Wood fired pizza ovens are the best way to taste authentic pizza. No matter if it is an outdoor portable or indoor fixed oven, the best wood for pizza oven can offer you the taste of Italy.
Is it really a tough task to pick the best wood for wood fired pizza oven? Well, if you don’t know the tricks and techniques, the task can be a daunting one. However, if you are reading this section, you don’t have to go through this shock.
We have covered all the proven techniques used by the veteran Pizza masters to pick the best hardwood for pizza ovens. Now serving an authentic pizza will be as easy as shredding mozzarella over the topping.
Why Best Type of Wood For Pizza Oven is Essential?
For a newbie Pizza maker, all types of wood or wood pellets will be the same. It’s true. In the inexperienced eye, there will be a very minute difference between the woods. However, it is not the case.
If a Chef’s Knife is the conductor’s baton for a master chef, then firewood will be the same for a skilled Pizza maker. Once he/she wraps the head around the woods, all the secrets of perfect pizza making will be unveiled.
It adds Flavor
Dried and flavored ones are the best wood pellets for pizza ovens. If you use moist wood, it will give you a musty flavor on the pizza. And I am sure you won’t love it.
Quality and type of wood make a significant difference in pizza making. We recommend dried hardwoods like apple, cider, or maple for adding taste to the crust.
Satisfying Cooking Experience
Pieces of wood that are properly dried and contain flavor will give you the best cooking experience. Both cooking and prepping will be easier and less time consuming for you.
No one will like to have a smoky oven and musty smelling crust. And only the best dried-woods can prevent it.
The best wood for an outdoor pizza oven is supposed to burn consistently with even heat. Some woods may burn very hot initially but burns out too quickly. No wonder these woods will give you a soft and under cooked crust.
The best wood for pizza ovens offers not only sweet flavor but also provides consistent cooking. You will get the even temperature throughout the entire cooking time with the great woods for the wood oven.
Green woods won’t generate better heat. It contains too much moisture that prevents the proper burning of the fibers of the laminated woods. Thus, dried woods will ensure high temperature with better heat.
The most authentic pizza requires proper baking of the crust and optimum melting of the pizza and toppings. And you need optimum heat from the best wood for wood-fired pizza oven.
How Moisture Content Affects Wood Fired Cooking?
Natural woods are made of 72% moisture. It may sound a lot, but this moisture keeps the entire tree alive and provides sufficient water for survival. But when you are up to burn the wood, the humidity will become the worst enemy.
When you burn moist wood, most of the heat is used up in boiling and vaporizing the trapped moisture inside the wood. As a result, you will get less heat but massive bulges of smoke. NOw cooking will become a painstaking job.
So the bottom line is that too much moisture is not suitable for making pizza. And you can’t call moist woods the best type of wood for a pizza oven. The optimum moisture content of the best wood pellets for pizza ovens ranges from 15 to 18%.
But do you know how to select the wood with optimum moisture content?
A well-seasoned dried wood will have deeper cracks and greyish color. If it’s too dried, the color will turn from dark brown to black. Medium dried or green woods are yellowish with brown patches. And you will find mold and mushrooms in moist woods.
Smell and Touch
Dry wood won’t have any smell; however, the moist woods will smell musty. You can feel the cold and soft touch on the wet wood. Contrarily, dried wood will have no softness and cold feel on it.
Insert the wood pellets inside the oven. If it creates too much smoke, the wood pellet still contains more than the optimum moisture level. Otherwise, the wood is perfectly ok to make pizzas.
Best Wood For Pizza Oven Review
One thing is obvious that you will need kiln-dried wood for making the most authentic pizza at home or the restaurant. But not all the dried woods goes perfectly with the pizza-making process.
We have talked with several 5-star rated Chefs and Pizzeria owners to find out the best woods. Based on our research, we have picked the best wood for pizza oven for you.
Alder Wood For Pizza Oven
Alder is a member of the birch family. It is a genus of shrubs and flowering tree species. Thus, you can expect some sweet flavor from the alder wood pellets.
If you want a slightly smoked flavor on any food, including pizza, put alder wood in the best pizza oven. The subtle and slightly sweet taste is a perfect combination of fish, vegetables, sausage, lamb, and poultry. Therefore, you can use this wood for chicken, vegetables, or anchovy pizzas.
You can mix other woods with alder to add extra flavor.
Apple Wood For Pizza Oven
Apple wood is exotic for the US grilling culture. It was grown in Central Asia and brought by the European colonists. This wood is famous for its lighter taste and appropriate for meat pizza.
One of the best things about apple wood is its high heat-producing capacity. It enhances both the aroma and smokiness. The wood burns slowly so it extends the smoking process and tenderizes the meat.
Applewood is the perfect choice for the slow cooking of meats and cheese.
Hickory Wood For Pizza Oven
This is the most popular wood choice among smokers and grillers. The hearty tang and rich flavor of the wood turn any pizza and topping into a remarkable one.
You will love any pizza made with sausage and bacon is cooked in a hickory wood oven. Out of the 18 species, around 12 grow in the United States. And smokers around the world love to have them as wood for wood ovens.
However, the strong flavor of the hickory wood can overpower the natural aroma of some food items like poultry or vegetables. So make sure you are aware of it before picking it as the best wood for pizza oven.
Maple Wood For Pizza Oven
Maple is famous for its sweet syrup. However, the sweet flavor of the wood also enhances the taste of any pizza or grill. This North American native tree is famous among the griller for its smokiness and sweetness.
This sweet wood is perfect for pork. However, you can also use them for poultry and vegetables. As we know maple wood produces syrup so it will surely contain sugar. The more sugar the wood has, the more caramelized effect on the food.
Too much caramelization may turn the pizza bitter. Thus, it is better to check the sugar containing a sap of the wood.
Mesquite Wood For Pizza Oven
Are you looking for a wood to make steak or pizza made with pork toppings? Use mesquite wood for a perfect result. This wood is native to Southwestern US and Mexico and can survive in the harsh desert environment.
Because of the longer and durable tissues this wood can burn with high heat. If you have any problem dealing with any meat, try the mesquite wood. The strong nature of the flavor can turn the meat and the pizza crust a bit bitter.
Oak Wood For Pizza Oven
Along with Hickory, Oak is one of the best woods for wood burning pizza ovens. This North American native wood has around 600 varieties that come with different flavors.
You will get oak wood almost anywhere in the country. With this extensive availability, the wood adds extra aroma to any food. Moreover, the oak wood burns slowly and tenderizes the meat with aromatic flavor.
If you are a big fan of lamb, pork, or beef and love making steak pizzas, this is the right choice for you.
Peach/Nectarine Wood For Pizza Oven
Like apple wood, peach or nectarine wood also offer fruity sweet flavor to any food. This Chinese native tree belongs to the Prunus genus and is a member of apricot, cherry, and plum groups.
This sweet flavored wood is a perfect compliment to the fish, white meat, and seafood. However,if you want to use red meat or chicken add oak or hickory for a stronger taste.
Pecan Wood For Pizza Oven
Pecan is one of the most favorite nuts and no wonder you will find the same nutty flavor in the wood. If you ask me what wood to burn in a pizza oven for a crunchy nutty flavor, pecan will be my first answer.
This North American native tree produces one of the best wood for wood burning pizza ovens. Pecan is a bit sweeter and also smoother than hickory. Thus, if you need wood that will slowly cook a large chuck of meat or large size of pizza there is no better alternative to Pecan.
Walnut Wood For Pizza Oven
Are you a veggies lover and want all of them as your pizza toppings? You should pick walnut as one of the best woods to burn in a pizza oven. This large tree wood can extract the aroma of the fruits and vegetables.
I used to put walnut each time I made a hawaian or mushroom pizza in my outdoor oven. This wood is perfect for the balance between aroma and seasoning.
What Types of Wood to Avoid in Wood Fired Oven?
Now you know which woods to put inside your best pizza oven for the perfect crust. However, it is essential to know which one to avoid. Any wood that has been treated with chemicals should be avoided to be used in a pizza oven. The chemical fumes not only ruin the food but can also create toxic smoke.
Moreover, pressure treated or painted woods are big NO-NO for any wood-fired pizza oven. These woods lost the natural texture and can’t produce the desired amount of heat. As a result, you will end up with gooey crust and half-cooked toppings.
Why is My Outdoor Pizza Oven Smoking?
Because you have chosen the wrong type of the right wood. Sounds confusing? Ok, let me make it clear.
Hickory or oak could be the best choice for any outdoor oven. However, if you have chosen the green woods that have just been cut you will have a lot of smoke. As these woods didn’t get enough time to dry so they will contain a lot of moisture than normal. And more mixture means more smoke.
How Much Wood for Wood Oven is Essential?
It is better to start with a small amount of woods. In my opinion, five pieces of 12 inches long wood planks will be perfect to sit up the fire and heat up the oven. Once the oven is on the go you can add more woods.
How much wood is necessary depends on the amount of heat and cooking you required. If you have to cook large pizzas or bigger chunks of meat, you will need more wood. However, for a quick cook a few extra planks after those initial five should work.
Making pizza is a delicate task and both the oven and the woods play a vital role in it. If you have the best pizza oven for outdoor, all you need is to pick the best wood for pizza oven. Let’s chalk up the pizza menu and it will tell you which woods will be the best for the most authentic taste of the pizzas. If you pick any one or combination from these nine best types of wood for pizza ovens, a perfectly cooked and tasted pizza will be a guarantee from us.