Coal-Fired Oven Vs. Wood Pizza Oven Vs. Gas Fired Pizza Ovens – Which One Should You Use

There’s no way you can cook pizza without an oven. You can have the outdoor ovens or the in-house ovens. The different ovens serve you differently, and they have different advantages, as you will see.

This is why we bring to you three of the most common ovens you can use to cook the pizza at any time. This will serve you best, especially if you like to cook outside.

But first

What’s a coal-fired oven?

Most people don’t understand how they can work with the coal-fired oven, but it makes it easy to attain the perfect flavors. Some people refer to it as the diamond pies.

In Italy, they cooked the pizza using the wood oven, but this wasn’t easy to come by when the immigrants brought pizza to America. This is why Americans started to use coal-fired ovens.

coal-fired-oven

Thanks to the brick oven because they could use the coal and better yet attain the high temperature. The good thing, though, is that the coal delivers a level of smokiness, thus giving you some of the best pizza too.

One of the most common pizzas they cook in the coal-fired oven is the New York pizza. Today, however, you can even have some companies use the wood fired ovens.

Coal pizza fans suggest that pizza only took shape in the world after they started to cook it in the coal-fired oven. I don’t know if that’s true; all I know is I like pizza.

And why do people like it too much?

I know everyone wants to know this answer. Notice that you can even cook the Neapolitan pizza here because the oven can reach a high temperature of about 1100F. If you are going to cook a great pizza, you need the oven to be set at a high temperature.

This means you will cook it within a short time. The one thing that makes it better is that it can attain the char easily that the gas does. But its char is not as much as that of the wood remember.

With this, then you are sure to attain the crispy texture on the outside, but then you will have the inside of the bread crust is tender.

It’s going to cook the pizza way too fast while imparting it with the perfect flavors.

How the coal-fired oven works


Anyone who enjoys the coal-fired oven pizzas does so because of the charred crispiness of the crust. These ovens come in a dome shape too. Remember, the use of a coal oven for pizza began in America. Of course, you will use the coal, but then the coal oven can attain an even higher temperature.

Those who use the coal oven don’t use regular coal. They use anthracite coal for its ability to reach even higher temperatures. You see, it even has a longer burn time.

When baking the pizza, the oven uses a ‘fire in the oven’ to cook it fast. So you have to make a large bed of coal and then light it up to make a lot of fire. This is also why it will cook the pizza in a few minutes.

So when heating the oven, the cook will be checking when the soot is entirely over, and that then tells them that the oven is ready.

So when this happens, they will push the coal to the side of the oven and then set the pizza in the oven.

Regardless the coal oven will take a little longer to cook the pizza that the wood oven does. This is because then that oven never has a high flame. But when you set the pizza in the oven, you will hear the char sound immediately.  

Wood-Fired Oven

Nothing will beat the authentic pizza taste you get when you make the pizza in a wood-fired oven. The one thing that makes it still quite popular is that it will deliver the perfect cooking. When you want to savor the flavors, then you ought to use this wood-fired oven.

The truth is that the wood oven is at the top oven to use when you are cooking pizza but mainly Italian pizzas. It will deliver unique flavors. The oven distributes the heat evenly. This also means that it will deliver the extra kick flavors.

The name tells you exactly what it is. It features brick ovens that use wood as a source of fuel.

Naturally, then you will have the wood oven being made using cement or brick. People sometimes set it in the kitchen while other times they will set it outside. Such ovens were first set in large commercial restaurants.

Why do people use it to date?

This is one of the oldest methods to cook your pizzas, and yet more than a century later, we still have the people making the wood fired oven. Below are the reason why.

· It can reach high temperatures.

There’s a reason why it’s the most preferred choice when cooking Neapolitan pizza, and it’s that its ability to reach very high temperatures.

It will reach up to 1100F, so we like it for Italian pizzas, especially the Neapolitan ones. This wood oven can cook the pizza in just about 90 secs.

· The wood aroma

As the wood is burning, it will infuse the pizza and food with the perfect aroma and a unique flavor. If you didn’t know, the simple aroma makes all the difference.

The smoky flavor is also fantastic, and you will only get it best if you use the wood-fired oven. This is the main reason people opt to use it still more than any other oven type.

· The art of display cooking

It’s incredible how you can cook a real meal in the oven as its door is not necessarily closed. If you like to do the display cooking, then this will serve you right. If you, for example, have a large backyard or a big restaurant, your guests are going to enjoy this.

· It gives you a different level of satisfaction.

Whether it’s finding the right wood or just arranging them to make the wood fire oven, you will attain a unique level of satisfaction. Some of us love maintaining the temperature and the whole art of using the fire is just fascinating.

· It’s durable

The way they make it then is so that it will last longer if you take good care of it. Remember to keep it clean and cared for; then, you will have it serve you for ages.

But how does it work?


You will have many people asking this legit question. Notice that you are creating the most traditional pizza when you are using the wood fired oven. This oven, therefore, operates efficiently by trapping the heat from the different wood options you chose.

Notice that the wood ovens are dome-shaped. You can decide to make it here in America or even import your best wood oven from Naples, Italy. You will therefore need to light the hardwood you have or any other aromatic wood you may have.

So you can set them as they are or cut them into small pieces to allow for slow-burning. This dome-shaped oven also has space for you to keep the firewood. You can set them at the very center, in the front, or the back.

You will need to get the oven to heat up to its highest temperature, which can be anything from 900-1100F. For some treason heating, it up will take a long time of about 45 minutes.

Now once it’s hot, then it will sustain the temperature at about 600-900F. At this time then you can cook your favorite pizza and anything else you need.

The oven’s interior parts remain hot for days, so don’t even be in a hurry to clean it until it cools.

You should expect it to release three different types of heat as its cooking. The first one is the heat by fire. It will also have the radiated heat and the convection heat from the oven’s heat. It also comes from the floors of the oven. This is how then it bakes the pizza.

I want you to know that you can cook the pizza at any stage. You can decide to cook it when the oven is super-hot or even after the flame goes off because it will still have enough heat to cook.

This happens because the oven can retain the heat. This will then mean it can cook the pizza thoroughly even though the wood is off.

Notice that the wood you then use will give off some moist heat, and if you need to, you can add the wood to make it reach the required temperature.

To sum it up, the reason why anyone says the wood-fired oven has the best pizza is because of the char and the smoky flavor.

The Gas Fired Oven

This is the more modern style of cooking. With the changing times, more people live in apartments, so they decide to use the gas fired ones.

So the oven works when you use natural or propane gas as fuel. This then means that you will need to supply either propane or natural gas.

gas-fired-pizza-oven-with-pizza

Notice, though, that the natural gas is lighter than the propane gas. You know what this means, right? The excess propane gas goes to the ground while the excess natural gas goes into the air.

This is also why if you have the propane gas then and you set it in your basement, you don’t want it to have leakages. The excess will always go down the floor and gather below, waiting for a trigger to start an explosion.

The natural gas, though great, will take too much energy to reach your desired temperature. With that said, it’s important to remind you that this is the most famous gas.

If you, therefore, have to use the propane, you should have an underground tank. Otherwise, you will struggle to find it around. It’s just unsafe, too, primarily if you haven’t yet studied how it operates.

What the advantage of using the gas oven

The gas will easily maintain the oven temperature. This means you don’t have to check the wood or coal to ensure the temperature is sustained, as you could do when using the wood oven.

If you cook a lot of pizza, then the best to use is the gas oven because it will sustain the temperature leading to the pizza’s rapid cooking. Although you will want to cook the pizza with the smoky aroma, the gas will not give you the smoke flavor, but it will still cook the pizzas.

Its easier to control the temperature when you use the gas oven.

Gas oven vs. wood-fired ovens

The main difference here is that one uses the wood while another then uses the oven gas. That’s the main difference, but sometimes they may also be different in the way they cook.

What’s the thermal difference?

If you use wood-fired ovens, then expect them to deliver the heat in two different methods.

It will use the refraction method from the flame to the fire.

It will then attain the thermal redistribution.

Remember, as it’s cooking, then the hot coal starts to form from the wood dropping. This is also going to take some heat. Some gas ovens try to replicate the regular wood oven. So the gas similarity is that it will deliver an angle of the refraction angle flame to cook the pizza.

But there will be a difference in the floor heat. So a gas oven will heat up faster, but it does so in the dome and the oven center.

It will deliver slower cooking on the oven floor just because, unlike the wood oven, it has no coal on the floor base. But then again, you may not need the floor heat if you will let the oven cook perfectly.

The differences

Do the wood oven and the gas oven cook the same?

If you are using natural gas, then you are bound to be cooking at a lower temperature than the wood-fired oven. It won’t reach the 900°F that the wood-fired oven does. Again, as the wood is cooking your pizza, it will keep imparting your flavors’ unique flavor.

But will they heat the same?

No, they don’t remember even the source of fuel is different in either case.

It will take you a shorter time to heat the wood-fired oven than it does take when you are heating the gas oven.

Notice that as you are burning the wood, you will form the coal that goes on the oven floor. This also why it heats faster as the coal takes the heat below the floor. Remember, the other flame types will also heat the dome brick parts.

But when you are heating the gas, then it will solidly depend on the flame only. So the flame will heat the dome, and this will take the heat to the oven’s floor. Notice too that the gas oven is stuck in one position. It’s not like wood that forms coal, thus allowing the heat to saturate the oven.

Generally, expect it to take about 30% longer when you have a gas oven to heat it.

But will you ever use the gas oven with the wood too?

Well, there are a few options you can use with a gas oven with wood. You will then cook with the wood to impart its unique Smokey flavor and then stabilize the gas’s temperature. Most people have found this to be an even better method to use in cooking the pizza.

If, for example, set the gas in the dome-shaped oven, it will attain the temperature in no time but even stabilize it at 600°F and above. The wood then will increase the heat even better. This is the best choice when you have a commercial restaurant and if you like to host at home. It will make it easy to use since you don’t have to tend to the oven as it’s cooking.

Notice that the wood will reach 900°F faster, and then the gas will reach 600°F in no time. Even the heating up will not take 30 minutes; rather, it takes up to 10 minutes.

So then you will have the perfect pizza that you cooked fast, but you have the wood flavor too.

Coal pizza oven vs. wood oven pizza oven

Such ovens have a lot of similarities.

Whether you will make the pizza in the coal or wood oven, you can be sure it will attain a homemade touch.

They often work at a very high temperature—no wonder they are ideal for the two most famous pizzas, Neapolitan and New York pizza.

The two options are ideal when you are cooking the crispy crust.

If you like the crispy crust with the char, too, it will give your pizza some unique flavors.

Of course, to use it right then, you will always need to attain the pizza’s special know-how.

What about the flavor differences?

Even though they look almost similar, they have a difference in the flavor they impart to the pizza. If you know not much about the pizzas, then you won’t know the differences. But if you’re a foodie, you will know the coal oven pizza from wood oven pizza the moment you set it in your mouth.

Here is why you will know the difference.

  Wood-fired pizza Coal-fired pizza
Type of pizza You will mostly have it cook the Neapolitan pizzas. They mostly associate it with the New York pizza.
The crust They remain puffy on the edges, but the middle part is thin. It has a thinner, crisper crust.
The charred crust They have the char spotted like the leopard. It forms the char but not as much as the wood-fired one.
How it feels when you eat it It doesn’t necessarily appear hard or chewy instead. It’s soft and delicate. It’s crispy yet stable but with a chewy interior.
The unique flavor You will like the smoky flavor. It has a slightly smoky flavor.
The toppings Remember they cook it at a very high temperature, which also means it’s crispy toppings too. The toppings are not as crispy we can classify it in the list of soft.
The cheese This type of pizza uses fresh Italian mozzarella. This cheese will have melted, and it has a smoky flavor too. It uses the dry mozzarella cheese, and they also apply it before the sauce, which they will set last.
Cooking time It will cook for 90secs. It may take about 6 minutes to cook it thoroughly.

Which is the best pizza oven to use at home

I’m not going to engage in the debate, but you already know the one that works best for you, as we have discussed above. If you like pizza and making it at home, the best thing to do is buy an oven that will work best for you.

But you have to factor in the following points before you settle for the one to buy.

The cost of buying one: remember it should match the number of people you will cook the pizza for. If you are looking for just a small pizza for the day to day use, then a gas oven may work best. However, if you like to entertain, the wood oven is ideal, that is, if your city allows the use of wood.

A wood oven is cheaper than buying the coal one. The gas oven is also a cheaper option since there are so many choices today.

The fuel you intend to use will determine the price too. If you use gas, then you will spend more depending on the gas you buy.

The backyard is ideal for use when you intend to set the large oven in the back. It’s better to buy the wood-fired one if you intend to host or cook unique pizza. But if money is a non-issue, then go for even the coal oven.

Leave a Comment