What Wood to Use in a Wood Fired Pizza Oven


If you’re a pizza enthusiast, you know that a wood-fired pizza oven can take your homemade pizza to the next level. The smoky, charred flavour, along with the perfectly crispy crust, can make your taste buds dance with joy. But choosing the right wood for your wood-fired pizza ovens Hobart is crucial to achieving that authentic and delectable outcome. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various types of wood you can use and how each wood type impacts the flavour and cooking process of your pizza.

Key Takeaways:

  • The choice of wood significantly impacts the taste and texture of wood-fired pizzas.
  • Different types of wood, such as hardwoods and fruitwoods, offer diverse flavours for your pizza.
  • Consider flavour preferences, burn time, heat output, and wood availability when selecting the right wood.
  • Properly seasoned and sized wood enhances the pizza oven’s performance and flavour infusion.
  • Follow best practices like layering wood, avoiding over-smoking, and maintaining the oven for optimal results.
  • Experiment with wood pairings to enhance specific pizza flavours, such as oak for classic Margheritas.
  • Combining wood varieties allows for creative and unique flavour combinations.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance ensure the longevity and quality of your wood-fired pizza oven.
  • Embrace the culinary adventure of selecting and using different wood types to create exceptional pizza experiences.
pizza ovens

Why Wood Selection Matters

Selecting the right wood for your pizza oven is more than just a matter of fuel – it’s about infusing your pizza with unique aromas and flavours. The type of wood you choose will significantly impact the taste and overall experience of your pizza.

Types of Wood for Wood Fired Pizza Ovens


Hardwoods are among the most popular choices for pizza ovens due to their dense nature and rich flavour. Here are some common hardwood options:


Oak wood offers a robust and smoky flavour, making it ideal for a variety of pizzas, from classic Margheritas to heartier meat-topped pies.


Maple wood brings a slightly sweet and subtle smokiness to your pizza. It pairs wonderfully with a variety of toppings and is favoured for its balanced flavour.


Known for its strong, bacon-like flavour, hickory wood adds a bold dimension to your pizza. It’s a favourite for those who enjoy a more intense smokiness.


Fruitwoods are known for their fragrant and mildly sweet smoke that adds a delicate flavour to your pizza.


Apple wood creates a mild and slightly sweet smoke that enhances the natural flavours of your ingredients. It’s versatile and works well with both savory and sweet pizzas.


Cherry wood offers a rich, mahogany-colored smoke that imparts a slightly sweet and fruity note to your pizza. It’s an excellent choice for creating unique flavour profiles.


Peach wood provides a subtle and delicate smoke, perfect for lighter pizzas. Its gentle aroma won’t overpower more delicate toppings.


While softwoods are generally not recommended due to their high resin content, some can be used sparingly for specific effects.


Pine wood is best avoided due to its resinous nature, which can produce undesirable flavours and aromas.


Cedar wood should also be used cautiously due to its strong aroma, which can overpower the pizza’s taste.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood

Several factors come into play when selecting the right wood for your pizza oven:

Flavour Profile

Different woods offer distinct flavours. Consider the taste you want to achieve and choose wood that complements your pizza’s ingredients.

Burn Time and Heat Output

Hardwoods generally burn longer and hotter than softwoods, providing consistent heat for proper pizza cooking.


Choose wood that’s readily available in your region to ensure a steady supply.

Preparing Wood for the Oven

Properly preparing wood is essential for achieving the desired flavours and avoiding excessive smoke.


Wood should be properly seasoned to reduce moisture content. Seasoned wood burns cleaner and produces less creosote buildup.

Cut and Size

Wood should be cut into appropriate sizes to fit your oven. Smaller pieces ignite faster, while larger logs provide a longer burn.

Best Practices for Using Wood in a Pizza Oven

Layering Techniques

Layering wood with hot embers helps maintain a consistent temperature and prolongs the cooking process.

Avoiding Over-Smoking

Using too much wood can result in over-smoking, leading to bitter flavours. Find the right balance for a perfect smoky essence.


Regularly clean your oven and remove ash to prevent airflow blockage and uneven heating.

Complementary flavours: Pairing Wood with Ingredients

Experimenting with wood types can lead to creative and delicious flavour combinations.

Classic Margherita with Oak

The boldness of oak pairs beautifully with the simplicity of a classic Margherita pizza, enhancing the tomato and mozzarella flavours.

Hickory-Infused BBQ Pizza

Hickory wood complements the smoky flavours of BBQ pizza, making each bite a savory delight.

Experimenting with Wood Varieties

Don’t be afraid to mix and match wood varieties to create unique flavour profiles.

Creating Unique flavour Blends

Blend apple and cherry wood for a well-balanced sweet and tangy flavour that works well with various toppings.

Regional Wood Traditions

Explore traditional wood choices from pizza’s birthplace, Naples, such as olive or almond wood.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Pizza Oven

Proper maintenance ensures the longevity of your oven and the quality of your pizzas.

Removing Ash and Residue

Regularly clean out ash and residue to prevent airflow obstruction and maintain even cooking.

Preventing Buildup

Scrub the oven’s interior to prevent creosote buildup, which can affect both flavour and safety.


The choice of wood in your wood-fired pizza oven is a culinary adventure waiting to be explored. Each wood type brings its own character to your pizza, making every bite a truly unique experience.


Can I use treated or painted wood in a pizza oven?

No, it’s not recommended to use treated or painted wood. These materials can release harmful chemicals when burned, affecting the flavour and safety of your pizza.

How long does it take for different woods to season?

Seasoning times vary, but generally, hardwoods take around 6-12 months, while softwoods might take less time. Properly seasoned wood has reduced moisture content for cleaner burning.

Are there any woods to avoid using?

Yes, woods with high resin content, like pine and cedar, should be avoided due to the potential for undesirable flavours and aromas.

Can I use wood pellets in my pizza oven?

Yes, wood pellets can be used in a pizza oven, but they burn differently from traditional wood logs. They offer convenience and consistent heat output, but the flavour profile might differ.

What if I prefer a milder smoky flavour?

If you prefer a milder smoky flavour, opt for fruitwoods like apple or peach. They provide a delicate smoke that won’t overpower your pizza’s taste.

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Smoke House Pizza

We are a wood-fired pizzeria in Australia, passionate about creating authentic-style pizza using traditional techniques and quality ingredients.


62 Norton Street, North Turramurra Nsw 2074

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