How Hot is a Cremation Oven?

How Hot is a Cremation Oven?

Why does it surprise me that people are curious about the temperature of the cremation chamber.

But people frequently ask, “How hot is a cremation oven?” Although I should say that it’s normally only after we’ve spoken for awhile and they feel comfortable asking. It’s naturally hard to imagine how much heat it takes to legally, respectfully and efficiently cremate a human body.

Very hot.

Cremation OvenAccording to the National Funeral Directors Association which is the largest industry association (founded in 1882), “The optimum temperature range is 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit for the cremation chamber.” aCremation’s Dallas cremation chambers (also called retorts) are typically kept at 1650 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is constantly monitored by the crematory operator to
ensure it is maintained between the required levels.

Are bodies exposed to open flames when cremated?

Yes. In order for the cremation to take place, the body is exposed to direct flame. But, it’s important to know that the deceased is in a container when it enters the cremation chamber. Although I can’t speak for all crematories but I know, firsthand, that the crematories aCremation works with take great care to treat each body with respect and make sure they are carefully placed in an appropriate container and kept covered prior to cremation.

The container going into the cremation chamber can be non-metal such as an unfinished wood box. The main thing is that it does not have any non-combustible materials. Typically these are made of fiberboard, pressed-wood, or composition materials.

If you are going to have a funeral service prior to the cremation, you may want to purchase a “cremation casket”. These caskets are specially manufactured to ensure they meet the requirements to go directly into the cremation chamber. If you purchase a metal casket, you may be charged an additional fee to dispose of the casket since most funeral homes will end up destroying them.

The best approach is to ask the funeral home or cremation service provider what options are available.

8 Comments
  • Angela
    Posted at 11:23h, 24 October Reply

    Thank you for the caring information. I am going to be cremated upon my passing. My mother chose this way as well in July of this year. Best wishes to you.
    Hugs Angela

  • Steve Yemm
    Posted at 22:29h, 22 February Reply

    I would like to know what happens to gold rings mistakenly left on fingers or gold fillings in teeth, since gold melts at 1945 degrees F. and the oven is 1400 to 1800 degrees F. Is it returned to the family with the ashes, donated to a charity or kept?

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 10:19h, 08 March Reply

      Thank you for submitting your question. I have added it to our Frequently Asked Questions so others can benefit from it as well.

  • Sheila
    Posted at 11:35h, 22 May Reply

    I personally have dealt with loved ones being cremated three times. My husband and I both have paid cremation plans. In my opinion and experience it is the best in all respects. It was good enough for the Vikings hundreds of years ago. I find comfort in knowing that my ashes might assist a tree or other plants to prosper.

  • Mrs. RL White
    Posted at 19:22h, 17 October Reply

    I know in the past, cremations left some skeletal remains. They had to grind the bone down. Is this still true?

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 09:57h, 28 November Reply

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, after the cremation occurs there are skeletal remains that are processed down so they are the texture of course sand. This is required by Texas State Funeral Law. You can read more about remains scattering in our blog, The Truth About Ash Scattering

  • Pat
    Posted at 16:10h, 04 January Reply

    Can ovens be opened after they are already started

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 15:26h, 08 January Reply

      Thank you for your question. It is possible to open the cremation chamber (also called a retort) during the cremation process, if necessary. However, crematories try to limit the amount of time it is open in order to retain the heat. Most modern equipment has the ability to monitor the progress of the cremation without opening the chamber.

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