What Wood to Use in Pizza Oven – Best Wood for Pizza Oven

Last weekend, sitting with my old college mate [Andrew] in my backyard, I heard some words of wisdom from him, which flew some butterflies in my heart. You know John, “I really feel having a good firewood pizza is an art.” 

What Wood to Use in Pizza Oven

Well, it’s really an art, and being an artist, you should know what wood to use in the Pizza oven to pull out the best aroma, crispiness, savor, appetite, and whatnot. Nature, with its ultimate richness of resources, has given humans hundreds of thousands of wood species to use as fuel.

But in the case of a firewood oven, what is the best wood for pizza oven? I mean, pizzerias consider OAK wood for pizza oven as the best and hottest burning wood.

However, only Oak wood has 600 species in the world, so which to choose for your purpose?

One would definitely smash his head while going through the list of wood quality and species. So, give me the honor to guide you on which pizza oven wood would be heating your oven for the next Pizza party.

What Wood to Use in Pizza Oven – A Best Wood for Pizza Oven is Really Crucial Case

A famous saying is, “don’t put wood in your oven, which you aren’t sure about.” It makes sense, as wood produces residue, smoke, and ashes; it really affects the life of your pizza oven.

Also, it induces the flavor and smell in the pizza through its smoke, so would you mind your cheesy pepperoni wood-smoked pizza taste like raw salmon?

On the other hand, the rule of the thumb is “greater the density and hardness of the wood will be, the crustier the pizza you’ll be served.”

Seasoned Wood Being the Fastest and Hottest burning wood: The seasoned hardwood that legendarily includes Oak, hickory, and ash, known as the hottest burning woods, can reach up to 600-900 sizzling temperatures to perfectly toast your pizza.

Seasoned Wood Being the Fastest and Hottest burning wood

Moreover, these pizza oven woods ignite quickly with extreme intensity, so you can save a considerable amount of money when you measure the wood in a standard of tons for cooking a pizza.  

Fruitwood Being a Good Alternative to Rare Seasoned Wood: Apart from seasoned dried wood, you can easily find apple, cedar, and maple being the best sources to light up the firewood pizza oven.

Fruitwood Being a Good Alternative to Rare Seasoned Wood

While some of the fruitwood may not be the hottest burning wood for the pizza oven, Pizzerias mostly choose apple due to its high burning temperature and good flavor induction. Mainly, fruitwood makes a fusion with seasoned wood for an extra variety of aroma, flavor, and smoke.

The Top 5 Best Wood for Pizza Ovens – Take these at your Fingertips:

OAK – Is OAK wood for Pizza Oven Good?

As I slightly introduced OAK above, we can’t neglect the fact that OAK is the best wood to use in pizza oven due to its density and dryness, helping it reach the long-lasting highest temperatures. 

OAK – Is OAK wood for Pizza Oven Good

OAK has almost 10 species to be used as hardwood for woodfire pizza oven, but you’ll mostly find red and white OAK in the stock of pizza oven firewood. But still, if you want to pick the best among these two best wood to cook pizza, white OAK has a better edge over its brother due to its non-porous nature.

That makes it produce a clean and earthy aroma with its sizzling 3.6M BTUs/cord over its red OAK 2.97M/cord BTUs when dried up.

So when you want your guest MUST compliment you for your pizza efforts, don’t forget OAK as your main ingredient of your recipe.

Maple: IS Maple a Good Wood to Burn?

Of over 100 species known in the timber sphere, 4 of the maple known as the best wood to cook pizza include Red Maple, Bigleaf Maple, Sugar Maple, and Silver Maple.

Maple - IS Maple a Good Wood to Burn

But which maple is good wood to burn?

Bear in mind, the temperature for a woodfire pizza oven, sugar maple top the chart with around 2.8M BTUs per cord. With delightful fragrance and relatively high endurance make it an excellent choice for pizzerias. 

But there is a twist with sugar maple as a hardwood; it doesn’t ignite quickly. People mostly make its in combination with OAK or Applewood.

AppleWood: Is Applewood Good Pizza Oven Wood?

Grill Food Enthusiasts, Pizzerias, and BBQ specialists always admire Apple as among the hottest burning wood for their stoves. Apple can give you around 26M BTUs/cord when fully dried.

AppleWood - Is Applewood Good Pizza Oven Wood

The expensive wood and slow igniter, it mostly doesn’t get burnt alone. Instead, OAK or Pine, make a pair with it.

When someone really admires you for perfect wood-smoked pizza, the Apple could probably be the reason behind it as it emits the lowest smoke with a very sweet smoky, and fruity fragrance. Thus, it also doesn’t highly kill your pizza oven’s life.  

ASH: Is ASH Good for FireWood?

Whenever you go to a furniture or timber market, ASH is the name one hears so often. But many people confuse themselves with “is ASH is hardwood or softwood?” ASH, as a hardwood with almost no smoke but a very light-n-sweet vinegar fragrance, makes it lovable for pizza lovers. 

ASH - Is ASH Good for FireWood

So, cooking with ASH wood is always fun.

If you want to use ASH for Burning for a woodfire pizza oven, the BTUs/cord are moderate, with only 19M to 22M depending on the species. This is also a slow pace igniter, so you can pair it up with Pecan, pine, and OAK.

Hickory: Is Hickory Good Firwood?

Does hickory make good firewood? Have you ever tasted hickory tree pizza? Being one of the finest hardwood, if you ever felt a sweet or savory aroma in your fire wood pizza, it has probably been toasted on hickory hardwood.

Hickory - Is Hickory Good Firwood

Hickory is the best wood to use in a pizza oven; it can last up to 4hrs for a single log (you can use these logs for a pizza oven). And what about heat intensity? It just gives a tough time to OAK with the highest 28M BTUs of its shagbark hickory species. 

Along with this, it releases the lowest proportion of smoke, making it the finest choice for firewood pizza owners.  

But Wait …. Who’s The Winner Among Them – The Race for Best Wood for Pizza Oven: (Unique Content from Competitors)

Every wood has its own characteristics. But let’s compare which wood is the best fit for your oven and scenario;

Hickory Vs. Oak Firewood:

Hickory Vs. Oak Firewood
  • Both are best with the bestest qualities.
  • Both, White or red oak are hottest burning wood (a bit of) than Hickory shagbark.
  • Some people love hickory smell more pleasant, but that’s a personal choice, I must say.
  • Oak burns with high flames, while Hickory flames are mild or some low flames with random crackling.
  • Hickory is much harder to split through hands or chain
  • Hickory has a bit faster seasoning rate due to low moisture.

So technically speaking, both are good on different notes.

Oak vs. Maple Wood:

OAK wood vs. Maple wood, the competition is so much visible

Oak vs. Maple Wood
  • People love maple due to its fast seasoning
  • OAK produces high flames and burning temperatures than Sugar Maple
  • Managing Sugar Maple is a bit complex task as it rots if not stored properly, but OAK is easy to handle.
  • Maple smells more pleasing than OAK, with a light campfire-like smell.

OAK is like tier 1 wood with a significant win at burning temperatures. But Maple wins it back with seasoning. 

ASH vs. OAK Wood:

ASH vs. OAK point to point to competition is somewhat similar at some points, but you can identify a winner;

ASH vs. OAK Wood
  • ASH throws fewer sparks, which is good for indoor pizza ovens too.
  • In terms of BTUs, it is slightly below white OAK.
  • Fragrance-wise, Ummm… ASH is just okay.. Mild or light aroma in comparison to OAK
  • Get ignited quickly, just like OAK
  • Also, smoke is a little higher than OAK.

So, technically, ASH is a good wood, safe to use indoors but is relatively behind OAK in various departments.

Hickory vs. Apple Wood:

Hickory vs. Apple Wood
  • Hickory is one of the hottest burning wood while apple is great to add sweet fruity flavor of its kind.
  • Apple is relatively slow at catching fire than Hickory
  • Hickory last more than Apple
  • Apple delivers sweet fruity flavor, hickory is for sour lovers.
  • Hickory is a bit more difficult to split than Apple.

These both would make a great pair, meaning temperatures vs. flavor. However, there is a slight difference between temperatures as Hickory does more good than apple.

What Should be Avoided to Burn in Your Wood Fire Pizza Oven?

With a hell of a variety of options to use as firewood for pizza ovens, something you should take care not to use in your pizza oven for the safety of your pizza oven and health. For example, many people ask, “can you burn plywood?”

I would give a Big NO. (with a high shout) No, you can’t burn it in your oven.

Just because it’s cheap and readily available in the market, you should never go this way.

This type of treated wood with various chemicals used as toppings will generate hazardous smoke, and the residue ratio will also be high. Chipboard, MDF, Laminate woods, or Press Board, all these types, should be prohibited from burning.

On the other hand, burning softwood that is not properly seasoned and has over 60% moisture will not yield the best results.

As heat is the King of producing the best pizza, moisture puts barriers in the way of high temperatures. Always choose a hard or dried wood that is between the 18%-25% moisture rate.  

People Also Ask – FAQs

Can you dry wood in the oven?

Yes, you can dry the wood in the oven. After the preheating step, place the wood in the oven for 2-3 hours. If it doesn’t dry properly, you can repeat the process.

Can you use any wood for the pizza oven?

Nopes, only dried hardwood is the best wood to use for a pizza oven. Also, don’t use treated or laminated wood.

How long does it take to oven-dry wood?

Depends on how wet your wood is. If you get a high green damp wood, 200-300F temperatures for around 2-3 hours can dry it well.

The Bottom Line – So, What are the Minutes of this Discussion?

Well, if the question “What wood to use in the pizza oven” remains unclear. I would say always use seasoned hardwood like OAK and mix it with fruitwoods like Apple, hickory, and black locust, to get the best results. These are all the best wood for pizza ovens. Also, season wood uses for high temperatures while fruit woods are added to the stove for a new dimension of flavor.

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