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Sep 5, 2012 03:04 PM

Where to buy wood to burn in brick oven - preferably Oakland Co location? [DTW]

I’m just completing a makeshift wood burning, brick pizza oven in my back yard, but I hadn’t yet given any thought to getting appropriate wood. Any ideas? Being a newbie, I figure I can be flexible(?) in terms of size (big chips, twigs or small logs) and tree type (oak, maple, etc.). Where do you BBQ smoker enthusiasts or rich Forno Bravo folks get your wood? Thanks!

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  1. In your daily routine be on the lookout for discarded pallets. If you leave hammer and tools in your automobile you can quickly take one apart on the spot. The wood is crude and only semi-milled sometimes meaning it might have some bark on it

    3 Replies
    1. re: zzDan

      Thank you, That's certainly in my price range. Though, I worry that I'd get a pallet which had carried imported goods, in which case US Customs requires that it be certified as having been treated with a biocide to ensure against pests. Maybe those are specially marked, I don't know.

      1. re: VTB

        I would be WAY cautious about pallets...if they were used to transport chemicals (and in my long ago youth I worked at Sears and the Die Hard batteries came on acid-soaked pallets) you will have unpleasant and possibly toxic enhancements to your food.

        If you're handy with a chainsaw...

        1. re: coney with everything

          I'll second what Coney said. I'd avoid pallets at all cost. There's no way I'd burn that sort of wood in any thing I'm going to cook on, over, in or near!
          There's a number of places you can buy wood. Many of the stores that sell Chimineas sell wood bundles. Nino Salvaggio and other markets like that often have wood.
          I rarely see people stack wood at the curb but it's a great idea if you can find it that way. In my area none of the trash companies take wood if a home owner cuts a tree and if a tree service cuts it they take that wood and sell it for fire wood.

    2. Drive around.

      When people have trees removed or trimmed they will often stack the wood at the curb.

      Pallet wood is often pine which burns rapidly and leaves poor coals.

      Have you looked in your phone book?

      1 Reply
      1. re: FrankJBN

        Try Uncle Luke's Feed Store on Livernois, in Troy. We have bought wood from them before. It's a very unique place considering it's in Troy.

      2. Gander Mountain usually has several (cherry,apple,hickory,pecan) varieties. Also check the This Is It shop on orchard lake. I purchase accesories for my Big Green Egg there and they carry several different types of wood. STAY AWAY FROM PALLETS!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Quit2Chef

          Wow, thank all you guys. I'll check it out.
          Meanwhile, I'll ponder which is more dangerous-- pallets, chainsaws or being in a Big Green Egg store with a credit card. :-)

          1. re: VTB

            We are here to help please put extra mushroom and anchovies on mine

            1. re: VTB

              Just another option with that fall weather in the air and every one starting to head out towards Romeo and the Apple Orchards for cider and donuts,
              What's left of an old Apple orchard (Verellen?) on the West side of old VanDyke across from the Ford dealer there's a place that always has Apple logs. There's also a store on the corner of 32 mile and Armada ridge that has wood for around $15 a stack. Compared to the bundle cost at many of the other stores the savings on that could pay for your gas. A nice bonus if your headed to Blakes etc. ;)
              For any one making their own sauerkraut cabbadges are getting harvested and are inexpensive this season.
              You can also get bags of wood chunk (Hickory, Mesquite, Apple) at Meijers.

              1. re: TraderJoe

                Verellen Orchards (E side of Van Dyke) is (are?) still in business. It was Rapp Orchards on the west side of Van Dyke N of 29 that closed a few years back - that's where they've got the apple wood.

                1. re: gooddog

                  Verellen is no longer in buisness (AFAIK) but the main building still sells Apple wood. Sadly most of that Orchard has been clear cut over the last year or so. I've seen wood recently at Lowes and Busch's Market in Rochester Hills.

          2. I'd love to hear more about the pizza oven. Keep us updated on how the pizzas turn out.

            1. Where did you learn to build this pizza oven? I would love to read up! Very cool!!! But thanks, now I need a big green egg AND a Forno Bravo.............

              3 Replies
              1. re: christyar

                Arghhh. Well, my first prototype was a bit of a disappointment, but I thank you guys for all the ideas regarding the local oven wood sources. I picked up some expensive apple wood from Quit2Chef's suggested "This Is It Products" on Orchard Lake, and next I’ll make the rounds to some of gooddog and TraderJoe's suggested orchards. Literature reviews* have subsequently indicated to me that most wood types are equally usable, so I may be trying you other CHers' suggested sources, as well. Thank you. *

                Anyway, as you can see from the photo, my oven has a flat (steel, covered with fire brick) roof. Unfortunately, as the fire became hot the steel roof warped, thus creating joint gaps that allowed much of the rising heat to escape. Not to mention I got scared that the wavy-gravy roof might cave-in and somehow spread a fire to my freshly stained wood patio deck (I put the oven near my patio, rather than obstructively in the middle of my yard). Yes, I’m not particularly smart. It even took me forever just get a good fire going.

                In case I’ve inspired anyone who is smart enough to actually execute a SUCCESSFUL variant of this concept---
                I got the fire brick from General Shale in Sterling Hts. (18 ½ and Mound). I made the insulated base by mixing, into a mold, 7 parts vermiculite from English Gardens with one part portland cement from Lowes (can’t believe it held form), and I simply set it all on some stacked cinder block. The warping steel came from Metal Mart on Dequindre & 13 Mile. For the record, Thuet Products on Gratiot and 21 Mile sells ceramic oven dome roofs for about $200 (roof only; rest of oven costs MUCH more if bought from them), but I was too cheap to buy a pre-fab roof and I was afraid it would crack over time. I may reconsider and give it a shot. In any event, I will report back.

                My next try is going to be a self-supporting (pure brick) pyramid shape, with no sheet-steel reinforcement. Wish me (and my flammable homestead) luck. All in the pursuit of pizza.

                  1. re: Markcron

                    It just wafts out of the entrance. Fancy ones have a short horizontal entrance tunnel leading into the oven, and those tunnels have a chimney pipe that allows the smoke to go up out from the tunnel, as opposed to venting horizontally into the cook's face. Not a thermodynamic issue--the flow in the cooking chamber isn't really impacted either way. And, you've seen my face, so you know why I didn't bother with a chimney on the tunnel.