To get straight to the point the best woods to burn in your wood-fired pizza oven are hardwoods such as ash, birch, oak, maple and beech. Whilst they’re more expensive than softwoods you really will notice the difference when using your pizza oven.
Hardwood trumps softwood
It’s hardwood all the way for your wood fired oven and I tell you this from my own oven experiences as I’ve used different types of wood and had very different experiences.
I buy all my wood for my oven so know that the wood has been dried and aged but I’ve made the mistake before of assuming that wood was wood but I was wrong. Without paying much attention I bought some softwood firewood as it was pretty cheap but I definitely paid for it later.
I couldn’t get my oven up to the high temperatures needed and I also got quite a bit of smoke too so it wasn’t a very pleasurable experience as the pizza took longer to cook, didn’t crisp that well, and the smoke added too much aftertaste to the food. Not good at all and I started to wonder if I’d built the oven incorrectly!
Why hardwood is better
What we want from a fire is high heat and no smoke, and this is where hardwoods differ from softwoods.
- Burn hotter
- Burn longer
- Less smoke
For this you will have to pay slightly more but not a lot and you really will notice the difference and get to enjoy some great pizzas which is the whole point. A hot oven will give a crispy base and lovely crust, just what your oven is for.
These are the hardwoods that will do wonders in your pizza oven:
I’ve been able to source some great Ash from a local farmshop so go to your local shop and ask them what wood it is. If it’s any of the above then go and buy some. FYI it was mostly Ash for me so that was perfect.
If you’re not too sure then you can actually buy firewood online! With several pizza parties coming up I thought I’d give it a go and bought a 40 litre bag of Birch for £11.95 with free delivery and as an added bonus these were kiln-dried too. Delivery was only a couple of days and straight to my door, so whilst it was more expensive than buying local I was still happy with the service.
Here’s a video of the fire in full flow. Lovely!