A wood fired outdoor pizza oven that would need wood at the right moisture

The Importance Of Wood Moisture Content When Cooking In A Pizza Oven

One of the most important facts when it comes to the use of wood in a pizza oven is the best moisture content in the wood when cooking food. In this article, we will discuss the difference between seasoned wood and kiln-dried wood, and the importance of knowing this for the perfect pizza oven-cooked meal.


What Is Seasoned Wood?

Seasoned wood is wood that has been left to dry naturally for at least 6 months. The moisture content should be below 20% before it is used. You can season the wood yourself under the roof of a lean-to, or better still in a shed or garage.

What Is Kiln-Dried Wood?

Kiln-dried wood is an off-the-shelf option. Slightly more expensive but new regulations have created a standard that has to be kept to. No more wet nets of logs left in the rain outside petrol stations.

So, What Is The Best Size Of Wood To Use In A Pizza Oven?

Let’s start off with how to start a fire in a pizza oven. Don’t use any chemicals or any fluid or fuel that may contain chemicals. Natural combustibles are best, such as birch bark, or any kind of wood shavings. We recommend using paper or waxed wool firelighters for the safest, flavoursome way of lighting the underside of the pizza oven to start cooking.

The Steps And Sizes Of Woods To Use When Lighting Your Pizza Oven

1. Kindling: Start with finger size kindling between 4 and 6 inches long then add what are called wood “splits” when the fire gets going.

2. Wood Splits: These are gnarled pieces of wood around 3 to 5 fingers wide and one finger thick. Irregular in shape; imagine the wood around twigs and branches, with lots of tiny matches sticking out. These are also used for reigniting fires or increasing heat.

a close up image of wood splinters to show the importance of wood moisture when cooking in a pizza oven

Wood splinters showing the importance of wood moisture when cooking in a pizza oven

3. Chunks: These are logs split down into at least 4 pieces, they want to be 3 to 4 inches wide. Commercially produced logs are usually 10 inches long, but sometimes they will need splitting down for use in a pizza oven.

4. Pizza Cut: You may find these commercially or if you are cutting your own wood. These are around 2 to 3 inches but slightly longer than chunks, around 12 inches. This allows for a long curl of flame helping to cook larger pizzas evenly from the top.

Optimum Moisture Content

The optimum moisture content is generally below 20%, but the moisture content for a pizza oven should be less than this, around 15%.

You can purchase a moisture meter for firewood for under twenty pounds.

Our Pizza Oven Supplies Tip:

You can stack wood around the chimney or in the mouth of a lit pizza oven to dry wood out a little extra prior to using. Don’t leave it unattended as it can catch fire.

A wood fire pizza oven that would need the wood at the right moisture level

Pizza Oven Types Guide CTA