Author Topic: How much smoke comes out from a wfo  (Read 584 times)

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Offline PizzaCharlie

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How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« on: June 19, 2014, 11:45:58 PM »
This is probably one of those questions where the answer reply is "how long is a piece of string"

But generally how much smoke comes out of the chimney for the initial firing and then cooking for a wood fired oven?

I'm planning to build one next to the fence and was worried about smoking choking out my neighbours.


Offline mkevenson

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 01:24:44 AM »
Charlie, depends on oven design, wood used, prevailing winds. I had the exact same questions for over a year, and didn't buy based on the fear of too much smoke. Finally bought a Pizza Party and have not had a problem with too much smoke. I suggest you ask those who own similar ovens to the one you want to make, about their smoke issues.
You might try a search here , "WFO smoke", might work?

Mark
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Offline Chaze215

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 05:58:19 AM »
Charlie, the smoke is minimal during the initial firing which lasts maybe 20-30 minutes tops for my oven. However, during my first few firings I had A LOT of smoke which was due to me using unseasoned wood...which I wasnt aware of at the time. I also use a torch to start mine up which gets the fire going a lot faster vs the conventional way of starting the fire. Good luck!
Chaz

Offline Davydd

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 09:18:17 AM »
I thought smoke was all pretty much the same. Think about it. Even with the best fire around a fire ring you still jockey your chairs to the windward side. Any given quantity goes up in "smoke." Some smoke may will have less visible VOCs and humidity (white smoke) if seasoned, dry and creosote/sap free, but it is smoke nevertheless. A chimney in a wood burning oven will direct your smoke initially over your head and away from you. That's about all. Location and prevailing wind is the best thing you can design for if truly concerned for your neighbors. Sometimes that can be a logistics problem. Solution: Always burn well seasoned hardwood (least imagined offensive smoke) and invite your neighbor over for pizza. :)

Serious note. There are regulations for locating wood-burning ovens and fire pits on property and they vary greatly with communities. They may cover how close to a property line or structure you can be. Some communities are even banning wood-burning fires. That should be checked.
Davydd

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 10:42:02 AM »
I thought smoke was all pretty much the same. Think about it.

This is probably true all other things being equal, but all combustion is not equal. Combustion is more complete inside a 900F WFO than in a cool wfo or an open fire. If you want a more technical illustration, compare a traditional wood stove to an EPA certified non-catalytic wood stove.

We have had members here comment on their neighbors complaining about the smoke from their WFO. Check and follow your local code, and be as considerate as possible with the neighbors. If you are worried about it, you might want to talk to them about what you are planning first.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline mitchjg

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 02:37:43 PM »
My experience is the same as chaze215 -

I started my wfo experience with some wood that could have been drier and it caused more smoke than needed.  The next load of wood made things much better.  I try to maintain a habit of loading the (emptied of ash and ember) oven a day or so after firing it with wood, packed to the max, and close the door.  The heat (say 150 -200 when I do this) dries the wood out even more.  For me, an ovenful of wood is right about what I need for a firing.

The nastier smoke lasts 20 - 30 minutes and then "clears up."  I have also learned to use a lot of kindle when I start it.  If I use lots of little scraps of kindle and pine strips from my wood supplier, then I have much more certainty of a fast, more complete fire and the smoke is minimized.  Then, I do not load it up with too much wood too soon otherwise it is like starting over.

Now, if I could only control the wind.  On a breezy day, the smoke tends to be blown down and around the yard instead of up to the sky.  I close my door for 30 minutes because it can be gross in the yard.  Luckily, it is really far from my unfriendly neighbors on the south side of the house.......

Offline PizzaCharlie

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 08:26:11 PM »
In hindsight I should have posted this topic in the wfo forum.

But thanks for the good replies.

I was initially thinking of making the smoke stack/flue higher than normal so the smoke will hopefully fly above the neighbour. But unsure if the height of the stack would affect anything else..

Offline stonecutter

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2014, 10:35:27 PM »
Put a small bundle of dry kindling in the oven and blast it with a weed burner.  Once that's going good, feed the fire only seasoned,dry wood.  Smoke is unburnt fuel.
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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2014, 01:34:28 PM »
Very little smoke CAN be produced, or you can mosquito fog the neighborhood.  Small fire, warm the oven and flue, and use dry seasoned wood=5-10 minutes of light smoke, less than a charcoal grill at startup.

Complete combustion=no smoke (or ash, see below).

This is the entire remains of a 6 hour oak fire.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2014, 01:50:02 PM »
Tom,

Is there a practical use for the spent ash, like using it in a compost heap or on the lawn or in the garden?

Peter


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2014, 02:41:06 PM »
Our soil in TX tends to be pretty alkaline. I doubt we want to put it in our compost. A little bit for the folks up North maybe. It wouldn't take too much to make the compost too alkaline for plants though. I know people in NC who used it to kill off kudzu.  I've heard its good for tomatoes but have never tried it.

It's a good ice melt and it gets the skunk stink off a dog better than tomato juice.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2014, 03:03:26 PM »
I collect it in my ash can and put it in the trash bin.  My "soil" is limestone so it is of no use.

Offline stonecutter

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2014, 08:36:26 PM »
and it gets the skunk stink off a dog better than tomato juice.

Ash, really?...never heard that.   I know vinegar works great, but don't ask how I know....
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When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2014, 11:03:17 PM »
Ash, really?...never heard that.   I know vinegar works great, but don't ask how I know....

Yes, turns out it works quite well. Necessity is the mother of invention.  ;D
Pizza is not bread.

Offline SELES

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2014, 11:01:33 PM »
I live in a somewhat dense neighborhood and am careful to keep the smoke to a minimum. I went on YouTube and searched for "smokeless fire" and found several good videos on subject.

Offline brianw

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Re: How much smoke comes out from a wfo
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2014, 11:23:20 PM »
It seems a small strong fire first and adding more bulk caused less smoke. The first time I fired I built a big fire and had a lot of smoke head right at the neighbors house.