Which fuel is more effective for pizza ovens?

The same question about outdoor pizza ovens then. Wood, charcoal, or pellets will be more effective? There are a lot of factors what can influence that

Thanks for the question, Frank, and welcome to the BrickWood forums!

If you are talking about baking pizza at high temperature, I think charcoal and pellets would be less effective. They are both known for producing heat at infrared wavelengths, and designed to yield their energy over long periods of time.

Speaking for this design and this style of cooking, wood combusts in more of a “burst” mode. It’s lousy for long-term energy release, but exactly what is needed to shoot a flame over an arch and above a pizza. The oven design itself captures the heat and convects it back out, but it’s the flame that lets you bake a pizza in 4 to 6 minutes.

Other designs use the heat differently—the classic commercial pizza oven (not masonry based, but with a stone floor) works like these on the floor, but uses other means to convect heat energy to the top of the pie. I’m intrigued by coal-fired pizza ovens, and a restaurant using that technique “opened” (as much as any restaurant can open in this pandemic) earlier this year. Looking forward to learning more about that!

My opinion is that this oven design would do well with wood, and has also been shown to work well with LP/NG gas burners. I don’t think pellets or charcoal would be relevant here.

Thank you so much! It’s always nice to read the expert opinion, that’s why I’m here

I am in a bunch of facebook groups as well, and I haven’t seen anyone attempt to use pellets for pizza, but I have seen people build wood fires to get their oven heated up, and then once it starts to cool to smoking temperature, they then use the pellet tubes to smoke inside of their ovens. I use a pellet tube inside of my pellet grill as well when doing pork butts and large meats since the pellet grills don’t provide alot of smoke.

As for charcoal, I have seen others try to cook with it inside of ovens, and they find out that coal does produce alot of heat but if you think of old time blacksmiths, they constantly had to utilize bellows to provide additional airflow. I have seen some rig up fans as well, but overall like biker matt said, most coal fire ovens work in a different fashion.

Regardless, what I do know, is the drier the wood, the better for heat and hardwoods. I wouldn’t use pine or anything that will add sap or pressure treated for sure. Soft woods are sometimes good at the start to get the fire started, but dry hardwoods are better. Some are easier to find than others depending on your area. See attached chart that shows wood in a fireplace, but you can see which woods are good to use in oven in the States.


Thanks, that’s a really good chart. The only thing I would add is that if you or anyone in your area is chopping down apple or crab apple trees you should grab that wood. Apple wood burns well, smells great and adds a nice flavor, especially to pork.

Mesquite is also a great wood but we don’t have any of that in Michigan other than what you can get from the big box stores.

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Agreed, I am in Ohio and we had a cherry and plum issue a couple years ago. Any fruit wood is pretty good! Ornamental work as well such as the Bradford and barley pears!