The Best Type of Wood to Use on an Outdoor Pizza Oven

The Best Type of Wood to Use on an Outdoor Pizza Oven

 

Making the perfect pizza is an art: from kneading and stretching the dough to choosing just the right toppings, a pizza should look as good as it tastes. And achieving perfection starts with selecting your type of fuel for your outdoor pizza oven. Although you can use gas or electricity to generate heat for cooking pizzas outdoors, nothing beats adding that smoky flavor by using wood. But what exactly is the best type of wood to use on an outdoor pizza oven?

Find out in this article, where we will explore all the considerations you need to take into account when deciding which wood is most suitable for creating delicious pizzas!

 

Different Types of Wood that Can be Used for an Outdoor Pizza Oven

 

Hardwoods

 

Hardwoods are denser than other types of wood, which means that they burn longer and hotter with fewer flames. This type of wood produces optimal heat for cooking pizza and creates the best flavor. Plus, it's less likely to emit sparks or smoke due to its low sap content.

Good examples of hardwoods for pizza ovens are oak, hickory, and cherry wood. These woods create an intense smoky flavor that can't be achieved with other types of fuel like gas or electricity. Additionally, these woods burn slowly, allowing you to maintain a consistent temperature in the pizza oven. 

 

Softwoods

 

Softwoods like cedar and pine burn quickly with a bright flame but don’t produce enough heat for cooking pizza.  They’re best used as kindling to help light the fire, rather than as your main type of fuel.  

Finally, it’s important to note that you should never use treated wood or any type of lumber with chemicals added. These types of woods can produce toxic fumes when burned and should be avoided for cooking in wood fired pizza oven.

 

Fruit woods

 

Fruit woods like apple, peach, and pear are suitable for outdoor pizza ovens and add a wonderful flavor - but they also burn quickly so you need to be careful not to overpower the smoky flavor.

Fruit woods, such as apple and pear, provide a sweeter smoke flavor that can enhance the taste of  the pizza. They are softer than hardwoods, so they don’t last as long and produce lower temperatures, which can make it difficult to cook a pizza properly.

 

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Wood

 

Hardwood:

 

Pros - Burns slowly, creating an intense smoky flavor; produces higher temperatures; more durable than other types of wood.

Cons - More expensive to purchase than softwoods.

 

Softwood:

 

Pros - Less expensive than hardwoods and easier to find.

Cons - Burns quickly, producing a bright flame but not enough heat for cooking pizza.

 

Fruit wood:

 

Pros - Provides a sweeter smoke flavor that can enhance the taste of the pizza.

Cons - Burns quickly, producing lower temperatures and making it difficult to cook a pizza properly.

 

How to Choose the Best Type of Wood for Your Needs

 

When it comes to choosing the best type of wood for your outdoor pizza oven, consider your budget and preferences. Hardwoods may cost more but will provide a better flavor and cooking experience. Softwoods are less expensive but don’t produce enough heat for cooking pizza. Fruit woods offer a sweeter smoke flavor but burn quickly so you need to be careful not to overpower the smoky flavor.

Ultimately, the type of wood you choose for your outdoor pizza oven will depend on personal preference. But for the best flavor and consistency in cooking pizzas outdoors, make sure you choose hardwoods like oak, hickory, and cherry wood.  This type of wood creates an intense smoky flavor that will make your pizza taste as good as it looks.