Nothing tastes quite as good as a crunchy, flavourful slice of pizza prepared in a traditional wood fired pizza oven.
If you're new to making wood fire pizza, you might wonder what is the best pizza oven wood for you to use. What do they use in Italy? Are less expensive, local alternatives just as good? Can you adapt wood pellets for pizza oven use? What about biomass briquettes?
In this article, we will answer all of these questions and many more.
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Never Use This in Your Wood Burning Pizza Oven
Never use laminated, painted, bleached, or any other type of chemically wood in your wood burning pizza oven. Not only will this wood impart chemical smells on your pizza, making it uneatable, but it can also poison you and your loved ones by releasing toxic chemicals. It is also best to avoid logs from softwood trees due to their high sap content. Most people will also want to avoid using peat briquettes. This is because peat produces a very strong odour, which most people do not find pleasant.
What Is the Best Fuel For Pizza Ovens?
According to most Italian chefs, kiln-dried oak logs are the best logs for wood for pizza oven use. Oak burns cleanly and at a very high temperature, which is why it is the only type of log you will find in truly authentic Italian pizzerias. The kiln-drying process helps ensure consistently low moisture, helping the logs burn as hot and as clean as possible.
Does Moisture Content Affect Wood Fire Pizza Cooking?
Yes, moisture content plays a direct role in how good your pizza oven wood will perform. The less moisture your firewood contains, the easier it will be to light and the hotter and cleaner it will burn. This is why we recommend using quality kiln-dried oak logs for your wood fired pizza oven.
According to Defra's Ready to Burn standard, all firewood logs sold in the UK must be dried to moisture levels under 20%. While safe, this moisture level is still too high for effective use in pizza ovens. On average, Lekto's kiln-dried oak logs contain around 7-8% moisture.
Best Non-Oak Hardwood Options For Pizza Ovens
If you can't find any kiln-dried oak logs in your area or want to save a little bit of money, you can use the following types of wood for your pizza oven:
Best Fruit Wood Logs to Give Your Pizza Extra Flavour
Feeling more adventurous? Fruitwoods can impart an extra dimension of flavour to your pizzas. Several fruit-bearing trees can be used in your wood burning pizza oven:
How Much Wood Do You Need For a Pizza Oven?
The exact amount of wood you'll need to use for your pizza over will vary depending on the size of your oven. We recommend you start with 3-4 logs and add more if necessary.
The typical length of wood used for cooking in a pizza oven is 12 inches. It's usually easier to start your fire with smaller pieces of wood before adding larger pieces.
Where to Buy Pizza Oven Wood
In 2022, the best place to buy pizza oven wood is either online or in speciality wood fuel shops.