How Long Does It Take to Cremate A Body?

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Martin Oaks under Cremation

In order for a body to be cremated, the proper forms must be signed by certain officials. These include having a doctor sign the death certificate, written permission from family members if the cremation was not planned beforehand, and a coroner cremation authorization.


Once all paperwork has been approved, and the body is received, it takes anywhere from seven to fifteen days for loved ones to receive the remains of their loved one from the crematory. Direct cremation happens a few days after the person has died. It is the most affordable cremation available. A number of factors influence the length of time it takes to cremate a body, but it should not take more than 6 hours. You should pick a cremation company with a good reputation, educated staff, years of experience, and one that can provide you with low cost cremation.

Once A Crematorium Receives The Body

Once a body has been received at the site of cremation, it is placed in a casket or container made from material that burns easily. It takes 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to cremate human remains. This level of heat reduces the body to dry bone fragments and basic elements. These are collected after the cremation and allowed to cool for a long time. Metal objects are sorted that were not burned up in the fire. This can include any screws or nails from a coffin, dental work, gold teeth, and surgical implantation devices (or prosthetic attachments.) Pacemakers and mechanical devices are removed before the body is cremated to prevent harm to workers from explosions.

funeral urns

Next Step of Cremation Process

The next part of the process involves crushing the pieces that were retrieved from the cremation chamber. This is why it is important for the workers to remove all metal items. They can jam the crushing equipment. The average time it takes to cremate a body is from one to three hours, although it can take over five hours. An average body of 150 pounds in a cardboard container averages about two hours. After the cremation, you are left with three to seven pounds of remains that are pasty and white colored. These remains are returned to loved ones in a provided urn or standard container.

bluefire urns for sale

What Can Affect The Length of Cremation?

Factors that affect the length of cremation time include:

  • Size of and weight of the body
  • Percent of muscle mass to body fat
  • Performance of the cremation equipment
  • Temperature at which the cremation equipment is operated at
  • Type of container in which the body is placed.

It takes about twenty to sixty minutes for the cremation chamber to preheat. Whether the body being cremated is first, second, third, or last also affects how quickly it will complete cremation. There are some cremation operators who think that the deceased person’s medical history has an effect on how quickly their body will complete the cremation process.

A new service that is available is cremation jewelry. You may keep some of your family member’s remains with you at all times through the creation of jewelry that integrates their ashes into the object.

cremation jewelry

Providing Affordable Cremation Services

For an affordable Dallas cremation, contact Martin Oaks Cemetery and Crematory, Inc. We have various services which include a Dallas cemetery for the interment of your loved one’s remains. There are many funeral directors around the Dallas area who work along with us. Our cremation services are done onsite. We are located in Lewisville, Texas, between Denton and Flower Mound. Our services are available no matter where you are in the DFW area.

7 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take to Cremate A Body?

  1. Dexter says:

    Doing the cremation process if the metals is not removed what happens andalso,how do I know I’m getting my love one do you cremate more than 1 person at a time for time purposes just curious

  2. Luc Vandecasteele says:

    I heard that by people who died form cancer and who got chemotherapy until the end, have a slower and longer cremation process. Is this right? Is there any literature about this item?

    1. Pete Alexis says:

      We have not experienced anything like that. In checking with others in the field (including machine manufacturers) we have been told that medical procedures like this have no impact on cremation time. Now, if there are rods or metal in the body, that is a different story. Thank you for your interest!

  3. Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for helping me understand that cremation only lasts up to 6 hours or less. I just need to know about this since we will have my grandma cremated. She died this morning due to a heart attack, and her children have decided to choose this way of burial due to lack of money.

  4. Roy Davis says:

    When you receive your loved ones ashes how likely is it that they are theirs. Having attended a cremation a puff of black is supposed to indicate that the cremation process has been successfully completed. In this cremation the black smoke puffed out not very long after the body disappeared behind some curtains. Later I saw that the ovens were actually situated well back from the curtains. I suspect we are not getting the ash of our dearly departed. Any comment?

  5. Peter Maxwell says:

    This was really informative specially for those who are really new to the idea. Cremation jewelry for ashes is really a great way to remember all those we have lost. I have one from and it really was a helpful keepsake in keeping my Father’s memory intact with me always.

    1. Martin Oaks says:

      Thanks for your response and ongoing readership.
      martin oaks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *