Pizza is literally one of the most popular dishes across the world, and it is no surprise why it is so. Everyone loves a good pizza; it is a great evening snack and also great as dinner. It is comfort food for so many people, and if you are here, you must have purchased a new pizza oven and are looking at the essential ingredient needed to operate your pizza oven – the wood. If you think that the wood used to cook your pizza does not make any difference, I cannot tell you how wrong you are.
The excellent quality of wood will transform your cooking experience like nothing else and accentuate the pizza’s flavors even more. If you are a novice and don’t know what kind of wood for a pizza oven would be the best fit for you, then you are in the right place. Read this article to find answers to all your questions related to wood for a pizza oven.
Best Woods for Pizza Ovens
Different kinds of firewoods are available for the pizza ovens, and they differ in texture and usage. You cannot expect the same type of results with each, and all of them bring a specific component to the taste and assembly of the pizza. Find your best fit from the list below.
Oak as a wood is very easy to source sustainably and is a hardwood, which means that it is heavier and relatively denser, which makes it the most suitable wood for a slow burn, and is often used for grilling.
Oak burns quite densely and produces a moderate amount of smoke, perfect for imparting a subtle smokey flavor to the pizza without overpowering the taste. Oak burns for a longer time and is quite reliable as firewood for pizza ovens.
Olive is another hardwood that you can try as a pizza oven firewood since olive wood pizza is a special Italian delicacy. Olive wood is a dense wood since it grows slowly and has oil in it, which makes the wood burn slowly and emits a wonderful aroma that gives it a beautiful smokey texture when incorporated into the pizzas.
Unfortunately, olive wood is quite difficult to source resourcefully and is quite expensive too, and requires great seasoning to give it the correct texture.
If you are looking for an interesting alternative to hardwoods and the more traditional fuels associated with pizza ovens, then pecan might be great for you. It produces a sweet yet smokey flavor which is very flavourful.
It adds a nutty flavor, which is great and quite similar to hickory, except that it is not very intense. You can use pecan if you are making dark meat pizzas or BBQ chicken or pepperoni since it would suit these breaded items well.
While fruit tree firewood is criminally underrated, very few brick oven woods have excellent burning properties and dense wood and relatively thin bark. You can use apple wood, pearwood, and many others, as they are very flavourful and impart a beautiful texture into the pizza when it is cooked.
These are aromatic woods, and the only downside is that they are not widely available and have to be locally sourced. Since they are not widely available, pizzaiolo masters use these fruitwood billets and supplement the regular wood fuel with them.
Ash, as a wood for pizza ovens, is not popular, to be honest. However, ash is really easy to use, which puts it on this list. It is reasonably easy to source and easy to shape into billets or pellets because it is really easy to split. It is extremely resistant to both water and other components of weather.
Also, it has a low moisture content, which makes it burn very intensely and produces a lot of smoke, which is a plus for anyone looking to incorporate an intense smokey flavor along with the beautiful texture of the pizza.
What are the Qualities to Look For Best Woods for Pizza Ovens
What firewood for pizza ovens is best for you depends on a few different factors determining your final choice. While you may use locally sourced firewood, using the wood with all of these qualities mentioned below will give your pizza a much more flavourful texture.
1. Hardwood Quality
You must use hardwood firewood, which is pure, and ensure no artificial treatment that your hardwood has undergone. A hardwood that is dense and great in texture will ensure a beautiful cooking process and impart lovely flavors, but using cheap firewood will ruin the entire process and let it down completely. Most hardwoods are expensive, but if the quality is good, you will not regret it.
2. Chemical Infusion
Please do not get any firewood for your pizza oven, which has been chemically treated like going through a lamination, glued wood, or any pressure treatment, because it is sure to ruin your pizza cooking process ultimately. If you are not sure if the wood you are using is chemically treated, do not use it, and throw it out immediately. A chemically treated wood can also result in your pizza oven malfunctioning.
3. Charcoal Usage
Charcoal might seem like a natural alternative for the firewood in your pizza oven and might also produce better heat and more smoke, but you should never really use charcoal in the pizza oven. The smoke emanating from charcoal has high carbon monoxide levels, and your pizza oven might not be competently designed to handle this kind of heat or smoke. Therefore, it will not work well with your pizza and is also not good for your health.
4. Right Size
The size of your oven matters a lot because every size of firewood might not fit your oven. Therefore, make sure that the wood you are using comes in a format that is compatible with your oven, be that chunks or splits. Most woods are very easily shaped because of their easy splitting nature, so you can break them into whatever shape you prefer as well. Therefore, you must make sure that your wood comes in shapes that can be accommodated by the pizza oven properly.
5. Moisture Content
The moisture content in firewood matters a lot because a lot of the taste depends on this. If firewood has a higher moisture content, it will burn slow and does not produce a lot of smoke, which may ultimately give your pizza a terrible smokey flavor. The right moisture balance in a wood would give your pizza a subtle smokey flavor and a good texture and not generate much smoke.
Cooking a pizza is an art, but now you know exactly what goes into making the perfect pizza; it is not just the ingredients but also the wood, which also makes a big difference in the flavor and texture of the pizza. The best pizzas are made in pizza ovens and are cooked with the best of hardwoods to give it that zing. With the proper firewood, you can not only have control over the taste, but it will also turn your pizza oven into a very handy addition to your backyard kitchen.
This article must have already educated you on the various types of woods available and the factors to keep an eye out for in case you are getting new firewood, so all you need to do is purchase the correct fit of wood and put them into your pizza oven and cook a delicious meal with enhanced flavor.