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Best Wood For Your Pizza Oven | Full List + FAQs

For the crust to turn out crispy and the cheese to always be completely melted, it is crucial to use the right wood for your wood-burning pizza oven.

Best Wood for Your Pizza Oven

The quality, flavor, aroma, texture, and intense heat of the fire, mixed with the smoky flavor from the wood in pizza wood ovens, cannot be replaced even by the convenience of modern ovens.

In this article, we'll go through the finest wood for your pizza oven and the benefits of each type.

Plus, an FAQ section to ensure all essential information is covered clearly, conveniently, and accurately to help you find the one that best suits your tastes!

What Are the Best Woods for Your Pizza Oven?

What Are the Best Woods for Your Pizza Oven
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

Several types of wood are suitable for a wood-fired pizza oven, and each has unique qualities, but here is a full list of nine types of wood that work best in most pizza ovens.

1. Oak


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Oak firewood is one of the most frequently used high-heat hardwood choices due to its accessibility. It often produces a mild flavor and burns slowly.

It makes very little smoke and is ideal for making real Italian pizza. However, red oaks (Quercus rubra) have a stronger flavor and intense smoke.

Oak wood is a very heavy and dense wood that produces high temperatures needed by wood ovens in cooking pizza and red meat like lamb and mutton.

It can be used independently or with a little fruitwood added for a mild flavor.

2. Maple


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Another great option for your pizza oven is maple wood. You can burn it by itself or with oak or other wood that burns well.

The mild and sweet maple flavor, frequently associated with maple syrup, pairs nicely with various pizza toppings—including chicken, pork, game birds, and most vegetables.

There are many types or species of maple woods: the so-called soft maples, red maple, silver maple, and boxelder maple, offering some of the best flavors and even smooth burning.

3. Apple


Many pizzerias use applewood to enhance the aroma and natural flavor of their pizzas. Because of its versatility, it can also be used for cooking fish or other seafood — smoked or grilled.

However, it burns very hotly, so it can crackle and pop.

Applewood is extremely rare to come across and is generally not suitable for splitting into good firewood. 

Nonetheless, its mildness makes it a great wood for longer use when smoking meat like steak, bacon, or ham.

4. Alder


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If you're seeking medium heat, alder — a flowering tree from the birch family — makes some of the greatest pizza oven wood.

Alder wood is most commonly used in cooking fish (such as smoked salmon), chicken, lamb, sausages, and vegetables because it emits a sweet and pleasant aroma.

5. Hickory

Split firewood heap stacked chopped timber wood. Hickory

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Hickory is a popular type of wood for smoking (cooking) and grilling because of its distinct flavor and aroma. 

Although it goes well with beef and chicken, hickory wood is best known for its use in cooking bacon and sausage.

When using hickory wood, there are a few characteristics to consider, such as its strong smoky flavor that can be overpowering to some.

Therefore, using it sparingly or mixing it with other woods is important to achieve that chewy and pleasant texture.

6. Ash


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Even though it's less common, ash (known as Fraxinus) is one of the greatest types of wood for pizza ovens. 

It produces high heat and is often paired with other complementary flavored woods.

Because of its mild, neutral flavor, ash wood is great to use in a pizza oven. It is also a popular pizza oven choice due to its heat output and low smoke production.

The highest quality ash wood is free of defects and has a smooth surface.

7. Mesquite


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Mesquite wood creates a lot of heat and has a rich, robust flavor. It is a common choice for cooking in a wood-burning oven since it provides long-lasting coals.

As it burns hot and fast, it's a great choice for your pizza oven.

However, it is the smokiest pizza oven wood. Mix mesquite wood with some milder wood or use it outside.

8. Plum


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This fruitwood also works as a great addition to oak or pecan for a slightly sweet yet subtle pizza flavor.

It is often paired with poultry and is a good choice for vegetable toppings and pork because of its high heating capacity — a great choice of wood for a pizza oven.

9. Pecan


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Pecan is also among the best wood for pizza ovens because of its sweet flavor. Since pecan wood is not as strong and doesn't burn as hot as hickory, it is an excellent addition to other hotter-burning woods like oak or apple.

Pecan wood enhances pizza flavors and slow-cooking other dishes, such as roasted chicken.

What Are the Different Wood Types for a Pizza Oven?

Two wood types can be used in pizza ovens — seasoned and dried hardwoods and fruitwoods.

Each, with its unique characteristics, influences the taste of your pizza, so it's important to ensure your wood gives out the right flavors.

1. Seasoned and Dried Hardwoods

Seasoned and Dried Hardwoods

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Hardwoods that have been dried and seasoned, such as oak, maple, walnut, and ash, make great pizza ovens because they provide a steady heat source, burn efficiently, and give the pizza a mild aroma.

They are a great option since they produce more heat from the same amount of wood and can produce the scorching temperatures needed by wood-burning ovens for pizza.

2. Fruitwoods


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Peach, plum, pecan, hickory, alder, mesquite, apricot, and apple fruitwoods work well in outdoor pizza ovens and offer a fruity flavor. 

However, because they burn quickly, you must be careful not to overload the smoky flavor.

Fruitwoods don't burn as intensely as hardwoods.

It's important to use these sparingly and blend them with your preferred hardwood, such as oak, to easily regulate heat levels and achieve that fruity and slightly sweet flavor to your pizza.

Best Wood Brands for Pizza Ovens

Several wood brands are focused on manufacturing the best wood for pizza ovens. 

These manufacturers provide a range of alternatives to meet your preferences, whether you like hardwoods or fruitwoods.

Here are some of the best-to-buy wood brands for pizza ovens:

1. Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

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Cutting Edge is a brand that specializes in producing premium wood for your pizza oven

Their wood is sourced from the Pacific Northwest region and is carefully selected for optimal burning performance.

Alder, hickory, pecan, apple, cherry, oak, and maple wood are among the different types of wood that Cutting Edge offers. 

They have kiln-dried firewood, ensuring a low moisture content and consistent burn.

One unique feature of Cutting Edge wood is that it is cut to a specific size and shape designed to fit perfectly in a pizza oven. 

So it comes to you ready to use with no additional prep needed, and the wood burns evenly and produces a steady heat source.

2. Ooni


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Ooni is a brand recognized for producing one of the best portable pizza ovens and various quality wood options for their wood-burning oven, including apple, cherry, and hardwood.

They use only kiln-dried wood and hardwood harvested from sustainable forests, designed to work with their Ooni pizza oven, ensuring optimal burning performance and delicious pizza.

Best wood option for beginners.

3. Hot Box Cooking Wood

Hot Box Cooking Wood

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Hot Box Cooking Wood has been in the cooking wood business for over thirty years and has become popular with professional chefs and commercial pizza restaurants in the United States.

They have perfected the art of extra-splitting wood to create the perfect cooking wood and turned them into making small wood for tiny ovens.

The wood is high-quality oak, which burns hot and cleanly with little smoke. It is kiln-dried to achieve the ideal moisture balance and eliminate bugs or fungi growing inside the bark (botany).

Furthermore, they only work with locally sourced, sustainable wood and plant trees for each box they sell!

4. Gozney


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Their Kiln-dried hardwood is an ideal dense wood that provides a hot, large rolling flame, consistent burn, low smoke output, and a big wood-fired earthy flavor — perfect wood fuel for your next outdoor cooking and (game hunting) adventure!

They, however, do not stick with just oak. They have woods made of ash and beech, which have been kiln-dried to a moisture content of 15% (compared to seasoned hardwood or green wood at 40%).

Instead, their wood boxes contain a blend of 25 different seasoned hardwoods, a great deal if you're bothered about creating your flavor profile or starting with a wood oven.

5. Carolina Cookwood

Carolina Cookwood

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Carolina Cookwood is known for its air-dried wood instead of being kiln-dried (like other brands).

They have this naturally cured and air-dried quality white oak wood that is locally harvested. 

It gives off a smokier burn, preferred by barbecuers, but it is still simple to light and burns at constant, high temperatures.

Various air-dried wood blocks, including apple, cherry, hickory, maple, and natural hardwood charcoal, are available as wood pieces and splits.

Aside from providing quality wood for a pizza oven, they are also well-known for their stainless steel and refractory brick ovens — often constructed from premium materials.

Know the differences between brick vs stainless steel pizza ovens.

Why Is Using the Right Firewood Important for the Pizza Oven?

The right firewood is essential for the perfect pizza in a wood-fired oven. It can affect your pizza's heat, moisture, and residue, so carefully choosing your firewood is important.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Flavor

The type of wood can significantly impact the flavor of your pizza. Different wood types have different aromas and flavors, which can infuse into the pizza as it cooks.

All chemically enhanced firewood (like laminated woods) is never used in a wood-fired oven as the chemical substance they have can highly affect flavor.

2. Moisture

The moisture content of the wood is also important for achieving the right temperature in a wood-fired oven.

Unseasoned or damp wood can produce excessive smoke and cause the temperature to fluctuate, resulting in unevenly cooked pizza.

3. Heat

Dense hardwood and overly dry wood burn hotter and longer than softwoods, making them ideal for cooking pizza. 

Because pizza ovens try to retain their heat, avoiding using fuel or adding wood preservation and hazardous chemicals to your burning wood is imperative.

Also, avoid chemically enhanced or treated wood like plywood, laminated wood, glued wood, or pressure-treated wood.

4. Residue

The wood you use can also leave residue in a very hot oven, affecting the flavor and may cause odor in your pizzas. 

Some woods, like pine, can leave behind asap, which can ruin the quality of your pizza.

It is important to check for creosote and soot residue as it can lead to a fire hazard. Additionally, clean your wood-fired ovens' cast-iron pans by learning how to season cast iron.

Wood For Your Pizza Oven FAQs

  • There are many questions that individuals may have about pizza ovens, from how to pick the best wood to what temperature to cook your pizza at.

    This FAQ section will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about pizza ovens so that you can get the most out of your wood-fired pizza cooking experience.

  • Does Moisture Content Affect Wood-Fired Cooking?

    Yes, moisture content does affect wood-fired cooking.

    The moisture content of the wood can significantly impact how the wood burns, the heat energy it provides (some measured in BTU or British Thermal Unit), and the flavor it imparts to your food.

    Wet or unseasoned wood contains too much moisture, making it burn with a lot of smoke. This may cause uneven cooking and give your meal a bitter, acrid flavor.

    On the other hand, the low moisture level of dry, seasoned wood makes it burn more effectively and emit less smoke.

    Hardwoods with a moisture content of 20% or less are generally advised to be used for wood-fired cooking.

    This ensures a consistent and efficient burn, important for achieving the perfect pizza in a wood-fired oven.

  • Why Is My Pizza Oven Smoking Too Much?

    If you find your wood-fired pizza ovens smoking too much, there could be several reasons for this issue:

    1. Wet or unseasoned wood
    2. Improper ventilation
    3. Poor combustion
    4. Dirty oven
    5. Type of wood

    However, if you are still experiencing issues with excessive smoke, it may be worth consulting with a professional oven installer or technician to help diagnose and resolve the issue.

  • How Should I Store My Wood?

    Properly storing your wood is important to ensure it remains dry and seasoned, which is essential for efficient and effective wood-fired pizza oven cooking.

    Here are some tips on how to store your wood:

    1. Choose a dry, sheltered area – Store your wood in a dry, sheltered area such as a woodshed, covered porch, or garage. This will protect it from rain and snow, which can cause it to become damp.
    2. Keep it off the ground – Store your wood to prevent it from absorbing too much moisture from the soil. You can use a pallet, bricks, or a wood rack to elevate the wood.
    3. Stack it properly– Stack your wood in a neat, stable pile to prevent it from falling over. Leave space between the logs to allow air to circulate and promote wood drying.
    4. Cover it with a tarp – Cover your wood pile with a tarp to protect it from rain and snow while allowing air to circulate. Be sure to anchor the tarp securely to prevent it from blowing away in the wind.
    5. Rotate the wood – Rotate your wood pile regularly so that the oldest wood is used first. This will ensure that you always have a dry, seasoned wood supply.
  • How Much Wood Should You Have for a Pizza Oven?

    The best wood for your pizza oven will depend on several factors, including the size, the type of wood you use, and how long you plan to cook.

    As a general rule of thumb, you can estimate using the following guidelines:

    1. Small pizza oven – If you have a small pizza oven that is less than 32 inches in diameter, you will need about 5-7 pounds of wood per hour of cooking time.
    2. Medium pizza oven – If you have a medium-sized pizza oven between 32 and 40 inches in diameter, you will need about 7-9 pounds of wood per hour of cooking time.
    3. Large pizza oven – If you have a large pizza oven over 40 inches in diameter, you will need about 9-12 pounds of wood per hour of cooking.

    It’s also a good idea to have a supply of extra wood on hand in case you need to add more during the cooking process.

    As you gain experience with your oven, you may be able to adjust the amount of wood you use to suit your cooking style and preferences.

  • Best Wood for Your Pizza Oven Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    To ensure that your wood-fired cooking's successful, it's important to avoid using the wrong wood for your pizza oven.

    The flavor, aroma, and texture of your wood-fired pizza will vary greatly depending on the kind of wood you choose, its moisture or water content, and general quality.

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