What Is the Best Wood for Ooni Pizza Oven?

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What Is the Best Wood for Ooni Pizza Oven?

Are you looking for the right wood to cook your Ooni pizza? Then you are at the right place. This article will take you through the best wood for the Ooni pizza oven you can choose to bring out that rich smoky flavor.

Let's get started!

Why Is Wood Important?

Choosing the right wood for your pizza oven is crucial to guarantee that your homemade pizza will cook perfectly and have a distinctive taste. So, which kind of wood should you pick if you can only use one type of wood for the best wood pizza oven?

Well, when cooking pizza, a few key components are essential. To begin with, you need quality wood that maintains a constant temperature of roughly 950 degrees Fahrenheit and emits crispy, fragrant smoke.

Our best choice of wood was the oak logs that have been properly seasoned and kiln-dried. In addition, we found it best to divide the logs into one-to-two-inch chunks, as this provided us with a quick, even burn.

If you need a detailed list to choose from, then here are our best picks:

1. Oak

Oak is the best wood for a wood-fired pizza oven due to its extended burn period and subdued scent. In addition, we found oak wood to be the best firewood as it burnt efficiently with minimal smoke.

close-up of firewood pile theme abstract rustic backgrounds

PROS

  • Oak burns longer than other types of wood, making it a great fuel for a pizza oven.
  • Oak is common in most of the United States.
  • Locally available.

CONS

  • Getting your oak firewood to burn might require effort.

2. Ooni Premium Assorted Oak Pack

The Ooni Premium Assorted Oak Pack is something we advise you to try. It's perfect for the 16 Ooni Karu. However, It does not serve the Ooni Karu 12.

Image Credits: Ooni.com

The kiln-dried wood has a moisture content of 15% to 20%, which is suitable for a dry, slow cook. In addition, it offers a refined wood-fired Neapolitan pizza experience!

This little package has everything you require to start making wood-fired pizzas the finest way possible.

PROS

  • The pack comes with various logs in the firewood bundle and some wood chips to quick-start your flame.
  • The wood is kiln-dried for a hotter, more even burn.
  • It comes with firelighters.

CONS

  • It doesn't fit in the Ooni Karu 12 pizza ovens.
  • The pack is expensive.

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Red oak logs are USDA-certified and kiln-dried at 160 degrees for up to 48 hours. Smoak logs produce an incredibly intense and clean burn, making them ideal for wood-fired pizza ovens.

PROS

  • The red oak logs can fit various models of Ooni multifuel pizza ovens.

CONS

  • No kindling or fire starters are provided! You will thus need to find these elsewhere.

4. Maple

Often, maple flavor is associated with maple syrup. However, regarding firewood, maple has a subtle sweetness with a tinge of smokiness that can work as the best wood for pizza. Maple wood exists in two types, hard and soft maple.

Image Credits: uklogsdirect.co.uk

Hard maple includes black and sugar maple, while soft maple species include boxelder, red maple, and silver maple. These varieties create a modest taste, making it a great wood for smoking and cooking. When making our homemade pizza, maple functioned particularly well with our pork, veggies, and chicken pizza toppings.

PROS

  • Pork, poultry, and most vegetables go well with maple firewood's mild, sweet flavor.
  • Marple provides a sweet and subtle flavor.

CONS

  • You will need to use more wood to maintain your fire.

5. Hickory

Hickory is one of the most widely utilized dense wood types for smoking meat. Large chunks of meat may be slowly smoked using this wood since it burns for an extended period.

Image Credits: theranchalmondfirewood.com

Additionally, we found it to be the best wood for the best outdoor pizza oven, as it achieved extremely high temperatures. Plus, we loved how hickory has a strong taste and clean burning.

Hickory and Oak are often used in cooking because the two wood species have comparable burn rates and complementary flavors.

PROS

  • Exceptional embers and clear smoke.
  • A fantastic choice if you want a robust, smokey flavor.
  • When used alone, hickory provides a significant flavor to your cuisine.

CONS

  • The wood flavor might be too strong.

6. Pecan

Pecan is a softer form of hickory, suitable for portable pizza ovens. Homemade pizza baked in a wood-fired pecan oven acquires an exquisite taste.

Unfortunately, the burn time of this thick hardwood is lower than that of other hickory woods. As a result, pecan works well when burned with other, slower-burning woods like Oak or apple wood.

PROS

  • It blends well with other woods that have complementing flavors.

CONS

  • Lower burn duration than other hardwoods.

7. Alder

Alder is a tree that grows naturally in the Northwest, belonging to the birch family. It generates a pleasant, mild smoke perfect for grilling vegetables, fish, poultry, and sausage. In addition, alder wood is a popular option for those who enjoy a moderate flavor with a touch of sweetness.

It is often combined with other kinds of wood to provide distinctive smells and scents.

PROS

  • The wood emits gentle smoke.
  • Alder doesn't dominate their inherent tastes.

CONS

  • Burns faster than other choices

8. Apple

Applewood is the ideal wood to use in your home pizza oven for a true restaurant flavor. In addition, Applewood is a favorite pick among pizzaiolos due to its strong burning temperatures providing you with the perfect pizza.

Despite having its roots in Central Asia, apple woods are relatively common in the United States.

We found apple wood to burn hotter than maple, improving the flavor of our pizza and making it a wonderful addition to pizza ovens. Due to its mildness, it's also a great wood to use for smoking meat for a prolonged period.

PROS

  • A preferred option among pizza chefs.

CONS

  • Powerful pops.

Do Woodchips or Pellets Work in an Ooni Oven?

You may use wood-smoking chips or pellets in Ooni pizza ovens if you're only making a small appetizer or a pizza with an extremely thin crust. A large pizza will take longer to cook since these smaller pieces burn at a lower temperature.

Here are some examples:

i) Z GRILLS 100% All-Natural Flavor American Oak Pellets

All Ooni pellet pizza ovens are compatible with Z Grills Oak pellets. They work best for constant high-temperature cooking that is hassle-free.

Image Credits: Amazon.com

These Z Grills Oak pellets contain 100% oak, ensuring a clean burn with little ash, unlike some wood pellets from questionable ingredients.

The pellets are made of food-quality components with no dodgy ingredients!

PROS

  • The pellets can power an Ooni pizza oven for 6 to 10 hours.
  • You get to enjoy all the flavor of a wood-fired pizza using wood pellets.
  • By adding more or fewer wood pellets, you may change the temperature so that they rapidly achieve the ideal cooking temperature.

CONS

  • Additionally, only particular pizza ovens may use pellets.

ii) Pit Boss Fruitwood Blend Hardwood Pellets

Image Credits: Amazon.com

For all kinds of pizza ovens powered by Ooni pellets, the Pit Boss fruitwood combination is exquisite.

If you love to cook pizza, you are guaranteed to make delicious ones using a fruitwood combination of hardwood pellets. Your pizza gets a delicate sweetness and taste depth from the fruitwood smoke, which makes it a fascinating alternative to oak pellets.

PROS

  • Minimal trash.
  • A 20-pound bag only produced one-half cup of ash.

CONS

  • The flavor stands out.

Is Charcoal Safe to Use in Ooni Pizza Oven?

You can get away with utilizing clean-burning charcoal in your pizza oven if you don't have other options. However, it will give your pizza a weird "hamburger flavor," so we wouldn't advise it. It is also far more difficult to remove the thick, black residue it leaves inside your outdoor pizza ovens than typical cooking wood smoke.

Nonetheless, here are some charcoal options:

i) Ooni Premium Lumpwood Charcoal

All Ooni multifuel pizza ovens and some solid-fuel barbecues may use Ooni Premium Lumpwood Charcoal. It works well as a foundation layer under logs of wood.

Image Credits: Ooni.com

Ooni Premium Lumpwood Charcoal, a high-performance fuel that infuses meals with all-natural tastes, is created from sustainable 100% birch hardwood.

PROS

  • It burns for a longer period than wood and produces extremely little ash.

CONS

  • It is less hot when it burns! Therefore, you must use it in addition to logs or wood chips for making pizza.

ii) Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Did you know you could bake fresh handmade bread in a pizza oven? It's simple! To lower the temperature, replace the wood with this hardwood charcoal, and you're good to go!

Jealous Devil hardwood charcoal is ideal for all Ooni pizza ovens and many solid-fuel barbecue grills.

PROS

  • It is ideal for handmade fresh (and fluffy) bread, containing charcoal with large pieces that burn for longer.

CONS

  • It might be a lot dirtier compared to logs or pellets.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood for Ooni Pizza Oven

While you can choose any of the woods listed above, there is a risk that none of them will be available in your neighborhood stores. For this reason, you must be aware of the variables to consider when choosing the best wood for small pizza ovens. Therefore, here are some qualities of the best pizza oven wood.

a) Heat Emission

Ooni pizza demands high temperatures to cook; thus, you need to choose wood chunks that produce high heat when burned inside the pizza oven.

Dense hardwoods like hickory and Oak are your best bets for producing intense heat that will help cook your pizza precisely.

b) Regularity and Burn Time

The preferable wood to choose should be denser and drier. The density of the wood influences how long it will burn, and because it is dry, it will ignite readily and produce enough heat to cook your pizza. Hardwoods can generate the heat required to cook pizzas, but not all of them are durable enough to survive, necessitating frequent refueling.

You may cook your pizza with the correct amount of heat using kiln-dried hardwood that is thick, like olive wood.

c) Aroma and Flavor

Pizza oven wood should also have a strong scent. Again, you should base this on personal choice, but if the wood you use does not complement the different flavors in your pizza, it may detract from the dish's overall quality.

When giving pizzas that incredible scent, apples, cherries, and mesquite are the most common options. It is crucial to match the flavor of your pizza with the scent of the wood you use. However, clean-burning wood types like oakwood generate fumes and smoke that can sneak onto the pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions

a) What quantity of wood do I put into my pizza oven?

Depending on the pizza oven, you need to use a certain amount of wood to start the fire. It's preferable to start with three to five tiny pieces of wood. You may need to add larger chunks as the temperature in your oven rises.

Once your oven is hot, you might need to add a few more pieces to keep your oven at the desired temperature.

b) What Kind of Wood Should You Avoid?

Never utilize wood such as red pine, eucalyptus, white birch, cedar, or fir since they have a lot of resin or sap. These kinds of wood can emit toxic fumes and excessive soot, accumulating within the pizza oven. In addition to producing more smoke that might overwhelm the taste of your pizza, they can occasionally release gases that can give the food harsh smokey flavors.

Additionally, stay away from processed wood and lumber left over after building. Always avoid using plywood, painted wood, or pressure-treated wood. Once again, they may release harmful vapors that damage the pizza's flavor, the pizza oven's structure, and, of course, the health of those who consume the pizza.

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Author

JAMES BURNEY

I’m the content manager for BrooklynCraftPizza.com, and I love writing about kitchen appliances. I’m passionate about cooking at home, and I’m extremely excited about modern kitchen appliances. I like to analyze markets and products, and then turn them into informative blogs for anyone who wants to cook at home quickly. Thanks for reading!