Re: Seasoning my klose
Although pre-burning may be the way to obtain the "cleanest" fuel, it uses considerably more fuel to do the job. I'm not for or against pre-burning but I don't pre-burn due to the added cost.
I build my fire very much like Noah. I even had a few logs smoking on top of the firebox this weekend and turned them over before they ignited.
I've heard several accounts of logs flaming up on top of the firebox so I keep an eye on it. I put a stick or two (depending on size) at a time into the firebox when the old fire is a bed of coals beginning to lose their heat. The pre-heated log almost immediately ignites, puffs a white smoke for a few seconds, and then begins to burn clean. The vents are adjusted to regulate the flame so that it doesn't go out until the fuel is coals. I find smoldering wood to have a very unpleasant odor and wouldn't want it on the food (I've even had to get up out of bed to remove a smoldering log from the fireplace at night and take it outside).
Cajun, that was a very interesting article:
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When temperatures are too low or when there is insufficient oxygen for complete combustion of the volatiles, smoldering occurs. This is characterized by smoking, the emission of unoxidized pyrolysis products. (This is the awful tasting stuff, creosote, that will give barbecue a bitter taste
If the temperature is high enough and sufficient oxygen is present, then flaming combustion occurs with less smoking and more complete oxidation of the pyrolysis products. Further pyrolysis of volatiles during flaming combustion may cause char particles (soot) to form
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Of the two choices above, the high temperature option is what I do. Build a small fire just large enough to keep the smoker heated so that I don't have to choke the vents, and let it burn.