Think again before deciding to use any old piece of wood in your pizza oven. What you smoke in the wood-fired oven can transform a pizza from good to perfect, wonderful pizza.
Using the incorrect wood will hinder your oven’s ability to heat up to the right temperature or create a huge mess that will require extra time and energy to clean up. If you want to cook pizza properly, you’ll need an oven that gets quite hot. This is the primary justification for using specialty firewood in a pizza oven.
Pizza’s flavor, texture, and cooking time can all be drastically improved by using high-quality wood in the pizza oven.
The wood used to cook pizza is often overlooked in favor of more commonly used smoking wood, despite the fact that there is a wealth of information available on smoking wood.
Here, you’ll search all the details you want to choose the best wood for the pizza oven.
How To Choose The Best Wood For Pizza Oven?
If you want to cook pizza properly, you’ll need an oven that gets quite hot.
Simply put, this is the most important consideration when selecting firewood for the pizza oven. To get the amount of heat required to cook the pizza to perfection, you’ll need dense, dry hardwood.
You can’t go wrong with oak or maple, but keep reading for the full rundown of our recommended hardwoods.
Get your pizza oven up to screaming hot by constructing a coal bank and maintaining the fire with hardwood splits.
It’s not only about the heat when choosing wood for a pizza oven; there are other considerations to bear in mind as well.
If you’re interested in making pizza at home, our method for wood-fired pizza includes comprehensive instructions for constructing a pizza oven fire.
The flavor is influenced by the kind of wood used.
First, there’s the manner in which the wood alters the taste of the pizza.
Burning the appropriate kind of wood will impart the right taste to your pizza, so choose wisely.
If you choose the wrong wood, the pizza will have a harsh, bitter flavor that can turn off even the most dedicated pizza fan.
When working with wood, having the appropriate sort can really help.
Second, if you use the proper kind of wood in your pizza oven, lighting it and getting it ready to cook will be a breeze. Improper wood might make starting a fire more of a hassle than it’s worth.
If your wood isn’t dense enough just to burn very hot, you may be waiting quite a while before your oven reaches its target temperature of 800–900 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s assuming it even makes it that far.
Best Wood For Pizza Oven: The Best Woods To Use
An in-depth look at a few of the most common types of firewood used in pizza ovens is presented here.
Before looking into the availability in your area, read through all of the options and select the ones that interest you the most. Because all of these forms of firewood are so highly suggested for pizzas, you shouldn’t be hesitant to experiment with combining a wide variety of them.
Oak is good for pizza ovens because of its high density and ability to withstand intense heat.
Oak wood is common and easy to find; it burns hot and leaves behind a pleasant, earthy flavor. More flavor and smoke intensity can be expected with red oak as opposed to white oak.
Oak is the greatest all-around wood to use in your wood-fired pizza burner; it may be used by itself or with the addition of a little fruitwood for a more subtle flavor.
Oak firewood is a safe bet if you’re looking to fuel your pizza oven and aren’t sure what kind of wood to use.
A pizza oven made of maple is another great option. It can be burned by itself or in tandem with other woods like oak or applewood.
Toppings like pork, chicken, and most vegetables benefit from maple’s mild, slightly sweet flavor.
There are more than 100 different kinds of maple trees, however, the “soft maples” (red maple, silver maple, or boxelder maple) have the best taste and burn most consistently out of all of them.
To achieve a restaurant-quality pizza at home, applewood should be your first choice in pizza oven fuel.
Applewood has a strong following among the world’s best pizza chefs thanks to its high burning temperatures, pleasant aroma, and capacity to enhance flavor.
Applewood is a popular choice because of the versatility of its mildly sweet, fruity flavor. The only drawback is that it might pop quite vigorously, which may cause some ash to fall into your pizza if your home pizza oven is on the smaller side.
Not that this should deter you, mind you.
Hickory is one of the quickest-burning hardwoods and a favorite cooking wood. Because of this, pizza ovens, which require extremely high temperatures, frequently use it.
Hickory wood, in its many forms, is widely available because it is native to the East. Hickory is clean-burning and has a robust flavor, similar to oak but with a considerably stronger flavor.
Since hickory and oak have comparable burn times and complement each other in flavor, they are frequently used together.
Ashes is a species of tree that is indigenous to the eastern and central parts of the United States.
Ashwood, like oak, is a great option for the pizza oven since it flames hot and has a mild, mild flavor.
It’s easy to use and convenient because it burns hot for a long time. It’s also not too difficult to light, so you can enjoy a pizza night without fussing over the fire.
Throw in some mesquite for a deeper smokiness, or throw in a few apples or plum wood for a touch of sweetness.
Mesquite is one of the common types of wood in Texas, and its peculiar, astringent flavor has made it a regional favorite.
Because it contains a lot of the complex organic polymer lignin, which gives plants their rigidity, it gives off a lot of smoke, making it one of the smokiest common cooking woods.
Because of how fast and intensely it burns, it is ideal for use in a pizza oven. If you want to enjoy its powerful, earthy flavor, you should either combine it with a wood that has a more subtle taste or pair it with toppings that can stand up to its strength.
Because it generates so much heat, plum is an excellent material for a pizza oven.
It has a gentle sweetness and a mild flavor, making it a great complement to oak or pecan.
Plummwood is a great option for wood-fired pizza ovens, and it goes well not just with chicken and turkey, but also with veggie toppings and pork.
Pecan is a subspecies of hickory that has a milder, nuttier flavor that works wonderfully on pizza. Hard and dense, but not as long-lasting a burner as oak or other hickory species.
Because of this, using just nuts to fire up your pizza oven might not work out so well. However, it goes well with oak, plum, or apple woods, which burn hotter and have complementary flavors.
Because of this, using just pecan in the pizza oven can be difficult. However, it goes very well with oak, plum, or apple, which are all hotter burning and have complementary flavors.
The Woods To Avoid
Given the abundance of amazing possibilities, you’ve probably been wondering about the types of wood that should be avoided when using your pizza oven.
To answer your question in a nutshell, you should steer clear of anything that isn’t kiln-dried hardwood. If it is not hardwood and it is not totally dry, then it is not going to ignite at a high enough temperature to cook your pizza to the ideal doneness.
If you adhere to using dry hardwood in your pizza oven, even if the wood you use isn’t the very best, you’re still going to come away with wonderful results. This holds true despite the fact that the wood may be of varying qualities.
Let’s examine the various varieties of wood that you really ought to steer clear of using in your convection oven:
High Sap Wood
The use of woods that have a high sap level is not recommended for cooking because these woods produce creosote, which is a harmful by-product of the burning of wood and can start building up inside the pizza oven with time.
It is possible to lower the amount of sap in softwood by removing the bark, seasoning and curing the wood, and then using the wood once it has been treated.
High Moisture Wood
You shouldn’t utilize the wood you saved for your pizza oven if it hasn’t fully dried out.
Wood with such a large amount of moisture won’t work since pizzas need a very quick cooking process at a very elevated temp.
Wet wood produces little heat and a significant amount of smoke when burned. Creosote and soot will accumulate in your oven due to the heavy smoke.
A moisture meter can help you determine if the wood you’ve seasoned at home has reached the optimal moisture level of 20% for optimal grilling.
On the contrary, wood with a moisture level below 15% is not ideal to use in wood-fired stoves since it can cause fires.
While wet wood is more prevalent, dry wood produces more smoke and creosote and burns too quickly, making the fire difficult to manage.
Piece by piece, you can increase the water content of your usual firewood by adding in some leftover bits that are too dry from being kept in a hot environment.
As for this proposal, it’s a solid no. Throw away any pieces of wood that have been stained, painted, bonded, or treated with any kind of chemical.
In addition to releasing hazardous particles when burned, this treated wood can catch fire unexpectedly and severely.
You shouldn’t risk swallowing possibly dangerous poisons from a piece of wood whose origins you don’t know for sure. Use only wood that you have legally obtained, either by harvesting it yourself or purchasing it from a reputable dealer.
It’s best to stay away from any wood that appears to have been treated.
Wrapping It Up
When it relates to pizza ovens, fire is the most important factor, therefore dried and weathered hardwoods are an ideal choice because of their thick build, which gives us that prolonged, high burn. Since heat is the most important factor, the be-all & end-all of pizza ovens is heated.
A learning curve that involves making pizza in an oven that is wood-fired may be both expensive and time-consuming. It would be a terrible waste to fail at the very last challenge, which is to locate the most suitable kind of wood for the pizza oven.
Is it okay to use wood that isn’t quite dry?
It is imperative that you stay away from wet wood at all times. A fire started with wet wood won’t get hot sufficiently and may emit too much smoke anyhow.
Is there too much smoke?
There is such a thing as too much smoke, even if you want lots of smoke to impart the smokey taste onto your pizza. You should restrain yourself so that you can still get a breath of air when you remove the pizza from the oven.
Avoid using green, wet, or moist wood if you don’t want a lot of smoke in your room.
What is the recommended amount of wood to use for a pizza oven?
Knowing how much wood is required to make a pizza is a crucial element of pizza making.
About five wood wedges of average size are where most people begin. The five wedges you need should fit easily because they are relatively small. If you discover that you require more, you can always just manufacture more.