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.

Mary Beth Barnett
Mary Beth Barnett
mary.beth.barnett@acremation.com

Mary Beth Barnett is a licensed Funeral Director in Texas. Her involvement with aCremation began before our doors opened – researching how we could provide affordable cremations and still keep quality and service standards high. Through this process, she developed a passion for working with families who are going through one of the most stressful phases of life – planning for death.

14 Comments
  • Avatar
    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

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    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

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    Lothrop Stoddard
    Posted at 11:35h, 29 May Reply

    Hello, can you tell me the approximate BTU required to cremate a typical adult.

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 13:24h, 29 May Reply

      Each crematory operation is different so there is not a standard answer. However, the average temperature for a flame-based cremation is around 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Avatar
    paul anderson
    Posted at 20:16h, 11 July Reply

    I want to know do you have more than one burner cremators on the go at the same time do you burn more than one body at a time there’s only 1 chimney stack and I don’t want my cremating flesh atoms to mix with other persons burning flesh atoms in the same chimney stack. do you burn more than one body at time. lets say for example if you have 4 chambers do 4 body burn at the same time in the separate furnace chambers. when its my time to die I don’t want my flesh atoms mixing with others in the same chimney stack all crematoriums I believe should have separate chimneys . 12 July 19 by paul Birmingham uk

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 09:21h, 12 July Reply

      Modern crematories typically have a professionally designed ventilation system including the chimney stack, for each cremation machine. However, you would need to ask these questions to the specific crematory you are considering using to find out how they are designed. In Texas, only one deceased person is cremated at a time unless there is a court order or other formal documentation to allow such. Even then, some crematories may not be able to accommodate the request.

  • Avatar
    Robert Braden
    Posted at 15:20h, 05 September Reply

    You collect the dental gold and other metal from the ashes and sell it to a medical recycler. Why don’t you give it back to the family along with the ashes?

    • Mary Beth Barnett
      Mary Beth Barnett
      Posted at 14:15h, 06 September Reply

      Thank you for your question. As for dental gold, it typically melts to the point of being unrecognizable after the cremation. Since the topic of metal recycling is not specifically outlined by the Texas State Funeral Commission, you should address your question with the funeral home and crematory caring for your loved one PRIOR to the cremation. Each crematory decides how they will handle non-cremated devices like titanium hips and knees. It’s also possible the crematory donates its proceeds to a charitable organization and does not profit from them.

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