Can anything be as mouth-watering as a freshly-baked pizza just out of a wood-fired oven? The beautiful stretch of hot mozzarella cheese. The satisfying crunch of the crust. And the unmistakable aroma of wood smoke. Absolutely delicious.
Baking the perfect pizza requires heating up your oven to extra high temperatures. And to reach those temps, you need to choose the right type of firewood for your pizza oven.
While you can theoretically use any type of wood for your pizza oven, there are only a few options that will let you reach pizza perfection. And there’s only one type of wood that is used in authentic Italian pizzerias.
Let’s explore the world of pizza oven wood.
What to Pizza Over Wood to Avoid
When it comes to food preparation, health and safety should always come first. So before we talk about choosing the best fuel for your wood-burning pizza oven, let’s discuss what types of wood you should avoid burning at all costs.
Under no circumstances should you cook pizza on firewood that’s been painted, pressure-treated, laminated or treated in any way. Not only will this type of wood ruin the taste of your pizza, but it can actually cause you serious health problems as various toxic compounds are released when this type of fuel is burned.
The second type of firewood you should avoid is wet wood. Whether freshly cut or inadequately seasoned, high moisture firewood is unsuitable for baking pizzas. Instead of burning cleanly and at a high temperature, wet wood smokes and smoulders at a low temperature, releasing dozens of harmful compounds and burning your toppings before your crust becomes crunchy.
High-quality firewood should contain no more than 20% moisture. Ideally, you should aim for logs that contain between 8% and 15% moisture. If you don’t trust your wood fuel supplier on their word, you can purchase an inexpensive wood moisture meter and verify the moisture content of your pizza oven wood yourself.
Great Pizza Oven Wood: Main Characteristics
Perfect pizza over firewood should have the following characteristics:
- Heating Consistency. Not all hardwood logs are made equal. To ensure proper heat output consistency, you need to use kiln-dried firewood that has a moisture content of no more than 20%. Ideally, aim for figures under 15%.
- Pleasant Aroma. While taste is subjective, many people love the smoke smell of apple, cherry, and mesquite. If you prefer a more neutral smell, choose oak wood or heat logs.
What Wood to Use for Pizza Ovens?
Authentic Italian pizzerias use only kiln-dried oak firewood for their pizza ovens. If you are seeking new tastes and aromas, you may try using firewood from fruitwood trees (cherry, almond, plum, etc.). Pizza bakers on a budget who want to save money with minimal compromises in terms of heat output can opt for Kiln-Dried Birch or Sawdust Briquettes.
What Wood Is Best For Pizza Ovens?
Kiln-dried oak firewood is the perfect wood for pizza ovens. Praised for its high heat output, long burn time, and subtle aroma, oak is the only type of firewood you’ll find in truly authentic Italian pizzerias.
Oak firewood for pizza ovens is widely available in the UK. At Lekto, we are proud to offer some of the best kiln-dried oak pizza wood available on sale in the UK. Our oak logs are dried to an ultra-low moisture content of around 10%. They are easy to light and burn at ultra-high temperatures, which makes them perfect for pizza ovens.
Can I Use Fruitwoods For Pizza Ovens?
While using fruitwood logs is a definite no-no in the context of authentic Italian pizzas, many UK chefs choose to use them because their smoke imparts a unique flavour to your pizzas. If you’re adventurous, there is no harm in trying them out.
Popular fruitwood options for pizza ovens include:
What Is the Optimal Pizza Wood Moisture Content?
Under 15%. While all firewood dried to moisture levels of under 20% is safe to burn, drier is always better when it comes to pizza firewood. For an optimal pizza experience, we recommend kiln dried logs with a moisture content of under 15%.
Where to Buy Wood for Pizza Oven Near Me?
Now that you understand what to look for, you might be asking yourself where to buy wood for your pizza oven. In 2022, the best way to buy pizza wood in the UK is by using a trusted online vendor.With almost 12,000 positive TrustPilot reviews, Lekto’s Kiln-Dried Oak Logs are some of the best pizza logs in the business. Pizza chefs searching for even more heat can opt to ameliorate their heat output even more by adding an ultra-hot-burning Hardwood Heat Log into the mix.