hi Shawn:

I wish I could remember the name of the "firebrick" starters that I use. They are, however, of the type that I see in Home Depot, i.e., the compressed wood fiber infused with some type of starter/lighter fluid. They work great, and I have not had a problem with odor or residue on the floor, as they seem to burn clean.

Offline thomasshawn

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2005, 09:31:30 AM »
THanks for the info on the starters. I'll look into that

As for the 20# tank. No problem other than the need to store the large tank. I really like the idea though and I also like the long reach of the torch which may be an issue with the smaller tank option. It would require me to basically reach in with the entire tank and nozze into the oven. May not be the best idea.

hmm...I'll wait to see your pics

thanks for all the info

Shawn

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fatwood?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2005, 12:36:34 PM »

Here is a photo (not very good, I'm afraid) of the 500,000BTU torch I use to start the logs:


(http://www.lanackerman.com/images/torch.jpg)


Bill/SFNM


 

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