Category Archives: How to Guide

How to light a pizza oven – Ember Pizza Oven

In this week’s blog, we have been helped by BBQ connoisseur Jack, from Jack’s Meat Shack with a step-by-step video. Together we are going to help you with some of the best tips regarding how to light a pizza oven and maintain the temperature.

What fuel to use in the Ember Pizza Oven?

We are going to start with fuel, a step that is often overlooked when learning how to light a pizza oven but one that can make all the difference for not only maintaining heat but also adding fantastic flavour to your food.

We recommend using our sustainably sourced Kiln Dried Oak Wood Pieces which are easy to light and help you achieve a long slow burn which can be perfect for roasting and baking within the oven.

Another option to use our Pure Wood Pellets which help spike the temperature and can be helpful when cooking pizzas. The wood pellets come in a variety of natural flavours from chestnut to cherry to help add that all-important flavour.

Kiln Dried Oak Wood Pieces

How to light your Ember Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Let’s get you started with those essential tips on how to light your pizza oven. This process should take around 15 minutes before the ceramic plate inside your pizza oven is hot and you are ready to cook.

Step One

Position your Ember Pizza Oven with the back of the oven into the wind. This will assist airflow into the oven helping to increase temperatures. You can also use your pizza peel to fan air into the back of the firebox.

Step Two

Remove the firebox at the back of your Ember Oven and add a small amount of Kiln Dried Oak Wood Pieces to the box along with one of our Wood Wool Firelighters and light. Once the fire has become established, take the firebox, and place it back into the rear of the oven. (See below image).

To maintain the temperature in your pizza oven it’s important to keep topping up your firebox with a small amount of wood pieces. This process will help you reach your desired temperature. You can do this by placing pieces of wood down the hopper towards the rear.

Alternatively, you can also light your pizza oven with a small handful of our Pure Wood Pellets. These can also be used alongside your wood pieces to help spike your temperature if it has dropped slightly in between cooking.

Alfresco Chef Ember Pizza Oven Being Ignited

Important Tips 

  • Keep your fuel and ceramic plate dry, if they take on any added moisture you may struggle to reach your desired temperature.
  • Do not overfill the firebox, this can cause your fire to smother. Instead, top up your oven with small amounts of fuel.
  • Keep the door on the oven when heating up to temperature.
  • Position the Ember so the back is facing into the wind, this will help ignite the fire and increase the temperature quicker.
  • If you’re cooking pizza with our Kiln Dried Wood your temperature may drop in between cooking. Try adding a handful of wood pellets to help spike the temperature. This will help to get the temperature back up to the require high temperature to cook your pizza.

Click here to check out our full range of Fuel For Food.

How to light your Ember Oven

You will need:

  • Natural Fire Starter – we recommend using a wood wool lighter.
  • Kiln Dried Hardwood pre-cut pieces or food grade pellets

Process

  • Place a natural wood wool lighter into the firebox and light. Once the wood wool lighter begins to burn, add two to three pieces of kiln dried wood.

 Tip: Do not over fill the firebox

  • Once the wood begins to burn, place the firebox carefully back into the oven.

Tip: If you have a blowtorch you can use this to speed up the lighting process.

  • When the wood starts to burn, continue to add pieces of wood via the feeder until you have reached your desired cooking temperature.

Tip: Keep the door on the oven when heating up to temperature.

  • Once the fire has established, keep adding small to medium size pieces of wood until your desired cooking temperature has been reached.
  • Use the door to control the temperature of the oven, adding pieces of wood throughout the cooking process to maintain temperature.

How to light your wood fired oven

You will need:

Process

  • Place a natural fire starter inside the centre of the oven.
  • Place two medium sized logs either side of the fire starter, and two smaller ones directly above. You may want to use some kindling around the base of the fire too.
  • Light the fire starter, ensuring that the kindling and/or logs start to burn well. The wood should not smoulder or smoke before catching fire. If it does, use wood that has less moisture.
  • Once the fire is established, keep adding small to medium pieces of wood to ensure that the dome and tiles heat through well.
  • Use the door with a sizeable gap to retain more heat and speed up the heating process.

Tip: Use the damper on the chimney to measure airflow through the oven. The more air flowing through the oven the hotter the oven will be.

Place a natural fire starter inside the centre of the oven. We recommend using a Woodson Firestarter.

Place two medium sized logs either side of the fire starter, and two smaller ones directly above a natural fire starter. You may need to use some kindling around the base of the fire too.

Light the fire starter, ensuring that the kindling and/or logs start to burn well. The wood should not smoulder or smoke before catching fire. If it does, use wood that has less moisture.

Once the fire is established, keep adding small and medium pieces of wood to ensure that the dome and tiles heat through well. Use the door with a sizeable gap to retain more heat and speed up the heating process.

Getting The Perfect Bake & Roast In Your Oven

  • Follow the lighting instructions until you achieve temperatures above your target cooking temperature.
  • Once this has been reached, allow the wood to burn to embers and the temperature to drop to your desired heat.
  • Using an ember rake or brass brush spread the embers along the back of the oven for a more uniformed heat and close the damper.
  • Keep the door slightly ajar to maintain the temperature inside the oven as the wood burns down.
  • Once ready, place the oven proof dish inside the oven and replace the door.

Tip: If the oven cools throughout the cook, use small pieces of wood or kindling to restore the temperatures – opening the damper to allow the wood to burn fully before closing again.

Essential Wood Fired Oven Cleaning

Cleaning and maintaining your wood fired oven isn’t the most glamourous feature of owning an outdoor oven, but it’s still a crucial element. We are going to talk you through some of the top tips and best practices for cleaning your wood fired oven to ensure you get that great flavour every time.

STORING THE OVEN

To prevent rusting and weather damage, we recommend that your oven is kept under a waterproof cover when not in use.

When not in use for long periods of time, it is recommended that your oven is stored under a cover in a garage or shed.

CLEANING THE OUTSIDE OF THE OVEN

  1. Allow the oven to cool down completely.
  2. Use warm soapy water or BBQ cleaner to clean the exterior of the oven after every use. Do not use oven cleaner under any circumstances.
  3. Use metal protectors, such as WD40, to protect the oven when not in use.
  4. If the oven is used regularly, the chimney should be removed and washed out every 4 weeks to rinse off the soot layer.

CLEANING THE INSIDE OF THE OVEN

  1. Always allow ash and wood residue to cool before being removed from the oven.
  2. Use a stainless-steel bristle brush to remove debris. Where possible, avoid fatty liquids coming into contact with the tiles.
  3. Do not empty hot ash or debris into waste disposal containers.

 

Don’t forget to share your brilliant pictures with us on social media using the hashtag #WoodFireFood.

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