What is a retort?

The retort is the cremation chamber, or furnace, into which the body is placed. Inside the retort, open flames fueled by natural gas, propane, or diesel heat the chamber to as much as 1800 degrees F. The retort is made of special heat-resistant bricks which hold and reflect the intense heat produced by the flames. Adjustable, computerized control systems monitor the interior of the retort during cremation to determine when the cremation process is complete, and then perform automatic shutdown.