In recent years, sales of wood-fired pizza ovens have risen across the UK, leading to a rise in the demand for hardwood logs, seasoned logs and kiln dried logs from log sales companies like LJN Firewood. Homeowners in places like Guildford are buying pizza ovens to add that extra visual appeal in the garden, but also because they recognise that cooking food like pizza using natural firewood as fuel makes it taste so much better.
On this page, our firewood and log sales company details the best woods to use as fuel to get the most out of your pizza oven.
While every type of wood falls under either the hardwood or softwood category, there is a wide range of different specimens which offer unique or additional benefits as a source of fuel.
What to Avoid as Firewood
When cooking food at your home in Guildford, it is essential to avoid using any fuel that will release harmful chemicals when burned. This rules out any laminated woods, such as plywood, anything covered in paint or glue, and chemically or pressure-treated wood. Using such materials risks releasing hazardous toxins into the air or the food itself.
It is also important to not use anything that will create a creosote or soot build-up that may become a fire hazard. Although, if you have already used a resinous wood with a high oil or sap content, you can burn off the residue by using hardwood logs, seasoned logs or kiln dried logs.
The Best Woods for Firewood
Kiln dried logs or seasoned logs from hardwoods like beech, ash, maple, birch or oak are by far the best options for a wood-fired pizza oven. However, oak is often the easiest one to source from log sales companies like ours, as well as burning far hotter than some other types of hardwood logs. While softwood alternatives are still an option, hardwoods are far denser and weigh around three times as much, which means they give off more heat, pound for pound.
If you are planning to use a softwood, it is important to only use properly seasoned logs or professionally kiln dried logs, as the curing and drying process will reduce the sap content and moisture levels.
One of the most popular firewood choices among wood-fired pizzerias around Guildford is apple wood. Like other fruitwoods, such as hickory, pear, cherry, almond and pecan, apple wood emits a delightful fragrance when burned, infusing your food with a unique flavour and aroma. Hardwood logs made from apple wood burn incredibly hot which, like oak, creates the optimal temperature for cooking pizza.
While it is possible to substitute kiln dried logs and seasoned logs with woodchips and wood pellets in wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, they produce far less heat than traditional firewood. This makes them a poor choice as the only source of fuel for a pizza oven in Guildford. However, adding apple wood chips, for example, will provide the same pleasant aromas as apple hardwood logs, which can be difficult to come by at many local log sales companies.
Remember that using green wood from a freshly cut tree will contain a lot of moisture, which will produce a lot of smoke and burn poorly. Due to the curing process, kiln dried logs and seasoned logs make the best firewood because of their low moisture content of around 20-25%.