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Choosing Firewood

Let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of pizza oven firewood. It all kicks off with choosing the right wood – think hard, dry, and seasoned. Well-seasoned wood lights up fast and kicks out heat efficiently. Top-tier stuff has been split and left to dry for at least 6 months, and preferably a year. When it comes to hardwoods, they’re the heavyweights, weighing up to three times more than the soft woods. More weight means more heat.

This is your pizza oven firewood – no frills, just the real deal.

Now, wood types. Out west, almond wood is a solid pick – easy to find, a local fave, and fits the oven bill. Oak and olive wood bring the heat but need some splitting before oven duty. Feeling experimental? Maple, ash, beech, and birch are options worth considering. Beech, a European mainstay, often teams up with oak.

If you can find it, look out for fruit and nut hardwoods like apple, lemon, cherry, hickory, pear, and pecan. They’re impressive but a bit hard to come by and can hit the wallet. Some say their aroma and essence affect the taste, but that’s up for debate.

Keep in mind, wood availability varies by location. Touch base with your local firewood supplier to know what’s good in your hood.

Now, size. Getting the right oven temperature means having a mix of wood sizes – your temperature knobs. Chunks should fit comfortably, with a standard size of 2 to 3 inches in diameter and 14 to 18 inches in length. This size range gives you control over the oven’s heat. Bigger pieces keep the fire hot and steady; smaller ones offer a controlled burn.

There are times when you want a burst of flame to amp up your oven, so keep some thinner 2-3″ pieces, already split, handy. And yeah, get yourself a log splitter.

Kindling – the starter kit. Ask your firewood supplier for a good kindling match or keep garden and tree trimmings in the mix. Safe fire starters, newspapers, and, of course, you can always get a log splitter to help getting your fire going.

Wood to avoid? Stay away from soft woods like pine, redwood, fir, and sappy woods, like eucalyptus, and cedar. They’re either weak on heat or come with thick, oily smoke and nasty residue. Steer clear of composite or laminated woods, too – they release chemicals that no one wants in their oven or food. If you’re unsure, don’t use it.