To cook pizza, you need a very hot oven. This is the primary justification for selecting only certain types of firewood for your pizza oven. But, unfortunately, you can only get the heat you’ll need to cook your pizza to perfection from dense, dry hardwood.
One of the most popular woods to use for cooking is Ash. This kind of wood is a good choice for pizza ovens and is inexpensive compared to oak and other hardwoods. In addition, it is easy to split, dries out quickly, and burns slowly without being too hot. Ashwood is one of Italy’s most abundant kinds of firewood, and you can find it in nearly every neighborhood.
The right kind is the most important when choosing wood for your pizza oven. Wood that is seasoned and dried correctly is the best choice, as it is denser than softwoods and will produce an evenly cooked base. Ashwood, maple, and oak are the most commonly used wood for pizza ovens and are also great for pizza making. While oak is readily available and burns very hot, there are many other types of wood to choose from, and the best type for your oven is entirely up to you.
Hickory smoke firewood for pizza baking is a popular choice for ovens due to its distinctive, smoky flavor. In addition, the smoke from hickory firewood imparts a sweet, savory, and almost bacon-like flavor to foods that cook in them. Hickory wood is particularly useful for cooking pizza, and it can be mixed with other types of wood to produce an even smokier flavor. But it’s not for the faint of heart.
Firewood that burns hot and gives off a distinctive smoke is called mesquite. This wood can produce a lot of smoke, which is not the best choice for pizza ovens. However, it is a great choice if you enjoy making artisan pizzas and prefer an earthy flavor. Ash, however, is a lesser-known wood that can produce a large amount of heat but is not as flavorful as mesquite. Ash is an excellent substitute for mesquite because it is easy to split and has an almost unnoticeable flavor.
Another type of mesquite wood that can be used in a pizza oven is Christmas firewood. This type of wood is plentiful in the high country of the Southwest US. It is the perfect fuel for a fireplace, bonfire, or chiminea. It gives off a rich, Christmas-like aroma and is known for being insect-repellent. You can also use mesquite for campfires.
For pizza ovens, you must stack your wood correctly to prevent smoke and heat buildup. If your firewood is stacked improperly, it will increase cooking time and potentially cause food-borne pathogen contamination. Likewise, different types of firewood give off different amounts of smoke. Therefore, properly stacking wood will allow even burning and taste, just like a brick oven. Ideally, you should stack your firewood in vertical rows, leaving one or two logs between each other.
A good piece of dry hardwood is essential for your pizza oven. Avoid wood with a high sap content, such as red pine. These woods will produce a lot of soot and creosote. It will also clog your pizza oven. To reduce the amount of sap in your wood, consider seasoning, curing, and removing bark. Never use wood that hasn’t been fully dried.