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A Guide to Preparing Your Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Cooking with fire… is there any better way to prepare a meal? Our answer is a resounding ‘no’. There’s no tastier, healthier or more entertaining way to prepare food than in a large, wood-fired oven. But before you’re firing up the oven and cooking up a storm for your family and friends, you’ve got to prepare your oven for success.

How do we do this? Today, the experts at Alfa Ovens shed some light on preparing your wood-fired oven and starting the perfect fire.

1) Keep the door and the chimney vent open

To get a fire started, you need oxygen flow. Open the pizza oven door and chimney vent to allow plenty of oxygen into the chamber.

2) Scrunch up newspapers, or use firelighters

The most natural and time-honoured way of preparing the fire is to roll up old newspapers into loose balls. Don’t wrap them too tight because this will prevent oxygen flow. Don’t use magazines either; the coloured, glossy paper is smelly and toxic and not ideal for using to cook food.

If you don’t have newspaper, you can use firelighters to start the fire. We’ll address this a little later in Step 4.

3) Gather your kindling

Now it’s time for the kindling. Start by placing the thinnest twigs on top of your newspaper balls as kindling. Make sure they’re nice and dry, otherwise they won’t catch fire properly. Place each twig diagonally, one after the other, making an ‘X’ shape. This allows for more pockets of oxygen.

4) Then, the smaller logs

Now it’s time to place the smaller logs on top of the kindling in the pizza oven. The idea is to gradually build the fire up, from the easiest material to burn to the hardest material to burn. If you’re using firelighters instead of newspaper, now you can tuck the firelighters underneath your kindling.

5) Larger logs

On top of the smaller logs, place your large logs in your pizza oven. Don’t place them all at once – this will smother the fire. Start with one or two larger logs, and wait until they’ve broken down into coals before placing the largest logs.

6) Light the fire

Here’s the fun part: lighting your fire. Keep the vents open and light the newspaper or firelighters using a safety match or barbecue lighter.

7) Increase heat and cook

Monitor the heat of your fire. Once there’s a bed of hot coals, add your heaviest logs to increase the heat. When they start burning, you can half-close the chimney vent. Wait until the temperature is right (for pizza, it’s around 400 degrees Celsius) and start cooking!

Feeling prepared to use your wood-fired pizza oven? For the best quality pizza ovens at the best price, check out the range at Alfa Ovens. They make high-quality pizza ovens for commercial and domestic use, catering for all homes and businesses. Browse the stunning range at Alfa Ovens and make the investment today.