Having the best oven is not enough to get you the best pizza. The best wood can make the most significant difference in texture, taste, and cooking time. Therefore, even though there are different woods, pizza woods should be selected carefully. To save you some time, here’s a guide on how to pick wood for your pizza oven.
Types of Woods to Use in a Pizza Oven
Seasoned and Dried Hardwoods
Seasoned and dried woods work best for making pizza because they give more heat with a small amount of wood. However, they give higher temperatures, and you must ensure they are well-dried for consistent burning without too much smoke.
Fruitwoods are suitable for cooking pizza because they infuse some flavor. Use only select fruitwoods because not all of them burn hot. Mix these woods with hardwoods like oaks for optimum heat levels. This also prevents overpowering the aromatic flavor.
Best Woods For a Pizza Oven
Maple is mainly used because of its sweet flavor and slight smokiness. The amount of sap in this wood varies from soft and hard maple. It produces moderate flavor, which is good for pizza.
Oak burns for a long time with a mild aroma making it a very popular wood option. It also burns cleanly with little smoke.
Hickory is mainly used for smoking meat because it burns over prolonged cooking periods. It can be used to cook pizza in ovens that do not need excess heat. Hickory and oak are used together because of their slow burn rate.
Pecan is similar to hickory and cooks the best pizza. It gives the pizza a nutty flavor even though it does not burn like hickory. This wood should be paired with apple or oak, which burns longer.
Alder is among the birch tree family and is excellent for people who like slightly sweet flavors. In addition, it produces light smoke making it ideal for cooking chicken, fish, vegetables, and sausages.
Applewood gives the most authentic pizzeria flavor and is the best to use in your homemade pizza oven. It burns at higher temperatures, and the flavor sweetens the pizza.
Mesquite is one of the woods that burn fast and hot. Its flavor is heavy, distinctive, and makes your pizza highly flavored. Therefore, it should be used sparingly because its flavor may overpower the food’s flavor.
When choosing wood to cook pizza, avoid using painted, laminated or pressure-heated woods. These woods have toxic chemicals that can ruin your food. Also, woods with higher sap content produce excess soot within your oven.