Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We had fired up the oven twice with untreated, soft wood, 2x4 scraps. This wood was exceedingly easy to light, burned hot and fast and subsequently heated the oven up quickly. However, there was excessive amounts of smoke any time you put new wood in and once the oven got fairly hot (~600 F) the smoke turned to this nasty black creosote smoke. I talked with Mike from Rolling Fire at the University Market - I should mention that he is really making some of the best pizza in Seattle - and he suggested that the soft wood was just burning so fast in the hot oven that it couldn't burn efficiently and recommended using fruit wood instead. So I called up my buddy in Yakima that woks part time in his father-in-law's cherry orchard. He asked if I needed like a truck load to which I responded with a solid "oh crap no, just enough to fill up the back of my little VW Golf." Yeah it turns out getting a hold of fruit wood in Yakima is no problem. We filled the back of our Golf and didn't make a dent in the slash pile we were pulling from.

This last week we fired it up using the new wood and the difference was amazing. The cherry is hard to start so I used the 2x4 scraps to get it started. There was very little smoke, the wood formed hot coals, and we never reached a nasty black smoke period. We did have to watch it a little more closely and in fact at one point had to use the 2x4 scraps to restart it.

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