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6 Wood-Fire Pizza Oven Tips

January 31, 2023

Would you like to know a few of the secrets to making perfect artisanal crust?

It takes a little skill and know-how, but there’s a craft behind making either a deep, thick, and chewy pizza, or that spectacular crispy/thin version. In this post, we’ll show you a few ways to cook pizza with a wood-fire oven just like we do at Russo’s New York Pizzeria.

Budget at Least Three Hours to Do This

While the pizza cooking process itself doesn’t last for hours, it will take some time to heat and prepare the oven. Unlike a conventional oven, there isn’t an on/off switch or “preheat’ button for controlling a wood fire. This requires the user to build and kindle the fire for about two or three hours in order to generate enough heat for the cooking stone.

Make Sure You Have the Right Wood

The fire source for cooking pizza is hardwood, like maple or oak, because it doesn’t introduce harsh toxins or chemicals into your pizza. Avoid using softer woods, like pine, which emit harmful substances into the pizza and the rest of your cooking area.

Match the Dough Type with the Proper Oven Temperature

Using a laser thermometer, check the temperature before you begin cooking. There are many types of dough/crust, so you’ll want to select the correct corresponding temperature. This could vary from as low as 500 degrees to as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get the Pizza Close to the Fire Without Burning It

The last three tips involve a little cooking skill. There’s no hardline rule on how close to position the pizza to the flame, other than closer is better, short of burning it. This may take a few practice trials before achieving full mastery.

Rotate the Pizza Carefully

The other way to avoid burning your pizza is to turn it with a peel to get the crust brown all throughout. Remember to keep a close eye on this and turn it often because wood-fire ovens don’t have the heat distributed evenly like conventional ovens.

Get That Extra Char By Lifting the Pizza Closer to the Dome

You can finish your pizza to perfection if you lift it close to the oven dome towards the end. Again, be careful not to burn it by getting it too close for too long.

Of course, you may not have your own wood-fire oven, meaning you won’t be able to try these methods in your kitchen yet. Thankfully, you can still enjoy premium, artisanal crust pizza whenever you visit Russo’s New York Pizzeria. We’re the home to authentic Italian foods ranging from cauliflower crust pizza to lentil pasta primavera, and much more.
If you have questions about our delicious pizza, please contact us anytime or fill out the form below.

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