Got a Quality Pizza Oven? Get Cooking with the Best Wood for Pizza Ovens!
Quality pizza ovens aren’t cheap. And finding wood worthy of that quality is tough. If all the wood you’ve tried is garbage, what was the point of spending all that money on the oven?
We get it! You want the best wood. And there are a lot of factors to consider when you’re looking. But how do you know what the best pizza oven wood is?
In this blog, we’ll give you some general guidelines when looking for the best wood for pizza ovens. We’ll also go into what to look for with Ooni, Bertello, Gozney Roccbox and Cru pizza ovens.
How to Choose the Best Wood for Pizza Ovens
Choosing the right wood matters for your portable pizza oven. No one wants soft or moldy wood. The good news is that there is good wood out there!
When it comes to choosing the best wood for your pizzas, you have a lot of factors to think about. For example, you might consider how hot the wood burns or the flavor the wood produces.
You’ll want to get wood based on the following factors:
Hardwood is Number One
Basically, there are two types of wood: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood comes from trees that lose their leaves in the fall, like oak or maple trees. Softwood trees, like cedar or pine, don’t lose their leaves.
Hardwood is always the better choice when it comes to making your pizzas. There are a couple of reasons why this is. First, hardwood burns a lot longer than softwood. It’s also denser, which helps to create a hotter and longer-lasting flame.
Second, hardwood doesn’t have all the sap and extra moisture that softwood does. Too much moisture and sap create a smoky, messy burn that you don’t want for your pizzas!
Get Wood That’s as Dry as a Desert
Even if you get hardwood for your pizza oven, you’ll want to make sure it’s as dry as possible. Especially if you want those high temps for the perfect pizza. This is because dried wood burns hotter than non-dried wood.
Kiln-dried firewood is the best pizza oven wood because it’s the driest. This type is created by putting split pieces of wood into a very large kiln for at least two days, which removes most of the moisture in the firewood.
A lot of the wood you’ll find has a moisture level of 20% or higher. This isn’t good for burning or producing a great flame. To get the perfect burn, your wood needs to have less than 20% moisture.
Kiln-dried firewood is always below 20% moisture, ensuring the wood is dry enough for an efficient burn. So, if you get kiln-dried firewood, you’ll know that it’ll get the job done in your pizza oven.
Kiln-drying also gets rid of all insects, pests, mold and fungi that were growing in the wood. You wouldn’t want any of that in your pizza. It helps the environment too because you aren’t carrying around wood with invasive pests.
Another benefit of kiln-dried wood is it heats your pizza well and fast. Using this wood will help your pizza cook evenly because dense wood ignites quickly and produces a lot of heat. As a result, you won’t have to wait too long to get your pizza cooked.
The Smaller the Wood, the Better
The average portable pizza oven can’t fit wood that is more than six inches long. Anything longer than that will be too big for a small opening.
You’re not going to find small enough wood at the grocery store. Usually, this wood is too long and won’t fit! It’s not worth it trying to jam a large log into a small hole. You wouldn’t want wood that big anyway. Where would you put the pizza?
What you want to look for is extra-split firewood. This wood is smaller in diameter and length. Not only will this wood fit your portable pizza oven, but it will also burn more evenly.
Flavor is Everything
Don’t forget to factor in flavor when choosing your wood. Different kinds of wood will produce different flavors on your pizza. If you want your pizza to taste a certain way, you might try different types of wood like oak, maple or cherry.
Oak is the preferred choice of wood for any kind of cooking, but especially pizza. This is because it has a very subtle and smoky flavor, allowing for most of the taste to come from the pizza. It also burns the longest and cleanest compared to other types of wood.
However, cherry and maple are also great wood options for cooking pizza. Maple will add light and sweet flavor to your pizzas, and cherry will add a hint of fruity flavor.
Bringing It All Together
Finding the best pizza oven wood will completely change your cooking experience. You’ll have better tasting, evenly cooked pizza that you and your friends will rave about forever. So, always choose kiln-dried, extra-split hardwood that produces delicious flavor.
Best Wood for Ooni Pizza Oven
Now that you know how to look for the best wood for pizza ovens let’s get into specifics about the Ooni pizza oven. These qualities will work for both the Karu 12 and the Karu 16.
Out of all the pizza ovens we’re covering, the Ooni pizza oven gets up to the hottest temperature at 950 degrees Fahrenheit. But to get to that temperature, you need the best wood. For this oven, you’ll want to make sure you get kiln-dried firewood. This is because kiln-dried firewood has little to no moisture and will ensure you get the hottest burn.
Also, did you know that the Ooni pizza oven is the first of its kind to be “Recommended for Domestic Use” by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana? This is a big deal, as they are the international authority on TRUE Neapolitan pizza. This means that the Ooni pizza oven is the best one for making restaurant-quality pizza.
And you don’t want to snub yourself with bad wood. Use restaurant-quality cooking wood to make the best leopard-crust Neapolitan pizza! After all, the best pizza deserves the best flavor.
Best Wood for Bertello Pizza Oven
If you own a Bertello pizza oven, you probably know that this oven is specifically designed for cooking outdoors. It’s easily portable and makes it fun to cook while camping or hanging out at the beach.
Because this oven is made for cooking outside, you’ll want to get sustainably sourced and organic wood for your pizza oven. Organic, pesticide-free wood will not only support the environment around you but will also make a delicious pizza.
Since you’ll probably be taking your Bertello pizza oven to different places, you’ll also want to get safely portable firewood. Kiln-dried firewood is the best option because it has no pests and is legal to transport wherever you take your oven!
Best Wood for Gozney Roccbox Pizza Oven
The Gozney Roccbox pizza oven has the smallest opening out of all of the ovens we’re highlighting. And it’s pretty much impossible to close your pizza oven if your firewood is bigger than six inches.
Therefore, it’s essential that you get wood that’s extra-split and cut to six inches. That way you can fit the firewood and the pizza in the oven! Smaller pieces of wood will also benefit you by giving a more even and efficient burn.
Additionally, getting wood with a small diameter and small length will give you the proper balance of flames and coals. This proper balance helps to get that rolling flame going that cooks the top of your pizza. The result is an evenly cooked and perfect pizza every time!
Best Wood for Cru Pizza Oven
The Cru pizza oven is a very versatile oven, allowing you to cook more than just pizza! Because of its larger cooking surface, you can also try baking bread or cooking meats and vegetables.
The best wood for the Cru pizza oven is definitely hardwood oak. This is because oak wood has these qualities:
- Most versatility in cooking
- High-quality burn
- Very little smoke
- Subtle, smoky flavor
Also, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time cooking with your Cru oven. When looking for the best wood, you’ll want long-lasting and affordable wood because there’s no use in spending a lot of money on wood that won’t last! Look for wood that gets up to high heat with only a few pieces. This way, your wood will last longer, and you can cook multiple times with one box.
Wood to Avoid in Pizza Ovens
When it comes to quality pizza, you can’t just throw any kind of wood in your pizza oven. Bad wood can provide lackluster or even harmful results in your portable pizza oven. It’s important to get the best quality wood for an efficient, safe and delicious cooking experience.
Here’s what to avoid to ensure you have the best wood for pizza ovens:
Seasoned Wood is Too Moist
Seasoned wood is firewood that’s been left out to dry in the elements. Unfortunately, there are no standards when it comes to how long the wood is “seasoned.” Sometimes it can be dried out for a few months or even multiple years.
Also, seasoned wood almost always has a moisture content higher than 20%. That’s because this wood is left out in the elements to dry, where there are too many factors that play into the moisture content. If it rains, the wood could get wet again! So, seasoned wood is rarely dry enough for an efficient flame.
Wood Chips and Pellets aren’t Hot Enough
Wood chips and pellets are often leftover wood or sawdust that is compressed into pellets or chips. They can be used as kindling if you want to get the fire going, but they won’t provide the heat needed to get a fully cooked pizza. So, if you look for high-quality firewood, there won’t be any need to use wood chips or pellets in your pizza oven.
Firewood Bundles are Extra Work
Firewood bundles are the bags you see at grocery stores or gas stations with six or eight logs of wood. While it may be tempting to pick up the wood that’s convenient and cheap, it’s just not worth it to get firewood bundles.
They might be of good quality, but that’s never for certain, especially if the firewood bundles are outside. Plus, you’ll have to spend extra time and effort to cut them down for them to fit in your oven.
Softwood is… Too Soft
Softwood comes from evergreen trees that don’t lose their leaves in fall. Because they don’t lose their leaves, they retain a lot more moisture than hardwood.
Unfortunately, softwood will always have more moisture than hardwood, no matter if it’s been seasoned or not. Because of the extra moisture, this type of wood emits more smoke and fizzles out quickly.
Treated Wood is Toxic
Treated wood includes painted wood, laminated wood and pressure-treated wood, like pallets. If you use this type of wood in your pizza oven, it can release toxic chemicals that cook into your pizza. This is harmful to your health, so you should never burn it!
Time to Pull Out the Oven!
We hope you have found this blog helpful to find the best wood for pizza ovens. There are many aspects that you need to consider, but it’s important to remember to choose wood that’s been kiln-dried and extra-split to fit your oven’s tiny hole! You will get a delicious pizza that’s cooked evenly, clean and delicious every time.
That’s why Hot Box Cooking Wood includes all these aspects in our wood. We only use kiln-dried oak that’s extra-split to six inches. If you want to learn more or get some of your own, visit our product page!
If you enjoy using our wood, please share your pictures and tag us on Instagram @hotboxcookingwood!