To help you choose the best hardwood for a wood-fired oven, we’ve put together a brief list of a few of our favorites.
Why choose hardwoods for wood-fired ovens?
Hardwoods are far better for burning than softwoods. Softwoods are great for kindling because they light easily and give a quick, hot flame. Hardwoods, on the other hand, have greater density and provide an intense heat that will burn for a long time.
All wood should be well-seasoned before use to reduce smoke and provide optimum cooking conditions.
Wood chips and chunks can also be used to add flavor to your wood-fired cooking
Ash and similar
Ash, Beech, and Hornbeam are all very good woods for burning as they offer a great flame and decent level of heat. Ash is probably the best wood as it is very widely available. Beech follows closely behind.
Blackthorn & Hawthorn
These woods burn slowly which is perfect when you’re cooking something like a rack of meat in your wood-fired oven. Another great benefit of using blackthorn and hawthorn is that they smoke very little.
Oak is a steady burner. Using oak in a wood-fired oven guarantees a level, long-lasting burn that creates only a small amount of ash. Burning oak has a distinctive smell that’s sharp and bitter but doesn’t flame excessively.
Apple, Cherry & Pear
These fruit woods burn steadily and slowly with very little flame. The real benefit of burning fruity woods is the delicious smell and smoky flavor given to the food.
Cedar smells delicious and also gives out a lot of heat. It’s important to dry cedar properly before you burn it to minimize popping.
Hazel and Holly
Hazel and Holly are both okay hardwoods for burning but must be seasoned very well. If you can get hold of something like ash or oak, it’s best to go with one of these.
Similar to oak, maple hardwood provides a great deal of heat and burns slowly with small flames. A great hardwood for a wood-fired oven.
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Of course, once you have gathered up your best firewood, here are some tips on how to store firewood for your wood-fired outdoor oven.