The Benefits of Using Lumpwood and Logs Together in a Wood Fired Pizza Oven.



First, we’re going to explore the perfect combination of using real wood and lump wood charcoal together to achieve the perfect heat and flame for your pizza oven cooking experience. By combining these two fuels, you’ll achieve the ideal balance of flavour, heat, and flame size for your pizza cook.

I add the  lump wood charcoal to the grate.  Lump wood charcoal is known for its high heat output and minimal ash production. Spread an even layer of lumpwood charcoal over the grate.  Let me know in the comments if you place your charcoal on top of your wood.  I’ve tried that and it didn’t work for me but I’m interested to know what you do.  I kind of fit them in like a puzzle so that they cover the base of the grate in a single layer.  I’ve used a number of brands of lump wood over time and have now settled on this brand.  It’s not the cheapest brand I’ve used, but it’s good quality and lasts longer.  The pieces are nice and chunky and burn well.  We also use these in our Kamado Joe Junior which we also use a lot during the milder and warmer weather. 

Lump wood charcoal is made from pure wood, often sourced from hardwoods like oak, hickory, or fruitwood. It contains no additives, binders, or fillers. This natural composition gives it a cleaner and more woody cooking experience, as there are no artificial flavors or chemicals imparted onto the food.

The irregular shapes of the lump wood pieces create better airflow, resulting in higher temperatures. Which is great for heating up the pizza oven.

It lights quickly and reaches cooking temperature fast.  This is due to its lower moisture content and the absence of additives. This quick ignition is perfect for heating the pizza oven up fast.

The lack of fillers means there is less material to burn, resulting in less residue, there is very little ash left in my grate after a wood fired pizza cook.

Lump wood charcoal is made from natural wood without the use of additives.

Now, once we have the lump wood set into the grate, we can add our real wood logs.

Ensure the wood is seasoned and free of any chemicals or additives that could affect the pizza.    This is the wood I use  – it’s really good value and it burns really well.  It’s kiln dried birch wood with little moisture content.  I buy them from my local hardware shop, e.g. in the UK B&M or Home Bargains.  They are packaged in carryable plastic bags.

There are Varied Wood Types that you can use, but from my experience, the pizza cook is so fast that the smoke from these woods doesn’t have time to flavour the pizza and so I don’t spend money on expensive Apple, fruitwoods etc.  for the pizza oven.  Thats why I buy the basic birch wood.

Well-seasoned and properly dried wood logs have a long burning time, providing a consistent heat source for extended cooking sessions. This is perfect for our oven.  So, now we add the log or logs to the grate.

I may need to cut the logs into manageable pieces but I try to buy bags that have the size logs I need.   I use logs that just fit into the grate, I want the log to be as big as they can to fit in.  The reason why, is that (I learnt this from the ooni pro) the bigger the log, the longer it takes to burn and the less time I need to keep an eye on the fuel and to top up the grate.  Ovens have different sized grates and they can take bigger or smaller logs.

My aim is to set up the grate with a large log and to fit in any other pieces to fill up the grate.  Because of the wood comes in different shapes, this mix allows for perfect airflow in between the wood and the charcoal.  This will provide us with a source of fuel positioned to ignite easily and also to maintain that consistent heat we need throughout the cooking process.

Light the wood and lump charcoal using a chimney starter or another preferred method, mine is using a butane gas flame burner.  It won’t take long for the charcoal to catch.  

I have a tip too.  I increase the speed of this process by igniting a piece of kindling which sits on the lump wood and charcoal.  I set that alight and then the rest catches fire from that.  Kindling really catches fire fast and will keep burning long enough to spread its heat and flame to the wood and lump wood.

Monitor the temperature closely using a pizza oven thermometer. The combination of real wood and lump charcoal will allow you to achieve and maintain the optimal cooking temperature for that perfect crust.

If you are looking for information on how to light a wood fire pizza oven – then check out my videos in the links above and below where I provided a step by step guide into that full process.  They provide guidance on how to control the heat of the stone in a high heat wood fired oven.

I love cooking with real wood, it may take some more time to set up and there is a learning curve to understand how to manage the heat and flames, but that will come by doing it.  I just enjoy the overall experience of wood fired cooking, watching the flame develop,  and the lovely ambiance it creates.  

There you have it, the perfect combination of real wood and lump wood charcoal as a fuel source for your pizza oven. This setup will help create that lovely home-made wood-fired pizza-cooking experience.  Experiment with different brands to get the best that works for you and the oven!

PIZZA OVENS – if you are looking to buy a pizza oven check out all my pizza oven review videos as there are a number to choose from such as the Ooni Volt 12, Ooni Karu 12G, Ooni Fyra 12, the Ooni Karu 16,  the Ooni Koda 16, Ooni koda 12, Gozney Roccbox and the Ooni Karu 12!  

Check out our Pizza Stone Cleaning Video here.  And check out our Pizza Oven Review videos here!

I’ve created a Pizza for Beginners – Learning to Cook Pizza and How to Use Pizza Ovens YouTube playlist that gives some great tips to help you with your learning to cook pizza journey!

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How to Use Charcoal and Logs in Pizza Ovens!

Hi and welcome to our learning-to-cook pizza journey! Today we explain the benefits of using Wood Logs and Lumpwood Charcoal together in a Wood fired pizza oven!



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