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Thick Black Smoke out the Front - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Thick Black Smoke out the Front

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  • Thick Black Smoke out the Front

    I have just installed my new Napolino 70. I started curing it this morning with some kindling. But thick black smoke keeps coming out of the front of my oven. Even when it reached 300 degrees and I tried to keep it at temp, more wood meant more black smoke. What am I doing wrong? I used kindling that said fat wood. There is so much soot coming out that I am continually wiping it away. HELP!

  • #2
    Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

    Let me start by saying that I have a home-built Pompeii oven, not a Napolino 70... but I think my comments are still relevant.

    1) First of all, I would say not to worry about the black smoke right now! Black smoke is normal for an uncured oven. You may not believe it now, but all of that black soot inside your oven will burn off once your oven is cured and the oven is up to temperature.
    2) Some of the soot near the entrance will also burn away (but not all). I would not bother trying to wipe it away - you will make an unnecessary mess. Wait until your oven is cured and up to temperature before you assess the soot situation. You can clean up what's left then. Some soot is a sign of an oven that is being used!
    3) Lastly - make sure you use dry hardwood in your oven. (Oak is ideal) I don't think fatwood is a good idea - fatwood has a lot of resin in it so that it burns for a long time.


    • #3
      Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

      I agree. As far as I know, Fatwood is pine, which is a softwood and that type of wood is not generally recommended, from what I have read. Try some good dry and seasoned oak or other hardwood, if you can find some.
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      • #4
        Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

        More to the point, fatwood is pine that is full of resin/sap. Great for starting a fire, and great for producing smoke in a fire that is already started!

        Find some hardwood limbs or chop it up so it's about as big as your wrist. Make sure the wood is seasoned.
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        • #5
          Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

          Down here, "fat wood" is called lighter'd. It is the very heart of ancient pine trees. It is a great fire starter. Even in wet conditions. But, it is full of pine resin which is rich in turperntine. It can produce nothing but, thick black smoke.

          Just sayin'

          Edit: You might want to try preheating the flu before you light the oven. Also, the "birdsnest material" sized twigs that fall from hardwood trees makes great firestarter. It and your wood need to be dry, though.
          Last edited by Gulf; 06-30-2014, 05:12 PM.
          joe watson

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          • #6
            Re: Thick Black Smoke out the Front

            Fatwood is pine that has been struck by lightning, turning the sap into something like turpentine. You would only want to use a very small handful of slivers to get your fire going, not use it as the primary fuel.

            As a kid, my brothers and I hunted fatwood and chopped and sold it as kindling. It will burn like a torch and destroy your axe, don't even think about ruining a chainsaw on it.