The best pizzas, in my humble opinion, have a rich, smoky flavor and crispy crust. Crafting them consistently using charcoal or wood chunks sounds easy, but it has been quite a struggle for me.
So, I took the easy way out – wood pellets. This sustainable fuel source has a high heat capacity, ensuring your pizza cooks through with that perfect crispy and mottled texture. Additionally, they infuse baked goods with the most satisfying wood-fired taste.
If you are aiming for authentic Italian-style pizza and missing, wood pellets might be the missing piece.
But how do you find the right pellet fuels for your oven, smoker tube, etc.?
Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Here are the top 5 high-quality wood pellets I use to fuel my backyard pizza oven for fantastic results.
🥇Best Wood Pellets
- BEST VALUE : [CookinPellets 40PM Perfect Mix]
- Editor’s Pick: [Ooni Premium Hardwood Pellets]
- BEST FOR CAPACITY: [Traeger Grills All-Natural Wood Pellets]
👩💼Are all pellets suitable for pizza ovens?
Pizza ovens use different fuel sources: wood chunks, gas, charcoal, pellets, etc. While some models boast incredible fuel flexibility, pellets are best used for pellet pizza ovens.
This fuel source is often made from byproducts of the lumber and woodworking industry. From wood shavings to sawdust, pellets mainly consist of recycled organic materials.
Their high heat capacity and unique flavors make them great as a fuel source for pizza ovens.
🤔Benefits of using pellets for pizza ovens
There are several reasons many top chefs make use of pellets in their culinary gadgets. It’s no secret that the type of fuel a pizza oven runs on determines the pizza’s taste and texture.
Here are the key benefits of using the finest pellets for your pizza oven:
- Clean burn – wood pellets offer a cleaner burn than charcoal or wood chunks. They produce less smoke and ash, meaning less demanding post-cooking cleanup. Also, its minimal smoke production helps avoid overpowering smoke flavor.
- Consistent heat – high-quality pellets burn hot and steady. They give off extreme temperatures necessary for crisp and chewy pizza crust.
- Enhanced flavor – wood pellets come in various flavors like cherry, hickory, and oak. Depending on the type of pizza, cooking with high-quality pellets can infuse your food with the perfect flavor. They remain the go-to for adding complexity and depth to your pizzeria-style pies.
- Environmentally friendly – pellets are usually made out of sustainable sources like sawdust. Compared to traditional wood, pellets are advantageous to the environment. They cut down on the carbon footprint while offering a fun and more rewarding experience.
🙋Which is better – Hardwood vs. Softwood Pellets?
Pellets are available in two types – softwood and hardwood. The right choice comes down to your cooking preference.
For pizza, hardwood is the best choice. It’s denser with a higher energy content than softwood. Thus burning longer and steadily with little ash residue.
Cooking with softwood in a pellet grill or oven can be a pain in the rear. It burns too fast, and the flame goes off too quickly. This means more time tendering to the flame and inconsistent heat levels.
📝How to choose the right wood pellets for a pizza oven?
The size of the pellet should not be overlooked. It can make or break your baking experience with your backyard pellet oven. Opt for small-sized pellets. They easily fit into your oven’s hopper – no need to break them into sizes. Also, they generate high, consistent heat. Even better, some pellets come in certain shapes to promote airflow for impressive combustion performance.
For the best cooking experience, you want to buy pellets with low moisture content. Ideally, pellets with moisture content within 8 – 10%. They offer longer burn time, a steady heat level, and low ash residue.
Not all wood pellets are created the same. Some products contain mainly hardwood, softwood, or a combination of both. Each has its own perks and quirks. But for making crisp pizza with authentic Italian flavor, your best bet is 100% hardwood pellet. Here’s why: cleaner burn, less fire stocking, and minimal ash buildup. Also, the smoke level is decent to work with; you don’t want a pungent wood-fired flavor.
Wood pellets with high sap content are notorious for releasing toxic chemicals during combustion. They can be challenging to light up, and when they eventually do, they produce lots of smoke.
Pellets made out of softwood contain high sap content. It would be best if you stayed away from them. If you must use them, remove the bark, cure, and season before use.
Pellets are made of different wood, which determines their flavor profile and properties. Your choice of pellet largely depends on the type of pizza and preferred flavor.
Hickory pellets are best used to make irresistible pizzas with meat toppings. This type of wood pellet delivers lots of smoke that doesn’t complement many foods except meat. Because of their powering aroma, they are usually paired with bacon, chicken, or swine meat dishes.
Oak is the most used wood pellet for baking mouthwatering pizzas. It has a low moisture content, producing a sweet-smoke flavor. It’s usually paired with almost any pizza style and type. However, oak can enhance the taste and aroma of cheese and tomato sauce. So, if you are a rookie, this is the pellet to start with – you can’t go wrong with oak.
This is another wood that’s easy to work with. The smoke level is perfect, and has a sweeter flavor profile. Cooking with maple will impart your pizza with a delicious fruity flavor. Sometimes, you can pair the maple with hickory for a sensational taste and aroma.
The name is misleading. It’s an earthy flavor, nothing close to a cherry taste. It differs from the sweet, natural flavors achievable with maple and oak. Cherry’s earthy and wonderful smoky flavor is absolutely phenomenal with vegetable-topped pizzas.
⭐Best Wood Pellets for a Pizza Oven
Owning the right yard culinary gadget is not enough. What fuels your pellet pizza oven influences the final product’s taste, flavor, and texture. Here are my 5 favorite pellets that hit home with me:
1. Ooni Premium Hardwood Pellets
Ooni revolutionized the pizza-making world with its portable pizza ovens. To get the best out of their pellet-fuelled pizza ovens, I recommend their Ooni Premium Hardwood Pellets.
These pellets are made from 100% oak that burns clean and efficiently, thanks to their dense grain. Ooni says this hardwood pellet has an 8500 BTU per pound capacity. Not sure, but it delivers consistent high heat altitude to raise the deck’s temperature level to 7500F, which is necessary for crisp pizza crust.
The pellets come in the right size, 6mm x 25mm, for easy feeding and temp control. I noticed the smoke level is good – just enough to cover every inch of my pizzas with a subtle smoky flavor.
The Ooni Premium Hardwood Pellets is the best pellet I’ve used. Sadly, it’s quite expensive and difficult to store except if you own a pellet container.
From the moment I fired up my pizza oven with these Ooni pellets, I was hooked. With their low moisture content, extended burn time of up to 10 hours, delightful smoky flavor, and minimal soot, these are hands down the best wood pellets for pizza ovens. They infuse your pizzas with a mouthwatering depth of flavor, whether you’re loading them with sausages, mushrooms, peppers, or fresh basil.
2. OOFT 100% Hardwood Pizza Oven Pellets
Making authentic Italian pizza is easier with the best premium pellets from OOFT. This brand is dedicated to making great fuel for phenomenal pizzas. This is why they are miles ahead, expensive, and often recommended by many top chefs worldwide.
The OOFT wood pellets are made out of 100% hardwood. They light up easily and impart your pizzas with a rich classic wood-fire taste. When it comes to flavor, no pellets come to this – perfect smoke aroma!
However, it’s not all about flavor. These hardwood pellets have high heat output that horridly gets pizza ovens to a blistering temp under 20 minutes. This is crucial to crafting pizza with a crispy crust, fluffy interior, and beautiful “leopard” spots.
Unlike the Ooni Pellets, I got the pellets in a moisture-proof resealable bag. It’s super handy in storing and preserving the performance of the remaining pellets.
The OOFT comes in at the same price and is half the size of the Ooni Hardwood Pellets. Thus making it more expensive than my top choice.
Another one is cooking versatility;
This pellet fuel has no knack for making other lovely dishes except pizza. It’s disheartening to be limited to pizza ovens ONLY!
Because of its hefty price, I occasionally use these pellets when making high-value pizzas to tantalize my guests. Their knack for enveloping every inch of the pizza in genuine wood flavor and taste is truly remarkable. For that unforgettable bite, I believe every backyard pizza enthusiast should have a bag of these on hand for those special events.
3. Louisiana Grills 55410 Pellets
If you make pizza or cook regularly, the Louisiana Grills 55410 won’t drain your wallet. This best affordable wood pellet for a pizza oven is available in three unique blends of flavors.
My favorite flavor is Tennessee Whiskey. It’s a wonderful blend of 80% oak and 20% Whiskey Barrel. These pellets burn hot, clean, and long. It also delivers a fantastic smoked flavor for irresistible pizzeria-style pies.
Not just pizzas, Louisiana Grills 55410 Pellets works excellently with other dishes. From prime rib to veggies, these pellets cook anything to tasty and flavorful perfection. At the same time, improving your outdoor cooking skill.
Unlike other inexpensive ones, you don’t have to worry about these pellets jamming your auger. The pellets are even in size – no hassle breaking them down.
Compared to the other two products, Louisiana Grills 55410 Pellets leave a load of ash. This means tedious post-cooking cleanup. If you hate to clean the oven or grill regularly, consider Ooni or OOFT. I don’t know why, but the bag contains lots of dust. Still, it’s the best-priced pellet on the market.
Being a big fan of homemade pizzas, I’ve already gone through roughly 7 bags of this product. Aside from its cheap price point, I love how incredibly steady they burn. No sudden flame-outs or flare-ups, which are all too common with cheaper pellets. Just a whiff of the smoke, you can tell these pellets will cook your pizza to wood-fired perfection.
4. Traeger Grills All-Natural Wood Pellets
Traeger Grills Signature Blend is a surefire option for folks looking for a pellet supply for everyday cooking. These fine pellets are made from one of the top brands, Traeger, in the pizza world.
This top-tier product offers a selection of 5 distinct flavors, including the revered hickory. However, the Signature Blend stands as the cream of the crop. It’s a smart combination of the 5 flavors, which makes it the perfect choice to cook anything and everything.
The Traeger Grills Signature Blend has one of the best burn-to-smoke ratios. The pellets have a rather extraordinary compact cell structure, offering dependable, clean, and prolonged burn.
Unlike other cheap pellets I’ve tried, this product delivers light, blue smoke for real wood-fired taste. Plus, the manufacturer brags of their pellets, not including binders, and burns efficiently with minimal ash messing up your pellet pizza oven.
The Signature Blends delivers exquisite smoky flavor to elevate the taste of poultry, baked goods, and more. However, for chefs keen on the distinct smoke flavor profile of their meats, the blended flavor might not be the ideal choice. Also, the bag is not resealable, making the pellets susceptible to moisture. As a result, it’s best to store in a pellet container or consider the OOFT Hardwood Pellets.
For everyday grilling, the blended flavor pellets make an amazing choice. It’s capable of adding the perfect depth of flavor to a wide variety of food. In my opinion, it’s not really great for meat.
It burns well. Its sweet smoke flavor amps up custom-topped pizza’s taste for the most enriching flavor excitement. So, if you’re simply looking to create delightful dishes without the hassle of flavor pairing, this blended option is a no-brainer.
5. Oklahoma Joe’s 2778408DP Wood Pellets
With over a thousand pleased users, Oklahoma Joe’s 2778408DP must be doing something right.
These food-grade pellets are made out of 100% hardwood and available in various awesome flavors like Apple and Hickory.
However, that’s not why everyone raves about Oklahoma Joe’s 2778408DP.
They come in compact, uniform sizes, so you never have to worry about clogged auger. Thanks to its dense cell structure, these pellets pack a real punch, delivering intense heat to char pizza base, sear steak, and roast chicken.
It’s a winner when it comes to long smoking. Its controlled combustion rate and nice smoke output are suitable for whipping up exceptionally tender and flavorful pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, and more.
They are easy to use in smoker tubes, gas grills, and pizza ovens. Pair it up; these wood pellets promise a delicious kiss of smoke to enhance the aromatic flavors of any dish.
Though these pellets release good smoke, they leave out a bit of ash. It’s not a deal breaker, considering its cheap price point. Plus, it would be best to have a pellet container to store these 20-pound pellets.
Whether it’s a mini fire pit or smoker tube, these pellets are an excellent fuel and flavor source. I’d pick them over cooking with charcoal. Why not? From regulative heat rate to long-lasting exquisite smoke flavor, Oklahoma Joe’s 2778408DP is the perfect grilling mate to bank on.
🎭Alternatives to pellets for pizza ovens
Although widely used for pizza ovens, Pellets are not the only fuel source. Some home chefs still swear by the old-fashioned cooking method involving charcoal. They have a higher energy content, offering a longer and hotter burn than pellets. Sadly, these benefits come at a heftier price with huge smoke and ash residue.
Another great alternative to wood pellets is gas – propane and natural gas. They are also more expensive than cooking with wood pellets. However, they burn cleaner and more efficiently – no ash or smoke. So, post-cooking cleanup is a breeze.
Furthermore, gas is more convenient and effortless to use. There is no need to be a master fire tender to use a gas pizza oven. While they craft pretty crisp pizzas, they can’t deliver authentic wood-fired flavor.
Electric pizza ovens are the clear winner for ease of use. Like gas, there’s no extra layer of complexity to the final product’s flavor. However, they are perfect for new chefs looking to bake great stone-baked pizzas at home. It’s easier to manage the heat and get the desired results.
❔Why use pellets instead of traditional wood?
There are several salient reasons to cook with pellets over traditional wood. First and foremost, wood pellets are inexpensive compared to the traditional alternative.
Additionally, wood pellets produce more consistent and predictable heat thanks to their moisture content and sizes. You’ll find it easier to cook with pellets than traditional wood. You don’t have to chop them down to size. Plus, they produce less ash and smoke, meaning cleaning is less tedious.
🔍Storing Pellets Properly is Important; Here’s How I Do It?
Tossing the remaining firewood anywhere in the garage will result in poor burning performance. It’s crucial to store them effectively, and here’s the best way I found to do it:
Never leave the wood pellet on the ground. Placing them on an elevated platform in your garage keeps the moisture out of your wood fuel. The wood remains dry and ready for the next cookout.
Most pellets come in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container; use it. It helps prevent moisture from seeping into the pellets and keeps them in a tip-top shape. Otherwise, they might become a mushy mess, becoming difficult to fire up and use to cook.
💬Wood Pellets Related FAQs
How long do pellets burn in a pizza oven?
I’ve noticed this depends on various factors such as pellet quality, airflow, cooking temperature, oven size and design, etc. On average, I get about 10 – 20 clean-burn time with a 20-pound pellet bag.
Can I mix different types of wood pellets for flavor?
While it might seem pretentious, pairing wood pellets is fun and rewarding. Some manufacturers strongly advise against mixing their pellets with others. However, I often pair oak or hickory with any fruitwood for the ultimate smoke flavor.
Are pizza oven pellets environmentally friendly?
Wood pellets are made out of natural wood and sourced sustainably from forests. So, they are a great choice for folks looking for an eco-friendly fuel source.
Can I use pizza oven pellets in my BBQ or smoker?
When it comes to grilling or smoking, pellets are an incredible fuel source. They are capable of infusing food with that sweet, distinct wood-fired flavor. While cooking with charcoal or traditional wood in a smoker or BBQ is best, throwing in some pellets is a good idea for flavor depth.
How can I ensure the best performance from my pellets?
For the best result, it’s important to cook with high-quality pellets. This means checking the integrity of the pellet before purchasing or using it. More so, how you store your pellets determines the burning performance.
Do pizza oven pellets produce a lot of ash?
This is one of many reasons I opted for a pellet pizza oven. Using pellets as fuel offers the cleanest live-fire burning experience with minimal ash production. For me, it means less cleanup and free time to reminisce about the culinary success.
Choosing the best wood pellets for your pizza oven boils down to their heat output, smoke flavor, and ash production. Not all pellets are created equal, and finding the right ones can save you from disappointment.
In my reviews, I’ve covered the top 5 pellets that will fuel your pizza oven for those authentic wood-fired pizzeria-style pies.
Ultimately, consider your budget, taste preferences, and the toppings you love to make a smart choice. Still indecisive? You can’t go wrong with Ooni or OOFT 100% Hardwood Pizza Oven Pellets.