Anybody into wood fired pizza at home?

My wife and I have been enjoying the delicious pizzas she's been making using homemade dough and fresh ingredients. We're thinking about how to make wood fired pies. Any experience?
«1

Comments

  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,049
    I've been considering this for a few years now. We do pizzas every couple weeks using King Arthur Flour's recipe for the dough. I use their "Grandma's Pizza" pan and recipe for some fantastic thick and crispy pizzas.

    We looked into the wood fire pizza oven kits from local landscape companies but cannot justify the prices ($6k - well, the sky's the limit) as well as the large footprint, and the limited use it would get (having to build a fire, get it hot, and having to work outside in often freezing temps). I looked into building my own, but I'm a perfectionist and do not think I could do it right with the limited time and funds I would have for it. There are some really nice propane fired pizza ovens, but even the cheap ones are a bit pricey for the one or two times a month we'd use it.

    We just use our oven at 500 degrees with a pizza stone. I still haven't perfected prepping the pizza quick enough so that it doesn't stick to the counter or peel, if I'm making a freeform pizza (and not using the pan).

    The dough recipe (using 00 flour, olive oil, water, yeast, and the pizza dough flavor additive from King Arthur) is fantastic. Homemade sauce is obviously THE way to go, but we've found that Rao's makes some really good pre-made pizza sauces. We've also just used San Marzano peeled tomatoes with some additional spices with great results for the sauce. The cheese is where we have fun. We've done anything from the standard Mozzarella/Provolone/Parmesan blend to unlimited mix recipes including the standards, sharp American, regular American, sharp Provolone, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and even Queso!

    I realize this doesn't answer your question on experience with wood fired pizzas, but I'm following this thread now. It'll be fun to see what others have to say. Sorry for the thread-jacking, but I'm also curious what you're doing now for your "delicious pizzas"!
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    I still haven't perfected prepping the pizza quick enough so that it doesn't stick to the counter or peel, if I'm making a freeform pizza

    Have you tried corn meal on the prep surface? I also watched Diners, Drive thru and Dives this weekend and the pizza guy was using Semolina sprinkled on the surface.
    We have a pizza joint here that dance something on the bottom to be able to slide pizzas around in the oven. Heck it could be Semolina as far as I know, looks like corn meal.
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,049
    I usually use flour (regular or semolina) on the surface but probably not enough. I know corn meal is also used, but I've not tried it. My problem is it takes me too long to prep the pizza, I overload it, and it becomes unworkable. But, it still tastes awesome! I'll try corn meal next! I also just ordered a teak peel. We'll see how that works.

    For wood fired, I'd probably use either a wooden or maybe perforated metal peel/turner.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    edited January 17
    I found one of these on clearance from Rural King for 15.00. I put it in the oven and get it good and hot. granted I'm not making pizza's like you but I have used it for my home made seafood pizza works great.
    I mostly use it to warm up pizza I had delivered

    https://www.amazon.com/Lodge-BW15PP-Seasoned-Pizza-Black/dp/B0971MC534/ref=asc_df_B0971MC534?
  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 2,119
    This comes from a company called Ooni Karu:

    lodn5e46nzte.png
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    I seen that on this old house actually
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,130
    We’ve tried 4 or 5 on our gas Weber. I know there’s no wood involved, but after a couple of mediocre first tries, we learned to preheat the pizza stone for a good half hour and get the pizza on it ASAP. Next, I want to try it on the Kamado Joe with lump charcoal and maybe wood chunks.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 1,645
    Kamado grill with either lump or straight hardwood is probably the easiest household option
    2 Channel - 2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

    Focal Kanta 3 I Modwright SWL9.0 Anniversary Pre I Modwright PH9.0X I Modwright KWA-150SE I Rega P6 w/ Ania MC I Cambridge 851N I North Star Designs Intenso DAC I Audience OHNO ICs/Audience Furutech FP-S55N and FP-S032N Power Cables/Acoustic Zen Satori I Isotek Sirius


  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,434
    stangman67 wrote: »
    Kamado grill with either lump or straight hardwood is probably the easiest household option

    Yep, love pizzas on my kamado joe grill! Lots of cheap knock offs if you just want to try it out…
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SR250; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology Power Monitor 700s mains, CLR-3000 center, StudioMonitor 350surrounds, ProMonitor 800 atmos; Sub - Monoprice Monolith 15in THX Ultra
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Polk RT25i; ACI Titan Subwoofer
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179
    edited January 17
    Hi, SeleniumFalcon. I don't know your name and that feels a little weird to speak with someone without knowing who I am speaking too but I do have some sage advice for you on this one. Two things, actually.

    1 - Research, research, research. Join a forum of people who do nothing but wood fired pizza and build their own ovens. Learn from the failures. I have read too many horror stories of people spending thousands upon thousands of dollars building a pizza oven, only to find out that they built it incorrectly and they have bricks/stones falling apart after using it a couple of times.

    2 - While you do this, invest in a book. It's called the pizza bible. A picture of it is below -

    qz09au1g4eyw.png

    This book has some really, really good information on how to cook a pizza in a stove, that mimics that of a wood fired oven. It actually works too. I have (through experience) done some amazing pizzas out of my oven and some of them have been better than those out of my BGE or grill.

    I originally bought the book because I am a member of an artisan pizza group and one of their top recommendations when I first joined was getting this book. I'm glad I did. It's a goldmine of knowledge, tips and tricks and basically teaches you how to become a master of the craft of pizza making.

    Tony Gemignani is a 13-time World Pizza Champion and Master instructor at the International School of Pizza. Think about that....13 time World Champ? Holy smokes! I'd say he's more than qualified, especially with the knowledge of how many great pizza makers there are in the world.

    Anyhoo, if you are into pizzas and want to improve your game, even just a little bit or are starting from scratch (pun intended) and learning from the start? I highly recommend you getting this book. He will teach you the techniques to getting the results of a wood fired stove from a normal oven.

    There are also regional/national dough's, recipes, insights, pizzas and the like all throughout the book. Basically, it's a treasure trove of information about all things pizza. From the science, to the ingredients, to the technique and everything in between.

    "It's in there". FWIW.

    I hate seeing people invest so much time into building a wood fired pizza oven, only to have an expensive, bulky, expensive to remove pile of stones/bricks out in the backyard collecting dust. The book will get you by until you have the "proper" time to do your research and (in my case), may prevent you from even building one to begin with because you can achieve the same results using other tools.
    n0fau3zaitc6.png

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179

    scubalab wrote: »
    I usually use flour (regular or semolina) on the surface but probably not enough. I know corn meal is also used, but I've not tried it. My problem is it takes me too long to prep the pizza, I overload it, and it becomes unworkable. But, it still tastes awesome! I'll try corn meal next! I also just ordered a teak peel. We'll see how that works.

    Al, try using Semolina. Here are the two that I have used, if you are interested;

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086VRCP61/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - Monastiri Fine Semolina Currently unavailable but is my preferred

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005TY1LAK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 - Bob's Red Mill Semolina

    Much better than Corn meal to me. I was NOT a fan of that at all. Can't remember why but I know I didn't like it and I threw it out after one or two pizzas. One word of advice. Make sure that it is kept in an airtight container if you don't use it very often, freeze it if you can.

    I had a batch of the Bob's Red Mill that about 2 or 3 months after purchase, I looked and there were very, very, very small "things" moving around in it. I have no idea what they were but I could see that they were moving and there must have been 2,000 or more of them little suckers in the container that they were in. Maybe even more. They were freakin' teenie, en mass!

    Haven't had that issue since I started putting it in a vacuum sealed container. If I know I will not be using it for a while, into the freezer it goes.

    Overloading, or the art of not doing so, is also a hard one for me but I have gotten used to much, much thinner toppings because I like the center of the crust to be done all throughout, without a layer of uncooked or mushy dough. The edges already expand in the oven and large bubbles sometimes form, all of which worsens the effect of overloading the pie. It basically squeezes it all into the center, worsening the already bad situation. In this case, less is more. Just gotta keep that in mind when topping.

    BTW, a little FYI on that teak peel. THey do work great BUT still take a little getting used too and they do need "seasoning", if you will. Get yourself some of the same oil you would put on a butcher block and before you even use it for the first time, oil it heavily on the paddle and let it sit for 24 hours. Repeat this 2 or 3 times. I have recently learned (and I will try this myself) that mixing up this oil with beeswax in a 3/1 ratio does wonders. Basically what you are looking to achieve is the same thing you want with a properly maintained butcher block.

    You want to be able to take a little bit of water and fling it onto the peel. If the water is repelled by the paddle and sits on top of it like a perfectly waxed car or properly seasoned cast iron pan? It's ready to use. It has to stay in this maintained condition for optimal results (as well as to keep any moisture out of the teak). Yes, I know teak is great at dealing with water but that's not what's important. What's important is to keep moisture from even hitting the grains of the paddle, so the flour doesn't stick (or has less of a chance too) and let the Semolina work it's magic for your release, so you don't ruin your perfectly round pizza with evenly distributed toppings.

    And of course, use a metal or other peel for turning the pizza or transferring it to another baking stone/steel, as well as removing the pizza from the oven. Never, EVER use the peel to cut the finished pizza. Ever. Your teak peel is just for prep/release.

    Get a dedicated oversized pan for cutting/slicing the pizza is the best bet. Get a couple of them if you make a lot of pizzas at one time and my advice would also be to lose the pizza wheel cutter. I fell in love with a dedicated one piece pizza cutter the first time I used it and haven't even touched the pizza wheel cutter ever since.

    Sorry for the long winded post. I get a little passionate about my pizzas now that I have a better grasp of the craft.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 2,119
    Thank you very much, @treatz3, that is exactly what I will do first, order that book. Perfect way to begin and avoid mistakes.
    Cheers, Ken
  • engtaz
    engtaz Posts: 7,610
    You all are making me hungry. What sauces do you prefer.
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.
  • Easy Runnin
    Easy Runnin Posts: 497
    Here is another recommended book

    txpjlysbsmev.png
    HT- Samsung PN50B860/Integra DTR 30.3/Rt55 Fronts
    Rt35i Surrounds/Cs1000p Center/SVS BP1000 Sub
    2CH - B&K MC-101 pre/B&K EX-442 amp/NAD 2400 amp
    Polk SDA1C, Polk Monitor 7, New Large Advents and Polk RTA 8T
    BR - Yamaha CR800/Polk monitor 5
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,049
    This is a fun thread Ken! Thanks for starting it. I'm certainly learning a lot.

    Tom, that is some great information and advice. I'm going to pick up that book and certainly take the time to season the new peel. It comes with beeswax, but I'll look into the butcher block oil / beeswax mix. Also, I could never figure out why so many sellers say the wooden peels are also good for cutting on! I'll certainly never do that.

    I've ordered and returned three peels already - they were either too thick with too steep of a bevel, smaller than they were supposed to be, or beveled on both sides (still can't figure that one out!). This is the one that arrived today. Bevel is MUCH better, craftsmanship is so much nicer than the others. It is made in Columbia from teak sourced from FSC certified forests in Costa Rica.

    lbkofyqlc9j0.jpg

    If you have a recommendation on a better one, I'm all ears.

    I'll give the semolina flour a shot. And, I don't think that's uncommon for the 'critters' in flours and cereals if not kept airtight! Thankfully I haven't encountered them yet, or just didn't notice them and unknowingly reaped the benefit of the extra protein...

    Also, FYI, Tom, SeleniumFalcon is our former forum mod Ken S.

    Ken, that Ooni pizza oven is one I've considered. I like the multi-fuel options they have and they're not horribly expensive.

    Lastly, why are there no pizza pics yet? Here's one of the Grandma-style pizzas we've made:

    olghncy6lio4.jpg
  • rooftop59
    rooftop59 Posts: 7,434
    Here’s one from the KJ:

    4xih95tfsehu.jpeg
    Living Room 2.2: Usher BE-718 "tiny dancers"; Dual DIY Dayton audio RSS210HF-4 Subs with Dayton SPA-250 amps; Arcam SR250; Musical Fidelity A308; Sony UBP-x1000es; Squeezebox Touch with Bolder Power Supply
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology Power Monitor 700s mains, CLR-3000 center, StudioMonitor 350surrounds, ProMonitor 800 atmos; Sub - Monoprice Monolith 15in THX Ultra
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Polk RT25i; ACI Titan Subwoofer
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 15,179
    edited January 18
    All this pizza talk is making me hungry. Guess I will order one and have it delivered.
    Lumin X1 file player; Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179
    Thank you very much, @treatz3, that is exactly what I will do first, order that book. Perfect way to begin and avoid mistakes.
    Cheers, Ken

    Oh, hey Ken! I didn't realize that was you. Cool to see you still around....super cool. You are welcome. Glad to be of help to you, sir.

    Al, that's a good peel. I wouldn't suggest getting another one for the build/release. That one is nice! I use one that is similar (dual sided Acacia wood from OhChef) for building and releasing the pie and a metal one for turning the pizza, swapping the pizza onto another stone mid/cook and getting them out of the oven onto the oversized cutting pans.

    Here's the metal one I have - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BSXLFXK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's nothing special but it's perfect for the application I use it for and it fits where it needs to go without hitting the stone handles.

    Oh, word to the wise. That semolina does tend to fall off in the stove. Be sure to wipe the stones or pizza steels after transferring a pizza or before adding another one on it. Burnt Semolina is a great way to ruin a pie and it smells rather "funky" when it falls to the bottom of the stove. Just remember to wipe the bottom of the stove after it cools down. Even if you have a full blown pizza oven, you always want to remove the old semolina before adding a new pie.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,130
    Yes! Thank you everyone for sharing. Looks like I need to get a couple of peels.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179
    2 of my most recent pizza goals are;

    6e1n3gdxynzh.png

    Black Truffle Oil x Black Truffle Salami with mozz balls, fresh shaved aged pecorino and homemade hot honey sitting on top of freshly prepared San Marzano based sauce. I want to make this. To me, this is a true artisan pizza and I'd like to try my hand at it.

    The second one is getting spider web type strands within the Cornicione and even achieving Cornicione blisters, as seen below.....at the same time with a light garlic infused crust.

    zce54kqplc2k.png

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • Jstas
    Jstas Posts: 14,484
    I posted about this yesterday, it said I posted but my post isn't here.

    Anyway, for backyard pizza, I tried an experiment last summer before my smoker rusted through the fire box and it fell off.

    I grabbed my cast iron dutch oven lid that doubles as a griddle (I use it as a broiler plate in the oven) and I threw that in the smoker. I started a charcoal fire in the fire box and got the whole thing super hot, like 600+ degrees hot. I fed the fire with lump charcoal and splits of oak I had. It kept the fire hot and the cooking chamber stayed around 600-700 degrees.

    I took the pizza I made, threw some corn meal on the iron and placed the pizza on the griddle. It cooked in about 10-12 minutes and looked exactly like if it came from a NYC brick oven pizza joint. My only gripe was it had a smokiness to it that I haven't found in other wood fired, brick oven pizzas. So I'm thinking it was the oak that did it.

    I was going to try it again but the firebox got hit with a falling branch in a storm and broke off. I gotta fix it and then I'm going to try it again with just charcoal. The lump charcoal I use gets the cooking chamber up to 600 degrees, at least, which is adequate for pizza cooking.

    Anyway, that's my foray into backyard pizza so far.

    Oh, also, for a peel I just used an upside jelly roll sheet. Most people call them cookie sheets, though. But jelly roll sheets are usually quite large and heavier so they don't bend or twist under the weight of a pizza. If I do start doing it that way more often, I'll get a peel.
    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • scubalab
    scubalab Posts: 3,049
    treitz3 wrote: »
    Black Truffle Oil x Black Truffle Salami with mozz balls, fresh shaved aged pecorino and homemade hot honey sitting on top of freshly prepared San Marzano based sauce.

    THAT sounds (& looks) absolutely de-frickin-licious!

    I need to reach out to my cousin and pick his brain... he owns two small restaurants in Irwin, PA (outside of Pittsburgh). One of them is "Do Wood Fired". He makes some awesome wood fired pizzas.

    I made a couple pizzas last night and made a San Marzano based sauce. It was simple, and delicious. I just lightly browned some fresh minced garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, blended some canned peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes, and just added some salt, Italian Seasoning, and fresh chopped basil. Simmered for about 15 minutes. About as easy as it gets outside of opening a jar of pre-made pizza sauce. We were so hungry that I didn't even have a chance to snap a picture of the pizzas. Eh, they weren't my best, but sure were tasty!

    This thread is (not) helping my weight loss...
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    This thread is (not) helping my weight loss...

    Don't worry Al the weight will fall right off......When you kick the bucket
    :p:p:p
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179
    engtaz wrote: »
    You all are making me hungry. What sauces do you prefer.

    Sorry, Roy. I missed your inquiry here. Homemade is the freshest and best tasting to me but if you absolutely do not have time or just prefer a store bought, ready made sauce? You can't go wrong with Reo's. That's about as close to homemade as I have tasted. There are a few others that I have used over the years but I am unsure if they are available down there. Reo's (from what I understand) is available most everywhere.
    lpmlia1aqbnu.png

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    They make good sauces, I really like their pasta sauces.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 15,179
    I can't say if I have ever had a bad sauce from Reo's. They are little on the high side for price but worth every penny spent if you don't have time to make a sauce from scratch. You get the convenience but the taste as well.

    If you like Parmesan cheese on your pizza? Don't even bother with the Kraft pre-grated crap. It's flavorless cheese that has an off taste to me. Get yourself a wedge of good Parmesan and grate it with a restaurant style grater. Trust me when I say that it would be worth it. HUGE difference in taste. Huge.

    79a3vbsat2go.png

    This is the one I have. It's a Zyliss Classic Restaurant Rotary Cheese Grater and it works perfectly for grating hard cheeses. We use this all the time on veggies, pizza, sketti and every once in a while, will grate chocolate shavings onto a dessert. Easy to clean, easy to use and the improvement on taste alone when going from store bought grated and fresh grated is well worth the price of admission.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

    ~ I have found excellence ~

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

  • mark090852
    mark090852 Posts: 992
    I have an Ooni Koda 16. It's gas fired, but Ooni makes several different models. Some gas, some wood, some multi fueled. My Koda 16 will reach about 950°F in less than 30 minutes so it only takes 60-90 seconds to cook a pizza. Their wood fired ovens are fun, but with that short of a cooking time, you really don't get any wood flavor from a wood fire. https://ooni.com/
    McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp, LUMIN D2 Network Music Player, Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers. Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player, Polk LSiM 705 speakers. Polk Signature S20 speakers.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 20,706
    edited January 20
    We have a local pizza joint that cooks pizza in less than 90 seconds. Every one I've tried had always been full of bubbles in the crust. Do you find if you cook yours in the Koda 16 that fast do you also get bubbly crust?

    I guess what I'm looking for is it the speed that creates the bubbles or the dough they use.