Seasoning Your Wood

Seasoning Your Wood

For pizzaiolos who swear by the magic of a wood-fired oven, the quality of the wood used is just as important as the dough and toppings.  Sure, any old piece of wood can technically burn, but to unlock the true potential of your oven and achieve pizza perfection, seasoning your wood is the key.

 

Why Seasoned Wood Matters?

Wood, in its freshly cut state, contains a significant amount of moisture. This moisture content hinders the burning process in several ways:

When burning wet wood, a large portion of the energy is used to evaporate the water within the wood, resulting in a lower overall oven temperature. For pizza, consistent high heat is essential for achieving a perfectly crisped crust and gooey cheese melt. Seasoned wood, with its lower moisture content, burns hotter and cleaner, delivering the intense heat needed for optimal pizza baking.

Wet wood burns inefficiently, leading to the production of thick, white smoke. This smoke not only imparts an unpleasant flavor to your pizza, but can also clog your chimney and create safety hazards. Seasoned wood burns cleaner, producing minimal smoke that can even subtly enhance the flavor of your pizza with a hint of smokiness.

Freshly cut wood is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can be detrimental to your health and impart unpleasant flavors to your pizza. Seasoning allows the wood to dry out properly, inhibiting the growth of these unwanted organisms.

 

The Benefits of Seasoned Wood

The advantages of using seasoned wood extend beyond just heat output and smoke production:

  • Easier Fire Starting: Seasoned wood is drier and more readily ignites, making it much easier to start and maintain a fire in your oven.
  • Longer Burning Time: Dry wood burns for a longer duration, requiring less frequent stoking and ensuring consistent heat throughout the cooking process.
  • Cleaner Burning: As mentioned earlier, seasoned wood burns more cleanly, resulting in less ash and a reduced risk of chimney fires.

 

Seasoning Wood Like a Pro In 4 Steps

Now that you understand the importance of seasoned wood, let’s explore how to properly season your own wood supply:

  1. Choose hardwoods like oak, hickory, or maple that are known for their slow, even burning and ability to produce high heat. Avoid softwoods like pine, which tend to burn quickly and create excessive smoke.
  2. Cut the wood into split logs of appropriate size for your oven. Aim for pieces that are roughly 16-18 inches long and 3-4 inches thick.
  3. Find a well-ventilated, dry, and sunny location for storing your wood. Stack the split logs loosely with plenty of air circulation between them to promote even drying. Cover the top of the stack with a tarp to shield it from rain and snow, but allow the sides to remain open for air flow.
  4. The ideal seasoning time for wood depends on several factors, including the thickness of the logs, the wood type, and the climate. As a general rule, aim to season your wood for a minimum of 6 months, and preferably a year or longer, for optimal results.

 

Where to Find Seasoned Wood?

If you don’t have the time or space to season your own wood, there are several options available:

Many firewood suppliers sell seasoned wood, often in convenient bundles or by the cord.

Tree removal companies may have access to seasoned firewood that they are willing to sell.

Several online retailers specialize in selling seasoned firewood, with delivery options available in some areas.

 

Pizza School New York – Unleashing Your Inner Pizzaiolo

At Pizza School New York, we are passionate about empowering aspiring pizzaiolos to create restaurant-quality pizzas at home. We understand that the right tools and techniques make all the difference. Ready to take your pizza passion to the next level?  Contact Pizza School New York today!  Call us at (718) 987-2422 or visit our website here to discuss our course offerings and find the perfect program to fit your goals! 


Finding Your Perfect Brick Oven

If you’re ready to take your pizza-making game to the next level and experience the magic of wood-fired cooking, then investing in a high-quality brick oven is the answer. But where do you begin your search?

Look no further than our second website, brickovensforsale.com. We offer a wide selection of top-of-the-line brick ovens, from compact, countertop models perfect for home kitchens to larger, professional-grade ovens ideal for outdoor entertaining or even aspiring pizzerias.