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What Wood Should Use in a Pizza Oven?

What Wood Should Use in a Pizza Oven?

Fruitwood and dried and seasoned hardwoods are the best wood types for use in a pizza oven. Cooking using hardwoods is preferable to using softwoods because of the cleaner smoke and longer burn times they provide. Apple, mesquite, alder, ash, hickory, pecan, maple, and oak are among the most commonly used hardwoods in the kitchen.

Why is Wood Choice Important in Cooking Pizza?

An open flame grill for pizza.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using wood in our pizza oven as a source of fuel. Pizza ovens can use a wide variety of wood, but fruitwood plus dried and seasoned hardwoods are the finest options for these hot ovens.

Fruitwood is a wonderful addition to the kitchen because it enhances the flavor of the dish you are preparing.

What Woods Should I Avoid Using in my Pizza Oven?

An open flame grill with wood burning.

  • For your pizza oven, stay away from wood that has been treated, painted, or laminated.
  • You don’t want to use wood that’s too moist, but you also don’t want wood that’s too dry.
  • Focus on the moisture level. Multiple parameters are affected by the type and quality of wood you use in your pizza oven.
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Why Should I Avoid Certain Woods When Making Pizza?

In addition to affecting our health, the wood we choose can affect the following:

  • Heat: Pizza baked in wood-fired ovens is cooked at really high temperatures. That level of heat can only be produced by using wood that is dry and thick.
  • Time: It takes less time to fire your pizza oven when you use the right wood. Fast and easy lighting is possible with high-quality wood that is dry and thick.
  • Density: The appropriate fuel will ensure that your pizza oven maintains a constant temperature, resulting in the most evenly cooked pizzas. Your oven’s temperature will drop if you use wood that is moist or burns too quickly.
  • Taste: Depending on the type of wood, the natural flavor imparted by clean, dry wood can vary slightly. Woods with strong aromatic qualities like apple, eucalyptus, and oak are common choices when it comes to cooking fuel.

1. Maple for Pizza Oven

A log of a Maple wood.

Firewood made from maple has a distinct sweetness and smokiness. Depending on the kind of maple you’re using, the volume of sap it holds can vary significantly. There are two types of hard maple: black maple, which has a distinct flavor, and sugar maple. Some people refer to boxelder as maple.

Overall, maple is a good choice for smoking as well as cooking since it has a mild flavor. Pizza toppings such as chicken, pig, and most veggies work best with this sauce.

Pros

  • Tastes great with pork and chicken, and even most vegetables, because of the ample firewood’s mild, sweet taste.
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Con

  • To keep your fire burning, you’ll need to use a lot more maple than other hardwoods, like oak, because they’re not as thick

2. Hickory

A log of a Hickory wood.

Smoking meat with hickory is one of the most common methods. Large chunks of meat can be slowly smoked using this method because of the long burn time. Additionally, it’s a common pick for pizza ovens and requires extreme heat.

Firewood made from hickory burns cleanly and has a strong flavor. Oak and hickory are frequently used together because of their equal burn times and complementary flavors.

Pros

  • Those who enjoy a robust, smoky flavor will enjoy Hickory’s powerful smoke and excellent embers

Cons

  • As a stand-alone ingredient, the hickory flavor can be overwhelming.
  • To avoid an overpowering odor, it’s best to combine hickory with other woods

3. Pecan for Pizza Oven

A file of Pecan wood.

Hickory’s milder form, the pecan, works nicely in a pizza oven because of its mellow flavor. Using pecan wood for an oven’s heat produces pizza that has an appealingly nutty flavor.

Sadly, this solid hardwood lacks the same burn period as other types of hickory wood. Since pecan burns so quickly, it’s a fantastic wood to utilize in combination with other, longer-burning woods, including oak or apple.

Pros

  • It goes well with other woods that have flavors that match their own
  • The flavor of pecan pairs well with those of plum, apple, and oak, all of which have their distinctive undertones

Cons

  • Pecan has a shorter burn period than hickory or oak while being a thick hardwood.

4. Oak for Pizza Oven

A log of an oak wood.

In wood-fired ovens, oak is the most common type of wood since it burns the longest and has the mildest aroma. To use it as a cooking wood, you’ll need a distinct flavor. Oak also burns cleanly and creates little smoke.

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https://www.shutterstock.com/search/oak+wood

Pros

  • Oak is a wonderful source for a pizza oven since it burns for a prolonged period
  • Oak is readily available in most parts of the United States

Cons

  • Oak can prove challenging to light

5. Alder for Pizza Oven

A file of an Alder wood.

In the birch family, alder is a common choice for those who want their pizza mild and slightly sweet. You can use alder to smoke fish, chicken and sausage, and vegetables since it has a pleasant and mild flavor. When combined with other woods, it can produce a wide range of distinct flavors and fragrances.

Pros

  • Because it doesn’t dominate the natural tastes of delicate garnishes like seafood and vegetables
  • Alder’s sweet, the light smoke flavor is ideal for these kinds of dishes

Cons

  • Is more quickly absorbed into the skin than alternative methods
  • It burns more quickly than other woods with comparable flavors, such as oak.
  • To keep your pizza oven at the right temperature, you’ll need a lot more wood because of its shorter burn time.

6. Apple for Pizza Oven

A file of an Apple wood.

Using applewood in your home pizza oven is the greatest way to get that true pizzeria flavor. Hot burning temperatures and the unique flavor of applewood make it a popular choice for pizzerias…

One of America’s most beloved trees comes from Central Asia. Because it burns so hot and enhances the flavor of your pizza, apples are ideal for use in pizza ovens. Because of its mildness, it’s a perfect choice for long-term smoking of meat.

Pros

  • A favorite of professional pizza makers — Because of its high burning temperatures and distinctive aroma, as well as the flavor it imparts to pizza, applewood.
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Cons

  • You might get some ash on your pizza if your oven is small enough to handle the “pops” from applewood, which is normal when burning wood.

7. Mesquite for Pizza Oven

A burning Mesquite wood.

Burning hot and rapidly, mesquite is an extremely dense wood. If you’re cooking pig or red meat, it’s a must-have ingredient because of its strong, hefty flavor. Those who find the smoke from mesquite to be too strong may not enjoy the taste of the food.

Pros

  • Texas residents are particularly fond of Mesquite because of its peculiar flavor.
  • Some people find mesquite’s earthy aroma overpowering, but it’s a favorite of many.

Cons

  • Mesquite is one of the most smoke-producing cooking timbers.
  • Its powerful flavor is due to the considerable amount of smoke it creates, which some people find too much.

8. Ash for Pizza Oven

A log of an Ash wood.

Even though ash is a lesser-known pizza oven firewood, many consider it to be one of the best. Ashes are easy to split because of their low moisture content, and they also generate a considerable quantity of heat. Ash works well in a pizza oven because of its neutral flavor and may be combined with other types of wood to create a more nuanced flavor profile.

Pros

  • Like Oak, Ash burns hot and has an almost imperceptible flavor.
  • Ash is an excellent choice for pizza ovens due to its neutral flavor.

Cons

  • Ash is more difficult to come by because it isn’t as popular as other types of fuel, such as hickory, apple, and oak.