It’s great fun using a dual-fuelled pizza oven because it gives you the option of switching over the fuel to whichever one you fancy cooking with on the day. The weather determines which fuel I end up using for my pizza cook outside.
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!
For instance, if showery rain is forecast, I will use the gas burner - because it’s so quick to set up. But if it’s a dry day I always get the oven ready for a wood burner cook.
Check out the video below where I show step-by-step how I light and manage the wood burner on the Ooni Karu Pizza Oven.
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The oven grate at the back takes wood pieces that are cut to about 6” long and 1” wide.
My tips for lighting the wood fire are:
- To heat up the oven from cold, fill the grate with part lumpwood charcoal and some pieces of wood layered on top. I use a butane blowtorch to light the wood pieces and it takes about a minute for the wood to catch.
- Every 5 minutes check on the wood/lumpwood level and fill up the grate to keep the heat going.
- In about 15 to 20 minutes the oven should be hot enough to cook your pizza in!
It’s pretty easy to heat up the Ooni Karu due to the smaller size of the oven. The pizza stone is also efficient at retaining the heat so I would expect the standard heat up time using the wood burner grate to be around 15 to 20 minutes.
Just make sure your chimney toggle is facing upwards for the pizza cook. If you are cooking bread then this lever should be moved down to reduce the amount of air being released from the oven. This will help the bread to cook in a more consistent temperature.
I would recommend using a combination of both wood and lumpwood to heat up the oven as they provide an effective fuel combination to build up and maintain the oven heat rather than just using wood alone.
Just add a bit more wood a minute or two before the cook to guarantee a decent flame for your pizza crust and toppings. Timing is everything.
If you find that your oven is heating up too fast then either use the chimney lever to reduce the amount of air escaping which will lower the flame quickly at the back, or just re-fill the grate at the back less frequently or use less wood.
If you are using hard wood such as oak, your logs should last longer than the birch wood I used in this video - it burns pretty fast!
Always used kiln-dried wood and store in a dry area. Happy wood-fired cooking!
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