Author Topic: coal fired oven  (Read 3424 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline maximillian66

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1
  • I Love Pizza!
coal fired oven
« on: July 24, 2006, 04:16:56 AM »
I am interested in building a coal fired oven.
Has any one else built one.
What modifications, additions etc. are necessary compared to a brick wood fired oven .
Does anyone know of a web-link with instructions on how to build one ?
Thank you.


Offline Fio

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 277
  • Cook it HOT.
Re: coal fired oven
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 08:58:01 AM »
I am not aware of any differences between wood and coal that would dictate a different design, except for the fact that coal is burned in chunks, whereas wood is burned in logs or sticks.  It's easy to stack wood in an oven to allow plenty of air to support the flame; I'm not sure how I'd feed a coal fire to allow the same airflow. 

I don't want to divert your thread but why do you want to burn coal?  It's dirty, there are questionable health risks from high-sulfur coal, and it's probably harder to find than wood.  Yes, it burns hotter, but wood burns plenty hot enough; trust me.

Have you tried fornobravo.com?  They have an excellent wood oven forum.
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: coal fired oven
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 11:54:40 AM »
I agree with Fio about the reasons on not going COAL.

Having say that, There is a different functioning system behind coal oven. the air circulation happen in completely different way, whereby the coal sit on a griddle "fed" with air from below and the vent is on the opposite side of the oven chamber.  Also, traditionally coal oven are square, flat ceiling and for the reasons above, function with the door close. 

Again is a silly design that worked for bread baking and the only reasons some pizzeria still use it in NYC is that there was a bakery in their location before them.

"Building a Wood-fired Oven for Bread and Pizza" by Tom Jaine has few drawing inside of this type of oven. I believe he refer to it as "Scotch" design


Offline Alf

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: coal fired oven
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006, 06:44:50 PM »
The Scotch oven is a unique oven that was born out of the industrial revolution in the UK and has been exported mainly to the US and Australia where you can still find a few working ones. Unlike most other European countries the Brits had a large merchant and military navy that used vast amounts of timber to build their ships thus depleting the supply of fuel wood. The industrial revolution started when Abraham Darby managed to harness the power of water and use it to introduce forced air into blast furnaces. Thus eliminating the need for charcoal and reducing the price of pig iron.

One of the by products of early iron production and later gas production was a cheep product called coke. The Scotch oven evolved from this period and utilised this cheep fuel. This type of oven is generally oblong with the fire on the right and the flue on the left with a small door in the middle. The fire is kept going most of the time with the hot volatile gases moving from right to left, way above the baking bread. One of the reasons these ovens became so popular was that they were one of the first continues bread production ovens thus reducing the cost of bread.

The oven can be fired by wood, coke, coal and just about any thing that will burn. During the 50s and 60s many ovens were converted to oil. One of there main drawbacks now it there thirst for fuel and the fact that they have a very small door to work the oven.