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How to get your wood fired pizza oven to temperature?
We filmed a video showcasing our preferred method for reaching high temperatures (750-900F) in your Forno Venetzia wood fired oven. If we can do it in the midst of Canadian winter, so can you, wherever you live!
The caveat? Cooking pizzas in 800-900F wood fired oven, with a floor temp higher than 650F will cook VERY fast and can transform a thin crispy pizza in a burnt pizza in a matter of seconds.
How to properly balance temperatures in a wood fired oven?
If you like a chewy pizza crust inside and a nicely grilled pizza underneath, especially if you are using our pizza dough recipes, with yeast or sourdough pizza dough recipe, we actually recommend a floor temperature of 600-650F and an oven temperature up to 700F. Especially if you are just beginning to bake and cook in a wood fired oven!
In our experience, these temperatures allow the bottom to cook for about the same time as the top while having time to control even cooking.
How to measure temperature in your wood fired pizza oven?
To measure floor temperatures, we highly recommend a laser temperature gun. These instruments are easy to find and not terribly expensive.
Baking a great wood fired pizza is all about balance. You need a balance between the baking temperature of the top and bottom of the pizza. If the baking surface is too hot, the bottom of the pizza may burn before the top is done. Likewise, if the heat from above the pizza is too hot compared to the floor, the toppings may burn while the bottom is still uncooked.
As an added tip, if the top of your pizza is not completely cooked, you can lift your pizza, using the pizza peel, closer to the dome to finish grilling the top.
How long does it take to get your wood fired oven to temp?
Cooking Pizza in a wood fired oven
And remember, always leave the door off when baking pizza AND when starting your oven.
When do I use the oven door?
The door should only be used when baking at low temperatures such as 350 F and lower and with no live flame. The door should never be used when pre-heating the oven to increase the draft or cooking at high temperatures as this will cause potential damage to the door and oven. When pre-heating the oven and for the majority of cooking the door should be removed entirely. Forno Venetzia ovens use a traditional flue design where the flue opening is on the outside of the door when closed. Using the door when pre-heating the oven and cooking at high temperatures negatively effects the air flow.
What kind of wood should I use in my wood fired oven?
The two main criteria for wood is that it is a hardwood and dry/well seasoned. Preferably cut, split and stack and left for at least 2 years to thoroughly dry. If the wood makes a sizzling sound when burning and/or you see “suds” coming out the end of the log, there is still moisture in the wood. This will not burn as hot or as thoroughly and will not generate the desired temperatures. It will also generate more smoke.
We suggest reading our Q&A section