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How to fire up your wood fired oven like a pro

A close up of the entrance of a wood fired pizza oven. It is lit and a fire is blazing inside.

For all you wood fired oven enthusiasts, it’s important to get the firing up process spot on. This ensures that you get your oven up to its optimum temperature, meaning your oven base and dome will be saturated with heat, allowing excellent heat retention. Here at Stone Bake we’ve made this easy to follow guide, which is guaranteed to help you fire up your wood fired oven like a pro. fire up


Firstly before you light anything you need to make sure you’re using the right type of wood. There are only two types of wood we would recommend using in our wood fired ovens.

Capo Forresta

In a nutshell our Capo Forresta are 100% beech briquettes, (a compressed baton of beech sawdust) sourced from France. What’s really special about this wood is that each briquette has a moisture content of less than 7%, which means their heat output is second to none. Another benefit is that you can simply knock them against a hard surface to break them apart. No axe needed! You can buy our Capo Forresta wood here. 

Kiln Dried Wood

Alternatively, we can also recommend using kiln dried, hard wood that has a moisture content of under 20%. Keep an eye out for wood otherwise known as ‘seasoned logs.’ ‘Seasoned logs’ are marketed as being very dry but their moisture content is much higher than 20%, so you will want to avoid these if you want your wood to burn cleanly and efficiently.

  • STONE BAKE TIP: All wood, whether it is briquettes or kiln dried logs, must be stored in a dry place to be effective.
  • STONE BAKE TIP: If you are seeing an excess of smoke in your oven, you are likely to be using a soft, sappy wood or a wood with a high moisture content. Swap this for a kiln dried hard wood or beech briquettes for a cleaner burn.


The Firing Up Process

firing up wood

  1. Using either your Capo Forresta or kiln dried wood, form a kindling stack in the centre of the oven. Note that your kindling needs to be approximately 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.
  2. Place a natural fire lighter into the centre of your kindling stack, making sure air can get to the wood to allow for efficient burning.
  3. Light the fire lighter and once the kindling has caught fire, leave it to burn and the stack will begin to collapse
  4. Once you have got your fire going, you can begin to feed the fire with more wood to help build a more aggressive fire.
  5. As the oven starts to approach higher temperatures, add small logs and later larger ones.
  6. Once the oven is up to temperature, you will notice that there will be a small amount of smoke. A good way to sense when the oven has reached its optimum temperature is to look out for a clear patch above the fire where the soot has completely diminished.
  7. Once your oven has reached it’s optimum temperature, you can then move your embers to the back or the side of your oven using our metal pizza peel.
  8. Depending on what you are cooking, you may want to allow your oven to cool.
  9. For pizza cooking, you will need to maintain a large rolling flame in the oven by adding more wood to the fire as needed to maintain this temperature.

Please remember: For Capo Forresta the firing up process does differ slightly. Please email us and we will be more than happy to send a PDF attachment of the Capo lighting instructions.

  • STONE BAKE TIP: Don’t be afraid to add wood to your fire. Sometimes we find that customers struggle to reach their ovens optimum temperature simply because they are not adding enough wood.
  • STONE BAKE TIP: Always make sure that your wood fired oven reaches it’s optimum temperature of roughly 450°c, even if you are cooking with a lower temperature. This way it ensures that the dome and base are saturated with heat, which is essential for heat retention for longer cooking periods.


Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your wood fired oven!

Be sure to check out our ‘Firing up’ video, which you can find on our website here.

If you want to find out more information about our residential oven range and other products please click here!

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