Pizza ovens are a wonderful thing - who wouldn’t want to be relaxing in the back garden while slowly cooking up a delicious feast for everyone to enjoy?
However, there is one issue that can often spoil the party - smoke. If your pizza oven isn’t operating properly, you may find your patio being consumed by unwanted fumes. The solution? Ensuring your pizza oven is vented.
Many people don’t realise just how important a chimney is to a pizza oven. In fact, many people wonder whether a pizza oven needs a chimney at all.
So, whether you are building a pizza oven for the first time, or are having issues with your existing oven smoking, read our guide for all the answers you need to know...
Does a Pizza Oven Need to Be Vented?
Like any solid fuel burning appliance, a pizza oven does need to be vented. Venting your pizza oven with a chimney ensures a few things - keeping the flames burning efficiently, removing smoke from inside the oven that could taint your food, and stopping smoke from blowing out into your face.
Why Does a Pizza Oven Need a Chimney?
Basically, a pizza oven works similarly to a wood burning stove. As the fire inside burns, the difference between the hot air in the oven and cold air outside creates an imbalance in pressure - this is the ‘draught’ or ‘draw’. If your pizza oven is vented with a chimney, this allows the hot air to be sucked upwards, taking the smoke out with it, while fresh cold air is drawn from the front to feed the flames.
If you don’t vent your pizza oven, the air and smoke will have nowhere to go but back out the front door - something you don’t want when you are trying to cook.
What Flue Do I Need For My Pizza Oven?
The chimney or flue you choose for your pizza oven is absolutely essential for it to work correctly - without the right flue the oven won’t get hot and there will be no pizza!
So, what type of chimney is best to use for a pizza oven?
Any flue or a chimney will only work when the column of air inside the flue is warmer than the air outside, therefore making the air in the flue rise and create the draw. The hotter the air inside the flue, the stronger the draw.
Twin Wall Flue is Best for Pizza Ovens
If your pizza oven is wood-fired or runs on gas, we would always recommend using our Twin Wall Insulated Flue Pipe.
Twin wall flue is the best option to use as it retains its heat, thanks to its double layer filled with insulation. This means that the flue is warmer, resulting in a stronger draw that helps the oven get up to temperature easier.
Another benefit of using twin wall flue is that it can be fitted a 50mm distance from combustible materials. This makes it easier to run through roofs and other enclosures around the oven, as you don’t need to leave large safety gaps.
Along with twin wall pipe, we also have a selection of adaptors, brackets, lengths and bends, so you can find everything you need to vent your oven. Available in two colours - silver and black - it also looks aesthetically pleasing. Our system is completely push fit, with each joint needing a small low profile locking band, making it easy to fit while looking great!
Can You Use Stove Pipe to Vent a Pizza Oven?
Single skin stove pipe can be used to vent a pizza oven, though it is not ideal. This is mainly because, unlike twin wall pipe, it is not insulated and can get extremely cold. As it takes longer to heat up, the draw is far weaker, which can result in smoke backing back out through the oven door - extremely uncomfortable for both the cook and their guests.
We have seen black vitreous enamel stove pipe being used to vent a pizza oven, but we wouldn’t recommend using this. It isn’t designed for outside use and it can rust. If you really don’t want to spend the extra money on a twin wall pipe for your pizza oven chimney, stainless steel 1mm thick stove pipe would be a better choice, as it will be more durable.
Along with suffering a poorer performance than twin wall pipe when venting a pizza oven, single skin stove pipe is also trickier to install. This is because, once heated, the pipe will get very hot to the touch, so it has a much greater distance to combustible requirement - three and a half times its own diameter!
So, overall, it’s much wiser to invest in a twin wall pipe to use as a chimney for your pizza oven - you’ll have the perfect pizza in no time!
How Do I Stop my Pizza Oven From Smoking?
There are two main factors that will cause your pizza oven or outdoor cooker to smoke back at you: using the wrong fuel and downdraught.
Is Your Fuel Causing Your Pizza Oven to Smoke?
First off, always check the fuel you are burning is correct. Burning the wrong fuel is a common cause of smoke billowing from a pizza oven.
You will need good quality dry wood for your pizza oven to work properly. Just like your wood burning stove indoors, you need to use dry wood with a moisture content of less than 20%. If your wood has too much moisture, it will burn slower and create more smoke. To check this, you can buy moisture metres that will give you a reading on your logs.
Avoid softwoods, too, as these burn slower than hardwood - again, resulting in more smoke. Get yourself some good quality kiln dried wood to give the pizza what it deserves!
Is Downdraught Causing Your Pizza Oven to Smoke?
Once you have ruled out the fuel, then unfortunately the pizza oven may be located in an area where wind or pressure of air is coming back down the flue - meaning downdraught is causing your pizza oven to smoke.
If your Pizza oven is on wheels, then try moving it to a more sheltered spot to see if this helps.
If your pizza oven is built in and you can’t move it, then more work will be involved. Firstly, you can consider extending the flue, which could help improve the draw of the chimney. However, this might not be possible - plus, there is no guarantee that this will solve the problem.
Instead, we recommend fitting a Flue Boost. Our vertical discharge draftbooster chimney fan is ideal. Flue Boosts are easy to fit with our twin wall pipe. They more or less provide your pizza oven with the perfect conditions for your flue to work efficiently, meaning you can get on with perfecting your cooking skills!
In fact, a chimney fan is a great way to take out all the hassle of trying to light a fire in a pizza oven - no more waiting for the chimney to draw while you get covered in smoke. Simply switch the fan on before use, light the oven and you are away!
Do you need some help in venting your pizza oven? Feel free to contact us for more advice on the products you need.