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Oregon types of wood

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  • Oregon types of wood

    Hey gang-
    Is fir and pine wood OK for cooking pizza or not? Does it burn to fast? Is it safe? I heat my house with fir but didn't know if I could cook with it?

  • #2
    Re: Oregon types of wood

    I think evergreens are to be avoided for pizza because of the pitch. I use it to heat the oven for baking but always used hardwoods for pizza. Give it a try - you may like the flavor. And if you do, report back.
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    • #3
      Re: Oregon types of wood

      I use mixed woods at times when I am re-cycling Christmas Tree trunks instead of running them through the chipper. I haven't noticed a flavoring of the foods from the Norway Spruce or Caanan Firs I grow. Must admit most of the wood used are hardwoods, oak, maple, sometimes black cherry and rarely sweet gum (it's a b-tch to split). The conifers surely are great to start the fires. At 1000F the gum and turpentine is vaporized and up the stack long before the wood turns to ash for sure.


      • #4
        Re: Oregon types of wood

        "Is fir and pine wood OK for cooking pizza or not?"

        Both will be good if well seasoned. I use mostly Douglas Fir. I like it because it is relatively cheap, seasons quickly and is easy to split.


        • #5
          Re: Oregon types of wood

          Hi Barton Dad,

          I think the general rule is that anything that will burn can be used to heat the brick in the oven that cook the food.

          Here in Central Oregon, the available wood is pine and juniper. Both heat the oven just fine. We took down a white fir tree in the yard a couple years ago and have been heating the oven with that tree recently. It heats the oven just fine.

          With cured wood, you get about the same amount of heat from the same amount of wood - by weight. Soft woods burn down faster and the oven needs to be stoked more with a soft wood diet.

          The differences are with any foods that you intentionally want to flavor with the smoke. I've never noticed a flavor imparted to the pizza by the smoke from the fire in the oven, but you can damp and cool the oven down and cook great smoked dishes in a wood oven (pulled pork, ribs, etc.) and in that case the different wood would absolutely make a difference.

          The other place the specie of wood make a difference is in the amount of snap crackle and pop you get from the wood. This is where the soft woods loose a bunch of ground to the hard woods. Although not a catastrophe, it is better to use a wood that doesn't snap and pop a bunch of charcoal on to your cooking pizza. And the hard wood fire is easier to maintain over time when you are trying to keep your oven hot over a period of time. You can keep the oven hot with soft wood; it is easier to keep the oven hot with a hard wood.

          I won't burn any wood that might induce nasty chemicals into my oven, ie pallets that may have been treated with insecticide. There has been some conversation that says pine will release a nasty chemical when burned, and my conclusion is the potential for imparting that chemical into my food is low enough that I am willing to burn the pine.

          We can get some hard woods when we visit around the state, so our standard procedure is to heat the oven with soft woods, and then switch to hard woods when it is time to cook pizza. And if we are baking bread, we just heat the oven with the soft woods, pull the fire and charcoal, and cook.

          That's my experience! Hard woods are better, but the best wood is what ever is available!

          Keep us posted with your build! I get to Portland every once in a while and would love to see your oven, and if you get this way, give a shout, and I can show you how our oven turned out!



          • #6
            Re: Oregon types of wood

            Thanks Jed-
            Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I'm still figuring out this forums thing. I feel a bit more at ease about my wood situation after reading your input.
            I have a source for some apple wood from the Yakima area but that is quite a drive. I will probably stick with fir to heat (since I have plenty) and whatever hardwood I can come across to cook.


            • #7
              Re: Oregon types of wood

              I won't burn any wood that might induce nasty chemicals into my oven, ie pallets that may have been treated with insecticide
              hey Jed, Ive never heard that before, I know the painted pallets are supposedly made with hardwood,, they paint them so people know they are rated for heavier weight,, Im having second thoughts about burning pallets now

              Thanks for that info


              • #8
                Re: Oregon types of wood


                Thanks for starting this thread.


                There was some chat a while ago about woods, and one of the comments suggested that some pallet wood might have been chemically treated. Not a substantiated comment. (It is good to see some actual information on the topic.)

                Well, I don't like the work of tearing apart pallets, and this rumor was all the excuse I needed to take the "pallet" off my list of acceptable wood to run through the wood oven!

                I have used pallet wood for various projects. I have found beautiful mahogany in a pallet one time I turned into a rocking horse for a friends baby. But at this point, it is easier to use cord wood to heat the oven, so I'll avoid the work of dragging around pallets.



                • #9
                  Re: Oregon types of wood

                  I do some contracting,,, and often times im stuck with them,, hate to throw them in the dumpster to a landfill... so i guess i'll check em and if they are ok... burn em


                  • #10
                    Re: Oregon types of wood

                    There are two pallet shops on my way to work and they are all made out of Fir I think. Probably for light duty. They cut/mill the wood and put them together right there so I don't think they treat them. But Fir is plentiful around here and using a pallet is not worth it especially since they aren't hard wood and are filled with nails. But for city dwellers it may be a great source of fireplace heat if not cooking. Hardwood pallets may be a different story.
                    - Thom


                    • #11
                      Re: Oregon types of wood

                      Pallets are strange beasts. If they were used to carry leaky containers of nasty stuff whether it be liquid or powder they could get contaminated with that stuff. If they are used to carry food stuff they might be better. (I hope) It is best to know what they carried. The really good ones around here are usually recycled and reused. Some places even charge a deposit to get them back in circulation. Just know what was on them and if they were contaminated if you are to burn them.


                      • #12
                        Re: Oregon types of wood

                        BEST WOOD TO BURN
                        All solid fuel, whether it is coal, pine, oak or any grain
                        has about 12,000 BTU's per pound if its moisture
                        content is zero. Wood that has been cut, split and air
                        dried for 2 years has about 8,000 usable BTU's per
                        pound. Hardwood such as oak or hard maple has
                        nearly twice the BTU's per cord as pine or aspen
                        because it is nearly twice as heavy.
                        Freshly cut wood has about 50% moisture content.
                        Wood that has been cut and split for 2 years has about
                        20%. Wood must reach at least 435? to ignite. High
                        moisture content wood does not allow the gases in
                        wood to get hot enough to provide complete
                        combustion, thereby creating smoke and creosote,
                        which is usable energy, but wasted because of
                        incomplete combustion.