It goes without saying that you want a clean fire when you cook in your wood fired pizza oven. In order to ensure this, your choice of wood is key. Kiln dried wood is your best bet. With kiln dried wood, the moisture level is about 20%. If you dip below 20%, your wood will be too dry and will burn quickly in the pizza oven. On the other hand, if there is a high moisture level, then it will not burn clean. Rather, it will emit a substantial amount of black smoke, which is a real appetite suppressant for your family and friends since they’ll be coughing so much, they’ll be too worn out to eat. Besides that, moist wood simply doesn’t raise the temperature to optimal levels.
Hardwood is the best for your wood fired pizza oven since it produces high BTU’s which translates into a really hot oven. The reason you bought, or you are planning to buy, an ilFornino Wood Fired Portable Pizza oven is for the ability to achieve high temperatures to cook your wood fired pizza. An example of best hardwood is oak, ash, apple, maple and olive wood. If you can get olive wood, you are in for a treat. Not only does olive wood produce high heat, but it offers a distinct aroma, something you would recognize if you’ve ever traveled to Italy.
You’ll want to start your fire in the middle of your ilFornino oven right under the damper with the door open. It is best to arrange the wood in a teepee shape in order to create a rapid fire. Consider using a chemical-free starter hay like Tumbleweeds which is made up of wooden wool and Paraffin wax. If you choose to use a Webber fire starter or something similar, make sure you place it on top of a piece of wood so it does not have direct contact with the floor.
Kindling will activate a flame when needed. These little pieces of wood are necessary to help get a good flame going. IlFornino ovens will heat up evenly and maintain the temperature for about 4-6 hours. However, the flames will die down after a few hours. When it’s time to make a second round of pizzas, you can simply add some kindling to the top of the ashes. They will quickly ignite, making your wood fired pizza oven ready to produce a perfectly baked pizza.
When everyone’s bellies are full, you’ll find that extinguishing the fire is easy. Simply deprive the fire of oxygen by closing both your damper and the oven door.
I hope these tips and tricks for your ilFornino wood fired pizza oven come in handy as you experience the best wood fired pizza you’ve ever eaten! Enjoy!