The Fundamentals

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 for excellent heat retention.

There are a range of specialist cooking techniques we can teach you using our guide below. It’s easy to follow and guaranteed to help you fire up your wood fired oven like a pro.

Check out the quick links below for some guidance on a range of more specific techniques and recipes, or scroll down to see how to get started with your oven.

Prepping the perfect pizza base
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Prepping the perfect pizza base

All you knead to know about wood fired bread
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All you knead to know about wood fired bread

Hot smoking in your wood fired oven
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Hot smoking in your wood fired oven

Everything you need to know about using the high heat technique in your wood fired oven
Featured Fundamentals

Everything you need to know about using the high heat technique in your wood fired oven

4 tips to help your oven reach its optimum temperature quickly and efficiently
Featured Fundamentals

4 tips to help your oven reach its optimum temperature quickly and efficiently

How to use the door when cooking in your wood fired oven
Featured Fundamentals

How to use the door when cooking in your wood fired oven

How to fire up your wood fired oven like a pro
Featured Fundamentals

How to fire up your wood fired oven like a pro

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STEP ONE

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

Kindling

Our kindling is the important middle man between starting a fire and having it catch on to the logs. It is thin enough to catch on to the firelighters, but thick enough to allow it to spread to bigger logs. We recommend assembling a “Jenga stack” of the kindling and popping your natural firelighter in the middle once you are ready.  You can buy our Kindling here. 

Leonardo Briquettes

Our Briquettes are 100% beech briquettes, a compressed baton of beech sawdust, sourced from Italy. 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 Briquettes here. 

Kiln Dried Wood

Alternatively, we also recommend using kiln dried, hard wood that has a moisture content of under 20%. Keep an eye out for wood 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. Our bags of Namibian Kameeldoring are sun dried, with a moisture content of only 2%! You can buy our kiln dried Ash and sun dried Kameeldoring here. 

  • STONE BAKE TIP: All wood, whether briquettes or kiln/sun 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.
Fire instead stone bake oven

STEP TWO

The Firing Up Process

  1. Use your kindling to form a stack in the center of the oven. Your kindling needs to be approximately 3 inches wide and 10 inches long.
  2. Place a natural fire lighter into the center 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. The stack will begin to collapse.
  4. Once you have got your fire going, you can begin to feed the fire with Briquettes or Kiln/Sun Dried Logs, to help create a more aggressive burn. We recommend breaking up briquettes and placing them around the perimeter of the kindling. It’s always a good idea to put one propped up with some space underneath it to allow the air to get under them.
  5. As the oven starts to reach 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 its optimum temperature, you can then move your embers to the back or the side of your oven. We’d recommend using one of our metal pizza peels for this.
  8. Depending on what you are cooking, you may want to allow your oven to cool.
  9. For pizza cooking, you will need a constant large rolling flame in the oven by adding more wood to the fire as needed to maintain temperature.
  • 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 its 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.
  • STONE BAKE TIP: Patience! If you try to add big logs on too soon you risk putting out the flame and having to restart the firing process. It may take some time for bigger logs to catch on, so it is better to monitor but not interfere if it is directly above a flame.
Stone Bake Oven Fired Up The Firing Up Process

GOOD TO GO

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

For more videos on how to use and fire up your oven, be sure to check out the videos section of our website here.

Stone Bake Oven Fired Up