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Best Firewood For Pizza Ovens

Well if its time to start cooking!

Let’s figure out what the Best Firewood For Pizza Ovens. Now that you’re ready to fire it up and start cooking those delicious wood-fired pizza recipes.  I think you can agree that spending an hour trying to heat a smoky oven isn’t your idea of a good time! But, it doesn’t have to be that way at all if you have the best wood to use in your pizza oven and understand what it is your doing.

Having the correct wood is Very ImportantNot all woods are good to use in a wood-fired oven especially wet or softwoods. I will explain all I can! 

Let’s start with some of the wrong choices of firewood and what not to use.

Cooking with a wood-fired oven should be a healthy choice. So don’t get reasonable by using firewood that is dangerous to your health and will give you nothing but problems.  Softwoods like pine are not good they burn to fast and have no BTU Value they also have Sap that produces soot and smoke. Never use fire starters that are full of oils they will make black smoke and odors too. I like Lightning Nuggets.  They are the best for starting a fire, clean and natural.

Never ever use any type of Laminated wood, pressure treated or painted woods. Green wood or wet wood neither.  I don’t even like wood with bark on it because it can cause a flare-up when the bark lights up.

Best Wood for Pizza Ovens

Now that you know what not to do or use  we need to get you on the right path for cooking firewood for pizza ovens

The best woods for pizza ovens are seasoned and dried hardwoods. Hardwoods, which usually contain broad leaves as trees, are a better option than softwoods, which usually have needles and cones.  One reason hardwoods are better for cooking in a pizza oven is because they are cleaner and last longer than softwoods. They also have more BTUs ( if you want some more data on wood energy check out this link ) and produce greater heat with longer burn times. Examples of hardwood are Black Birch, maple, oak, ash, hickory,  and walnut, Rember woods (trees) are regional so make sure you get the best you can for your area.

Some Folks love the aromatic woods 

I do love the way aromatic e woods smell and cook.   Fruitwood, comes from several fruit-bearing trees it’s not as available as most hardwoods but its great to use when available.  Applewood (my personal favorite), cherry, plum, almond, pear, hickory, maple, pecan, mesquite, chestnut, apricot, and nectarine are all great choices and can produce some great flavor as well as wonderful aromas to your backyard cooking!

Best Firewood For Pizza Ovens

Different fruitwoods have different smells and season your food in a different way.  Therefore, some fruitwoods are a better match for different types of food.   Apple is used by pizzerias to enhance aroma and flavor and burns very hot. Great choice for pizzas!

  •    Alder is best used when cooking fish and poultry for it provides a light flavor.
  •    Hickory is the most famous for “smokers” as it gives a rich, hearty tang to meats. It is mostly used for pork ribs and shoulders.
  •    Maple is best for cooking pork, poultry, and seafood as it gives a sweet blend to the food.
  •    Apricot, Nectarine, Plum, and Peach all have flavors that are milder and sweeter than hickory. You can use these to make your food have a sweet aroma.
  •    Mesquite is popular for its very hot burning woods. It is ideal to use when cooking steaks as it gives a sweet flavor to foods.
  •    Pecan is widely used for wood-fired ovens. It gives a sweet flavor almost the same as hickory, the only difference is that it does not burn very hot.
  • Oak is the most popular of all the woods used in wood-fired ovens. Oak wood burns for the longest time and gives off a great aroma for your food. It is typically used for lamb and beef.
  • Walnut is the perfect match for cooking fruits and vegetables. It brings out the flavor of vegetables and fruits, especially mushrooms and potatoes. If you love your food to have a great aroma, this is a great wood to use!

Does Moisture Content Affect Wood Fired Cooking?

Did you know that the moisture content of your firewood affects not just your food but also your wood-fired oven? YES, it does! The ideal moisture content of the best wood used in wood-burning ovens is 20% moisture. This means that under-dried or over-dried woods are not recommended.  There should be a nice balance, not too dry but not totally green wood.

Why Is My Pizza Oven Smoking So Much?

Greenwoods that are not kiln dried or aged dried would probably be the reason.   These types of woods are  NOT what you want. They won’t do produce the right amount of flame needed inside the oven and will produce lots of smoke.  Also, don’t overload the oven with wood start with a small fire and keep it going with one piece of wood at a time. A little bit of wood goes a long way! Keep the door closed and wait for your fire to die down if it gets too hot and the fire come out the front. It’s about having fun!

Here’s is how to do it! 

One of the main complaints I hear from new wood fired cooks is that they have too much smoke coming from their pizza oven.  Or the flame is too big or the bottom is not cooking! You really need to balance your oven heat with the correct amount of flame and heat up time.  For me, I build a small fire first with kindle and get that going. Then I add several small lean logs on top. I close my door and keep it open a small bit on the right side (to allow some air in the oven.) As the fire logs catch they usually produce a lot of flames and heat my oven get up to at least 750 and begins to cool down as the fire dies down. I allow the logs to burn down and have a small bead of coals and fire burning then I open the door us usually about fifteen to twenty minutes in. At this time my oven is hot. The floor is hot at this time.  I then add a small piece of wood or two if I needed to keep the flames going.  I sweep the floor with an oven brush and push all the fire over to the left side ( and corner left) Then I cook. I check the bottom of the pizza to be sure it not to hot and keep it close to the front. I then keep an eye on the left side of the pizza The side facing the fire and make sure it’s not burning to fast and turn the pie as it browns. If the bottom is cooking well I keep it in the same spot if it needs a little more color I move it around!  It takes practice to turn the pizza and see our videos on youtube click the link here

 Best Firewood For Pizza Ovens

Reminder: Your oven will smoke if you are using the wrong wood.   To avoid too much smoke, use hardwood that is kiln dried Keep your wood covered and out of the rain too. Great food depends on the wood you use when it comes to cooking in your wood-fired pizza oven. 
Cooking in your pizza oven with hardwood and some fruit woods is the way to love life! 

So Love Life and Get Cooking!

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