Best Wood Used for a Pizza Oven

So you’re on the hunt for the best outdoor pizza oven and are eager to get cooking. Before you do, keep in mind that you can’t toss just any wood in there. The kind of wood and its moisture level will definitely make a difference in how your pizza turns out. Fortunately, we have some suggestions that can help you find the right wood for your pizza oven.

Why the Right Wood Matters

The fact is that whether you choose to cook pizza or another delicious dish in your pizza oven, the food will be in close contact with the wood the entire time it’s cooking. Because of this, your food will be infused with the scent and flavor of the wood as it burns.

That being said, the last thing you want to use in your artisan pizza oven is any wood that’s been treated with chemicals, as they will end up right in your pizza. Make sure to stay away from pressure-treated, laminated, glued, and painted or stained wood.

Along with non-treated wood, you also want to make sure you’re using wood that is completely dry and that allows your pizza oven to get hot enough for long enough to cook your food.

So now that we’ve covered the don’ts, here are the best woods to use in any pizza oven.

Hardwoods Rule

For pizza ovens, hardwoods are king. Ash, maple, cherry, apple, and oak are among the best cooking wood to use in your oven because they all burn hot, last a long time, and will infuse some delicious smoky or fruity flavors and fragrances into your pizza.

What's the matter with softwoods? There are several disadvantages associated with using this type of wood for pizza ovens. Due to their lower density, softwoods (like pine and fir) burn more quickly and at lower temperatures. This can lead to uneven heating and poor crust crisping.

Softwoods also contain higher levels of sap and resin, which not only produce a lot of smoke but also result in creosote, a sticky, flammable substance. Furthermore, the smoke from softwoods can impart an unpleasant flavor to the pizza, and the greater ash and soot production can make it more difficult to keep your wood oven clean.

However, you want to make sure your hardwood isn’t too moist or too dry. This depends on where you got it from. Having a friend with extra wood can be a beautiful thing, but in order for it to work in your pizza oven, the wood needs to have been harvested in the winter when smoke-causing sap hasn’t yet moved up from the roots. So how can you be sure your hardwood is suitable for cooking?

Where to Buy Wood for Pizza Ovens

Fontana Forni kiln dried wood

When looking to buy wood for pizza ovens, you can try local suppliers who specialize in firewood, as they can provide seasoned hardwoods ideal for cooking, such as oak, maple, and ash. Hardware stores and garden centers often carry bundles of suitable firewood as well. Again, always ensure that the wood is untreated and appropriate for cooking.

For a really convenient solution, however, you can always find high-quality kiln-dried wood for pizza ovens right here at Fontana Forni. Our Kiln-Dried Pizza Cut Firewood is made of ultra-premium dense oak wood, and each box has enough to cook fifteen pizzas. And because this kiln-dried wood is sold by true pizza experts, you can be assured that it’s suitable for cooking.

How Is Wood-Fired Cooking Affected by Moisture Content?

Wood with high moisture content, known as "green" wood, tends to burn at a lower temperature and produces a lot of smoke and steam because energy from the fire goes into evaporating the water instead of producing heat. This can lead to uneven and insufficient heating.

On the other hand, wood that has been properly seasoned, and typically dried for at least six months to a year, contains much less moisture and is far better for cooking.

Storing Your Wood

Getting wood that’s ready to burn is great, but authentic pizza ovens need wood that’s been stored in a way that keeps it dry. If kept outside, ensure that your pizza oven wood is two to three inches above the ground and covered with a tarp to prevent rain from entering. Go online, and you’ll find wood racks and covers for all sizes of storage.

For storage in a shed or garage, just ensure the wood is stacked in crates that are elevated a few inches from the ground to prevent any dampness from being absorbed. Of course, you can never eliminate dampness completely unless you’re storing the wood inside.

However, we’ve got a solution for that, too: When you’ve finished a cooking session in your pizza oven, place the wood you’ll be using next time in the oven while it’s still hot. This will ensure it’s completely dry for the next use.

All of Fontana Forni’s outdoor pizza ovens are built to last. We’ve combined 100% Italian construction, superior materials, and over 40 years of innovation for delicious results, every time. Call 1-877-842-9822 to learn more about the best wood-fired pizza ovens in the USA.