There are many makes and models of portable pizza ovens on the market and one of the main considerations if you are planning to invest in a pizza oven is  -  what fuel type oven do you want to use?

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Wood/Lumpwood
  • Wood Pellets

Some pizza ovens are dual-fuelled in that you can cook with gas and change over the burner to cook with wood.  Other pizza ovens are single fuel only e.g. wood, electricity or gas.

It is more likely that you will find a pizza oven that can use both wood and gas than you would an oven that uses electricity and wood.

I've created a Pizza for Beginners YouTube playlist that gives some great tips to help your learning to cook pizza journey! Enjoy your Pizza Cooking!

In this article we will cover:

  • Types of wood-fired pizza oven fuel
  • Types of gas-fired pizza oven fuel
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a wood-fired pizza oven
  • Advantages and disadvantages of a gas-fired pizza oven

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1. TYPES OF WOOD-FIRED PIZZA OVEN FUEL

  • Lump wood
  • Kindling - kiln dried
  • Real wood logs - kiln dried
  • Wood Pellets

If you are choosing to use real wood logs and kindling you will need to be able to source kiln dried logs.  Green or damp logs will not cook your pizza.  They will smoke your pizza oven out and it will be a challenge for the pizza oven stone to reach a high temperature.

2. TYPES OF GAS-FIRED PIZZA OVEN FUEL

  • Butane
  • Propane  

I have only used Propane Gas to fuel the pizza oven.  I use a small can of Butane to light the kindling on my wood-fired pizza oven.

There are certain differences between the performance of Butane and Propane and you will need to check the manufacturers online guidance. 

However, generally, Propane has a lower boiling point than Butane and can be used below 0c, even down to -45c and so it is suitable for year-round weather and colder climates.  Butane can be used at temperatures down to -1c.

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3. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A WOOD-FIRED PIZZA OVEN

ADVANTAGES:

  • Wood produces a wonderful wispy gentle flame that is ideal for cooking the perfect pizza crust.
  • Wood can heat up a pizza oven to a higher temperature.
  • There are various types of wood that you can use at different stages of a wood-fire cook.  For example, you could use kindling and lump wood to start the fire and to build up the heat of the oven, then you could add a real wood log 5 minutes to 10 minutes before your cook in order to increase the oven temperature.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Soot and ash will create more mess!
  • Your oven will get sooty and you'll need to dispose of ash that hasn't burnt off.
  • You have to light the wood and get the fire started which takes more time than starting a gas oven.
  • Storage space needed to store your wood.
  • The fire needs monitoring and logs/pellets added to keep the flames going for the cook.
  • The flame size will vary depending on the size of your log or how many pellets you have added to the burner.

4. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A GAS-FIRED PIZZA OVEN

ADVANTAGES

  • Gas is quick to set up and ignite.  Your fire starts in seconds
  • It's a clean fuel, a lot less soot and no ash to deal with.
  • Easy to store your gas canister outside for all seasons.
  • Easy to adjust the size of the flame for your cook.
  • The flame is consistent and doesn't burn out.

DISADVANTAGES

  • The flame on a gas oven will vary with the oven and the way the gas burner has been manufactured and set up within the oven. Some ovens have a directional strong flame, others have a flame that faces upwards rather than towards the pizza and some have a guard to protect the pizza from the direct flame.
  • You could run out of gas in the middle of your cook if you don't check your gas levels in your bottle.

5. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GAS FIRED PIZZA TASTE AND A WOOD FIRED PIZZA TASTE

In my opinon wood has a very subtle, more ashy cook.  However, the pizza is only cooked for between 60 seconds and a few minutes so I’m not sure how much flavour a flame can impart on a pizza in that very short cook time.   The base of the pizza would develop more of a wood ash taste from the ash and soot from the logs.

6. WHAT DIFFERENCE IS THERE TO THE SPEED OF THE PIZZA COOK?

The speed of the cook is the same for both ovens.  Both gas and wood can cook the same number of pizza as long as the fuel is maintained regularly and checked in both ovens.