One of the most popular wood-fired cooking methods is a wood-fired pizza oven. Wood pellets are used to start and maintain the fire, but there many different types on the market. Here, you’ll uncover the explanations to your queries regarding wood pellets for a pizza oven!
Wood Pellets For a Pizza Oven
Wood pellets are condensed tablets of organic materials such as tree bark, sawdust, wood chips, etc. All these biomass materials get dried up and ground together. After this, they are placed in moulds from which they are made into pellets. Wood pellets are an alternative to fuel or firewood and are most commonly used for heating or cooking purposes.
Wood pellets are frequently used to heat pizza furnaces but are specifically used in outdoor or stone pizza ovens. Most outdoor pizza ovens will have a special compartment for wood pellets. All that is needed is to put your wood pellets in that compartment and ignite them on fire to bake your pizza.
Wood Pellets of Assorted Varieties for Pizza Oven
Pizza may be cooked utilizing a myriad of wood pellets. Most people prefer using hardwood wood pellets, but some softwood wood pellets are also good at getting the job done. There aren’t any best or worst wood pellets for a pizza oven. Most of it comes down to personal taste and preferences.
The most common hardwood wood pellets used in pizza ovens are Alder, cherry, maple, apple & manuka. Hickory and Mesquite are also famous for cooking. However, these two kinds of wood are only good at cooking proteins. They lack in helping cook bread, which is an essential part of cooking pizza. This is why these two types of woods usually aren’t used in pizza ovens.
The type of wood you use for wood pellets can also affect how your pizza tastes. For instance, Cherry wood gives your pizza a more deep smoked flavour. On the other hand, the smoke from applewood leaves a flavour that is more fruity and refreshing. Many brands use a combination of different woods to make pellets. This allows for a variety of good flavours.
Why Wood Matters for A Pizza Oven?
Wood is essential for a pizza oven for many different reasons. There are other options for cooking pizza, such as using a standard oven or other forms of heating. However, wood is the best option for heating pizza ovens because it elevates flavour and saves energy.
Wood can trap smoke. This allows it to elevate the natural flavours of a pizza. Using wood to heat pizza ovens adds a smoked finishing to the pizza that you cannot replicate with regular ovens. The smoke from the fire enhances the subtle flavours of the sauce and herbs while also giving the pizza a beautiful and crisp crust.
Using wood pellets is also highly environmentally friendly. Burning wood pellets does not require any electric power or burning of fossil fuels. This makes it a cooking procedure that does not cause any harm to the atmosphere. The smoke released from burning wood is also a lot healthier than any toxic fuels or burning gas.
Wood-fired pizza ovens also bake more nutritious pizzas. Cooking with wood pellets often means that the pizza is being cooked under a direct flame. As a result, the pizza’s veggies and protein topping cook quicker than they might in a conventional pizza oven.
A regular pizza oven would need around fifteen to twenty minutes to cook a pizza thoroughly. In comparison, a wood-fired pizza oven can finish cooking a pizza within approximately five minutes. Due to the fast cooking time, the meats and vegetables can retain some of their original nutritional components. This makes pizza cooked with wood much healthier.
What Are the Best Wood Pellets to Use in A Pizza Oven?
There aren’t any right or wrong answers to the best wood pellets to use in a pizza oven. Different wood pellets are good in different ways. There aren’t any woods that are completely unusable. However, certain woods work better than others and provide flavour boosts that complement the flavour profile.
As mentioned above, the most common woods used in wood pellets for pizza ovens are either hardwoods or fruitwoods. Here are a few promising alternatives to consider when making a pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven.
Maple is an all-rounder when it comes to cooking. It is suitable for all types of meats and vegetables as well as for baking bread. The natural sweetness of maple brings a fresh flavour to the tomato sauce used in pizza. Maple wood is also suitable for making Hawaiian pizza since the sweetness of the maple and the pineapple complement each other well.
Oakwood pellets are not known for adding much to the flavour components of a pizza. Like all other woods, it does add a smoked essence. However, the main reason Oak is popular as it burns vigorously. Oak fires are known for producing high temperatures. This can help reduce the cooking time customarily required when making a pizza.
Hickory is known to add a pungent flavour to dishes. This hardwood is most commonly associated with ham, bacon, or other types of pork. If you are making pizza with pork or ingredients with a similar flavour profile, then hickory is a great wood option to consider.
Cherry wood is known to pair well with any meat. The smoked flavour added by Cherry wood has a deep and earthy aftertaste. This flavour component is a bit more complex than the smoked flavour added by other types of wood. Cherry wood is an excellent option for cooking pizza with a lot of meat toppings.
Pecan has a nutty flavour component. It adds a smoked flavour similar to that of Cherry wood but less intense. If you find Cherry wood smoke flavours to be a bit too strong, you can consider using pecan wood instead.
Applewood is the most commonly used wood in big pizza restaurants. It provides the benefits of both maple and oak woods. Applewood provides sweetness to the natural components of a pizza. It also produces a lot of heat which shortens the length of time needed to cook a pizza.
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In a Pizza Oven, How Long Do Wood Pellets Last?
Wood pellets also referred to as pizza pellets can endure around 7 to 12 hours of continuous cooking. Pellets burn easily and do not produce too much ash or other types of residue. For this reason, they do not require too much adjustment or cleaning when they are used. In cases where a significant decrease is seen in the flame, you can add more pellets to revive it.
Any wood pellet should last a minimum of 7 hours of cooking. Once it has exceeded 7 hours, you may want to check the state of the flame to be sure. If the flame seems to have weakened, it can be resolved by adding a handful of more pellets if that does not work. You can also try lighting the pellets on fire again.
Which Pellet Grills Will Get the Hottest?
To get a pizza with a crispy outer crust, the pizza stone needs to reach about 900 degrees. A typical pizza pellet grill can heat up to 600 degrees. You can still have a good crisp crust at these temperatures. However, it is likely to take a lot more time than with 900-degree temperatures. How hot your pellet grill gets can depend on the price and quality of your pellet grill.
Typically, grills that allow close contact between the flame and the pizza stone are the ones that get the hottest. The Weber SmokeFire and Broil King Baron are known for providing high temperatures. New pellet grills come out every year. Make sure to keep an eye on online reviews to find the latest grill with the best features.
Specialized Portable Pizza Ovens (Mini Outdoor Pizza Ovens)
Traditionally when people think about pizza ovens, they think about large ovens made out of stone. While those ovens are lovely, they aren’t the best suited to smaller households. There are various portable pizza pellet ovens these days that you can use instead of large stone ovens.
These portable pizza ovens make it easier to plan fun backyard or outdoor activities. They are certainly a lot more affordable compared to big stone ovens. Portable pizza ovens allow you to not only make spontaneous pizza party plans. They also allow a person to slowly get into the world of wood-fired pizza ovens without the commitment of getting a large stone oven.
One of the top-rated portable pizza ovens is the Ooni portable pizza oven. These ovens are designed for easy use. They are pretty small and compact as well. This makes them easy to carry to outdoor events such as picnics or camping trips. As a beginner in the pizza-oven realm, you may want to examine these suggestions.
Recommended Tools for Cooking the Best Pizzas (Outdoor Pizza Oven)
Aside from getting the best pizza oven and ingredients, you should also get various other tools for the best experience. None of these tools is absolute essential. However, having them can make your life a lot easier. Here is a small list of things you may want to purchase for the best outdoor pizza cooking experience.
This tool allows you to measure temperatures from a long distance. We have already discussed the importance of temperature when it comes to cooking pizza. Usually, when cooking, people can measure temperatures by directly sticking a thermometer into the pot. This is not possible when it comes to cooking pizza.
Sticking your hand inside a pizza oven is a dangerous thing to do. The heat from the fire can cause severe injuries. It can also lead the thermometer to shatter if placed too close to the flame. The ideal solution to this is to get a gun thermometer. The laser technology measures temperature from a safe distance, keeping you away from harm.
This is a Pizza Remover
A pizza peel is a utensil used to pull a pizza out of an oven. The device looks a bit like a giant spatula and can be made from either metal or wood. As previously stated, putting your hands into a pizza oven is very dangerous. Therefore to get the pizza out of the pizza oven, you need to use a pizza peel.
Pizza peels can be a trick to use at first. However, it gets easier the more you use it. The pizza often gets stuck on the pizza stone, which can make it difficult to peel off. A pizza peel has slightly sharp edges, which help to get the pizza off of the stone.
Even with a pizza peel, a pizza oven can be scorching. If you use metal plates or tools, the pizza’s heat can be unbearable to your bare hands. The best way of dealing with this heat is by getting gloves.
You can use special heat protection gloves. However, a simple pair of kitchen mittens are just as good for getting the job done. Some form of protection to prevent direct heat from touching your hands is a necessary safety precaution.
Pizza Cutter and Spatula
All pizzas require pizza cutters. Cutting pizzas with knives can be tricky. The dough can be rough or brittle, making it difficult to cut with a regular knife. A pizza cutter has a wheel-shaped blade. This makes it easier to cut across the pizza and section it into equal slices.
Pizza spatulas come in handy when serving a pizza. The triangle shape of this spatula makes it easier to pick up pizza slices. The large surface area of the pizza spatula also prevents the pizza from falling off while serving.
Among the most effective techniques to ensure that the crust of your pizza is flavourful, crispy, and moist all at the same time is by brushing the edges with oil. It is best to do this halfway through your pizza’s cook time.
Using an oiling brush allows you to distribute the oil evenly on all sides of the pizza. Oiling the sides of your pizza crust helps it gain a beautiful burnt colour. This slightly burnt edge is a signature part of any wood-fired oven-baked pizza.
Flies will congregate wherever there is food. The heat of the pizza oven may protect the pizza from flies when you are cooking. However, if you plan on eating outdoors, there are likely to be a lot of flies buzzing close by.
Flies may be effectively eradicated by either using insect repellent or by buying a fly zapper. You can also take other extra steps to make sure there are no flies in your backyard.
Where to Get Wood Pellets for A Wood-fired Pizza Oven
Wood pellets are standard material for making pizza and any outdoor cooking. You should be able to find wood pellets in any camping or outdoor cooking sections of departmental stores. You can find specialized wood pellets in stores that sell specialized equipment for outdoor cooking.
Aside from physical stores, you can also order wood pellets online. You can get them from popular websites such as Amazon or eBay. Aside from this, you can also look into buying from manufacturers directly by researching brands and checking their websites.
DIY Options of Wood Pellets
Wood Pellets are readily available for purchase. However, if you are up for it, you can also make your wood pellets by following the steps given below.
Step 1: Gather raw wood. You can get full-sized logs and chop them down, or you can also collect sawdust and wood chips.
Step 2: Cut the wood down into small pieces. Keep them as small as you practically can and no larger than two and a half centimetres.
Step 3: Break down these small pieces to an even finer consistency. You can do this by hammering the wood pieces down until they form a type of grainy powder.
Step 4: Lay the wood out in the sun and let them dry for an entire day. The moisture level should be at about 10 to 20 percent.
Step 5: Mix all the wood and sift through them. Try to get rid of any extra materials or dirt that isn’t wood out of the mixture.
Step 6: Mix vegetable oil to the sifted wood. Use about one tablespoon of oil for fourteen pounds of wood.
Step 7: Put them into moulds or shape them into pellets. Let the finished product dry and harden slightly before using.
After you have accomplished these tasks, you will have homemade DIY wood pellets. However, it is essential to remember that these pellets were not made using the professional machinery utilized by large companies.
Because of this, the quality of these wood pellets may not be as good, and they also may not last for as long.
Thank you for reading our wood pellet post! We hope that this article helped shed some light on the best wood pellets to use in a pizza oven, how long wood pellets last in a pizza oven and any other tips or tricks.
If you have any inquiries pertaining to anything we covered here, please don’t hesitate to ask us below. We would love to hear from you!
Sources of Information
Quadra-Fire. (n.d.). How Are Pellets Made? We Have the Answers. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.quadrafire.com/shopping-tools/blog/how-are-pellets-made-we-have-the-answers
Traeger Grills. (2014, February 12). Wood Pellet Flavor Guide | Traeger Grills®. Https://Www.Traeger.Com. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.traeger.com/learn/wood-pellet-guide
Lite, M. (2014, October 24). Top 5 Benefits of a Wood Fired Pizza Oven. #3 Tells You Why Flame-Cooked Pizza is the Healthiest Choice. Mason-Lite By Masonry Fireplace Industries. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.mason-lite.com/
C. (2021a, July 12). The Best Wood For Your Tastiest Ever Pizza Oven Recipes. Appliance Analysts. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://applianceanalysts.com/best-wood-pizza-oven/
How to Make Wood Pellets. (2020, February 14). In wikiHow. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Wood-Pellets