In the time it takes to read this sentence 350 slices of Pizza have been eaten in the United States. That’s right people: the calculated American pizza consumption rate is 350 slices a second. That works out to a daily total of 100 acres of masticated pizza. Gives a little perspective doesn’t it? No one can deny the cultural and international phenomenon that is pizza. However do the populous really care about the best pizza oven fuel?
It is hard to definitively answer that question but we can’t deny the fact that the majority of people are interested in outcome and end result versus process and mechanics. Not us. And we’re sure many of the Big K Fam feels the same. We’re all about the ‘how’, as when it comes to pizzas, pizza oven fuel is the magic catalyst responsible for the outcome. So we need to understand every detail and nuance. Why? Well with this knowledge we can bring you the right pizza oven fuel to ensure perfect crusty perfection every time. Let’s deep pan dive into pizza oven fuel so you can find the best pizza oven fuel for you.
What is the best pizza oven fuel?
Let us answer your question with another question: how blue is the sky? We’re not being facetious but (much like a drawing pin) we’re trying to make a point. There isn’t a ‘best pizza oven fuel’ rather there are different pizza oven fuels with different characteristics. Finding the best pizza oven fuel for you is about analysing these pizza oven fuel qualities and performance outputs I relation to your particular needs, skill set and circumstances. Once this interfacing is complete, one could argue that you will arrive at the best or right pizza oven fuel for you. This being said, there are still some general pointers to help refine your search. Let’s get into how to find the best pizza oven fuel for your situation.
For pizza purists, wood holds the key
There are always multiple ways to skin the proverbial ‘best pizza oven fuel’ cat. However that’s not to say some that some ways perhaps give more preferable outcomes than others – unless you are the cat in which case no result brings any joy to be fair. This feline exploration has a rhetorical purpose. Yes you can use both gas and coal in your pizza oven and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when analysing all elements of the best pizza oven fuel spectrum, it’s hard to argue against wood as being the most authentic choice. Yes you lovely lot, we believe nothing beats a pizza birthed from a wood fired oven using wood fuel. Think about a crust of puffy perfection and a magically melted and gooey centre. The right pizza oven fuel should deliver these results.
What is the best wood for a pizza oven?
You know the drill by now: we are always reluctant to spell things out in black and white when they shades of grey are everywhere. However when it comes to the best wood for a pizza oven we can give you a few pointers. Ultimately we need to look at the end goal. Your pizza oven’s internal temp must reach approximately 450 to 500°C for pizza-making Nirvana. So you will need wood that delivers high consistent heat. So forget about soft woods or any wetter woods. Hardwood is the place to be. Think maple, oak, ash, hickory, walnut, birch, and beech. Hardwoods are denser than softwoods, making the combustion process more potent, which leads to higher heat outputs. Common sense here but you will also need low moisture hardwood as more moisture leads to more emissions, a less efficient burn and lower heat outputs. Here are two contenders that could be the best pizza oven fuel for you.
Sometimes you need a seasoned pro for your pizza
If you’re starting out in the pizza game, or perhaps you’re into the classic pizza vibe, we believe that seasoned hardwood could be the best pizza oven fuel for you. For those that are lost in the verbiage, seasoned hardwood is basically just wood that has been dried out in open-air conditions for an extended period of time. It usually has an internal moisture level of about 30%. We believe our Seasoned British Oak logs will defo help certain people get their ‘za on. Each log is ethically and sustainably sourced made from 100% natural British oak. With a low moisture content of 30% these oaky characters will have your pizza oven fired up and ready to go in no time. You can also buy in bulk and make a saving too
Kiln dried logs could be the right pizza oven fuel for you
It’s safe to say that the Big K Fam has a basic grasp of moisture levels in relation to combustion. The less moisture, the better the burn. So while seasoned hardwood logs are great, you can find an even drier customer to add into the pizza oven fuel mix. Step forward kiln dried logs. These low moisture logs are different to seasoned logs because they have been dried artificially within the controllable environment of a kiln. This drying process is more intense and powerful than seasoning, delivering logs with a mind-meltingly low moisture content of 20%. And as we know, lower moisture equals a stronger burn.
If you are a little more experienced in the pizza oven fuel sphere than we believe that kiln dried logs could be the best pizza oven fuel for you. Naturally as we are big in the wood fuel game, we have you covered. Introducing our Kiln Dried Natural Pizza logs If you’re after ethically and sustainably sourced 100% natural logs made from UK grown timber, these logs will definitely rock your world and your thermometer too!
Power up and flame on
To round off the best pizza oven fuel trifecta we have pizza oven heat logs and briquettes. Both these fuels are unique due to their production. In other words they are fully manufactured. The methodology is fairly straightforward. A mixture of wood saw dust is added to a mould and compressed at extremely intense pressures, creating logs or briquettes of a particular uniform shape. Normally these logs or briquettes contain no chemicals, binders or accelerants. The beauty of these pizza fuel options lies in their production. The compression process removes a whoppingly gargantuan amount of internal moisture, delivering logs and briquettes with a moisture content of 5% or less. This makes both options the heating kings as they produce three times as much heat per log when compared to kiln dried logs. Could these choices be the right pizza oven fuel for you? Well if you’re a stickler for consistency and control (thanks to the uniform shape and density of each log or briquette) then we would say a confident yes.
You know the Big K way. We practice what we preach in a product sense, so check out our Big K Forno Pizza Oven logs Enjoy 100% natural compressed sawdust heat logs produced in the UK from sustainably sourced timber as well as only 5% moisture content. For those searching to turn on the afterburners, these blazing heroes can come to the rescue. Many say this is the best pizza oven fuel around.
Using coal in a pizza oven?
Yes we have wondered through a wonderful woody world, but what about coal? As we said before, if you are a pizza purist then wood-fired is the way to go. However coal-fired pizza is growing in popularity. In fact more and more voices are saying it’s the best pizza oven fuel around. So by all means have at it. Just be wary as coal produces extremely high temperatures exceeding wood or heat logs, so your pizza will be ready in a flash. To put it differently, burnt discs of disappointment could be a charring reality if you are not super on point. We think perhaps coal is more suited for the pizza pros, but please feel free to give it a nudge and let us know how you get on. Of course we have coal for you guys too
Making breads in a pizza oven?
We salute your proactivity Mr. and Mrs. Bakerson. Yes indeedy you can cook all kinds of bread in a wood fired oven. At the higher end of the temp spectrum you can cook breads similar to Pizza such as garlic breads and naan breads that cook super quick. Moving down the temperature scale you have lean breads which are baked at the more traditional temps between 400°F-450°F.
A few quick pointers so your bread will rise to the occasion
If you’ve been living under a blog rock for the last 10 minutes (or skim reading on auto-pilot as you try to stop lockdown-crazy kids from sticking thumbs in plug sockets etc) temperature is the name of the bread making game. Basically you need to fire up your pizza oven with the right pizza oven fuel to obtain maximum heat. Then let things cool down and measure the temperature until you hit your bread type dependent sweet spot.
You will need an even distribution of heat throughout your pizza oven, so we would suggest placing your wood centrally in the chamber.
Once in bread making temperature heaven, you can either move the embers to one side, or remove them from the pizza oven. If you choose to keep the embers you will have a direct heat source so one side of your bread will cook faster meaning you will have tot urn you’re the bread. If you have no embers you can keep the bread in one position throughout the baking process.
A final few baking tips
- Before baking, produce a little steam in the oven. This will lead to crispier crusts.
- When you begin keep the oven door closed for several minutes. This will allow your bread to spring properly.
- Don’t place your creation to close to the fire. This could lead to charring and burning which in turn could lead to long faces.
So now do you know the best pizza oven fuel for you? Maybe or maybe not? Well at least you have all the basic info to help you make a more informed choice. This is what it is all about at the end of the day. It’s not a BBQ dictatorship after all. As a final final gesture here’s a little more info on the best pizza oven fuel topic
Take care and see you down the verbal river.