How To Light A Pizza Oven

Knowing how to light a pizza oven is a skill all of its own, especially if you have an Agnes Outdoors wood-fired pizza oven. Rather than struggling, let us share the simple steps you need to take so that you can enjoy pizza whenever you want!

Open The Door On Your Woodfired Pizza Oven

The first step in learning how to light a pizza oven is to open the oven and chimney. The simple reason for this is that they both need to remain open to keep a steady flow of oxygen and ventilation as you work to light it.

Use (Kiln Dried) High-Quality Kindling

The first step would be placing a medium sized log or two (depending how quickly you want your fire to get upto temperature) at the very back of the oven. Then you would build a jenga-like stack of kindling in the centre of the oven 7-10 rows high. Then you should lean 3 small to medium sized logs around the kindling ensuring they arent laying down (this makes sure you have good flow allowing the logs to burn efficiently). Now place two firelighters under the kindling.

All logs burnt in a pizza oven should be kiln dried so the fire burns much cleaner and hotter. We recommend using 8” logs in an Agnes Outdoors oven to give enough room for cooking.

Wood & kindling inside a pizza oven

Use Long Matches

Matches are the best choice when it comes to lighting your oven, especially if you invest in long matches, as they are easier to manoeuvre and have a longer burn time. Light your match and place it directly next to your firelighter in the kindling pile, then stand back and let the flame catch.

Add Your Logs

It is important to use enough kindling and wait for it to be burning well before you add more logs to the pile, as if you don't, it can easily extinguish itself. When you are confident that the kindling is well lit, you can add more your logs to in and slowly build up your fire with up to three or four logs, keep adding logs over time but only add 1 or two small to medium logs at a time so that you don't have a fire that is too powerful and starts coming out the front of the oven (you’ll be able to tell this if the smoke is black). Make sure that when you add logs they become elevated and intertwined so they encourage a hot even burn.

Lit wood & kindling inside a pizza oven

Check For A Blackened Dome

You will know when your fire is up to temperature as the inside of the dome will go clear. All the time it isn't at temperature, the inside of the dome will have black soot on the inside. You will want to push your fire to the back of the oven after 20-30 minutes (once all the logs are well established) to make sure all the soot does disappear after 40 minutes.

Check The Temperature

When your oven is hot enough, aim for 350-400 degrees celsius on the floor using a laser thermometer, you are ready to cook. All you need to do is move the fire embers to the back or sides. If you are cooking pizza, make sure that there are no flames, as this can cause too much smoke. 

Smoked from Pizza Ovens

When using an Agnes Outdoors Pizza oven, you should rarely have any smoke, if there is any it will be letting you know something isn't right. If the smoke is grey, the fire isn't burning well enough so you either need to add another log or reorganise the stack of logs. This is where our Copper blowpipe is perfect for manipulating logs and then blowing on them for encouragement to burn. If the smoke is black, normally this will be coming out of the front of the oven. If the fire is burning too well, in this case you should temporarily lay the logs flat on the floor of the oven and spread them out over the back of the oven to slow the rate of burn down. Don’t forget to build the stack back once the initial burn of the logs has finished.

Fired wood in pizza oven

Cook Your Pizza

When your oven is ready, you can slide your food in and wait for it to cook your pizzas. This method of cooking will not only taste amazing but will impress guests that you cook for, as there really is nothing better than homemade pizza.

Check Out The Agnes Outdoors Range Today

Now you know how to light a pizza oven, you may want to get one of your own! Check out the range at Agnes Outdoors and invest in a wood-fired pizza oven that suits your needs – you won’t regret it!