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Someone here said they burned hard coal right on the oven floor, I can't find the reference now. It may be worth a try if you have any. There were lots of coal fired white ovens in bakeries, but I think some NYC pizza joints use coal direct in the cooking chamber.
I Have a 5 gallon bucket, I was worried it might be too much heat right on the brick as I had a friend that burned out the bottom of an "old" wood stove using it.. But are the bakeries and ovens that are using it, keeping it right in the oven ?