Ive been reading this thread with interest as Im new to the wood fired oven scene, but I have seemed to find a method that has worked the first 4 times I've fired my oven, it goes as follows,
1: I start making a box with 2 pieces of hard wood 2: inside this first layer I get paper shredding's from my paper shredder and twist a hand full as tight as I can get them and then place them in the centre of the box base, 3:I repeat this on the next level 4: I repeat this on the 3rd level but with soft wood , I also just ever so slightly soak the paper shredding's with BBQ lighting gel. 5: And the same again on the 4th and final level
google upside down fire, basically you start with the large wood on the bottom getting smaller as you go up and kindling on the top. i use this method everytime without fail, less smoke to as the larger wood underneath only ignites when its hot enough to do so. theres a thread somewhere on the forum discussing it if you were interested.
Gday A couple of things that I include in the top down fire to ensure its as smokeless as possible. I build it in the entrance under the chimney . That does 2 things . Prewarms your chimney so it draws its best. Secound the fire has a chance to heat up well, when you push it into the oven proper the heat kicks back off the walls and it continues to burn well. I'm not adverse to a bit accelerant. I save some charcoal from a previous fire and soak it in pure alcohol. Just a couple of teaspoons. No nasty smells and the charcoal adds to the mass of coals in your fire.
Bit of a sliding scale as to how much wood you will need. Because of different oven size and different heats from different wood. Mines an 80cm internal but I would guess I use approx four maybe five carrier bags full to get to temp. I'll gauge it next time to make sure.