How Do You Heat An Outdoor Pizza Oven?

This article will outline the steps to heating an outdoor pizza oven.

First, you need some fuel for your oven. You can use anything from wood to gas or propane. Jump to the section in this article for the type of fuel you are using.


Outdoor Pizza Oven Fuel Options & How To Heat With Each

There are a number of primary types of fuels that can be used to heat pizza ovens. While one fuel may be better for you, that does not make the others bad. It is simply a matter of personal choice and the type of oven you have, how often you need to use it and how big or small your budget for fuel is.

Gas Pizza Ovens


Gas pizza ovens are one of the most common for home pizza makers. They are extremely easy to use and clean and can generally be used with any kind of fuel.  Using them is very similar to using a gas grill or barbecue.

A great example and one of my favorite stainless steel gas pizza ovens is the Ooni UU-P06A00 Koda 12 Oven.

What Types Gas Is Used?

You can get natural gas, propane or simply natural gas, and of course, bottled fuels – the same bottle that you would use with a bbq grill. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a place that has access to natural gas. If you have no problem finding fuel for your pizza oven at a normal hardware store or supermarket, then you will probably not have any problem getting it delivered to your house if you don’t want to lug it in yourself.

Process Of Heating A Gas Pizza Oven

If you are using a gas oven, the firebox is already made for you. It has a door in the front and a burner on the bottom. The burner will produce a flame and heat that will fill up the firebox and cook whatever food you put in it.

To start heating your gas pizza oven, first just make sure your fuel tank is full of whatever type of fuel you are using. Make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions carefully when dealing with any fuel source.

Turn on the gas, and open up the door. Make sure you have a full burner in your oven before you do this (otherwise you will overheat your oven). The door should automatically shut after being opened.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat?

The time it takes to start up your pizza oven may vary depending on the type of oven and how well it is made. Many customers report that their gas pizza ovens begin heating within 15 minutes or less with natural gas, while some say it takes an hour or more for them to heat up at all.

Pros Vs Other Fuel Options

Gas ovens are generally considered to be easy and quick to use for pizza making. Propane ovens take longer to heat up and cost a bit more, but have a higher performance level. They tend to be better at moderate oven temperatures. Other fuels like wood and coal are great too, but are a little harder to use and need more maintenance. They tend to heat slower than propane or natural gas ovens, but they do have the advantage of being cheaper.

Cons Vs Other Fuel Options

These ovens tend to be a bit harder to maintain and do use more fuel. They tend to have a higher performance level, but are also more expensive for you, the customer. If you live in an area that does not have natural gas (or only has it at a very high cost), then propane can be the best option for you.

Not Getting Hot Enough?

If you are having problems with your oven getting hot enough to cook a pizza, the first thing you should do is check underneath the oven to make sure that it is not blocked from airflow. If it is, then there is no use in trying to cook in it.

Second, there could be an issue with the gas itself. Different sources will tell you different things about how far away from your oven you need to be, but keep at least two feet away from the oven when using natural gas.

Not Getting Gas?

If your gas cannot supply enough heat for your pizza oven, there are a few things you can do.

First, make sure that you are purchasing the right size gas tank. Most gas tanks hold around 10 lbs of fuel. If you have larger ovens, then they may take up a lot more fuel than smaller ones and this could be the reason behind your problem.

Second, check to make sure that you have a full tank. If you are using a propane tank, check to make sure it is not empty. Otherwise, your fuel will be too low to heat your oven.

Wood Fire

fire wood

A wood fired pizza oven is one that burns wood for fuel.

Many pizza makers are drawn to this type of pizza oven because of the flavor and style that the wood fire imparts on their food.

While there are a lot of pizzerias that use these ovens traditionally, they are also great in home kitchens because they are much easier to control than other forms of heating.

A good example is the Cru Ovens Model 30.

What Type Of Wood Should You Use?

There are a lot of options for wood. Generally, it is better to use hard woods instead of soft woods because the harder wood will burn slower and give off more heat. While you may be able to get away with using soft woods occasionally, you really should stick to using hardwoods as much as possible.  It is basically the same as what you would use in a wood fireplace or masonry oven.

Some great types of wood include: Mesquite, Pecan and Oak.

Process Of Heating A Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Wood fired ovens have a lot more maintenance than other types of pizza ovens, but also offer great rewards for the extra effort you put into them.

First, make sure that your wood is safe to use. Be sure to check your wood fires often and you may want to invest in some heat-resistant gloves so that you can take it off the outside of the oven if you need to get it out.

Next, open up the door and make sure your wood is lit. This will help with your fire and keep it burning as long as possible.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat?

It may take longer than you expect in order to get everything ready before you start cooking. Your oven will not work as well as it can until everything is heated up enough for the oven to begin working. It may take up to ten minutes or more to figure out how hot the oven is and whether it is ready to cook in. Compared to a coal fire, wood fires can be difficult because they do not get as hot.

Pros Vs Other Fuel Options

Wood fires are easy to use and produce a very authentic style of pizza. However, you will need to make sure that you keep an eye on your fire so that it does not get too low or out. If it does, your oven will stop working and you will have to start over.

Cons Vs Other Fuel Options

Wood cookers take more effort than other alternatives, but they can be very rewarding when they cook well. You are going to need to keep an eye on your wood fire at all times or it will not work properly.

Oven Floor Not Getting Hot Enough?

If you are having problems with your oven not being hot enough for cooking, try adding more wood. You may have some pieces that are too small or that are not in the right place there. Make sure you have a good stack of wood available and add more as needed.

If your wood fire oven is not working at all, try adding more wood or check to make sure that your door is not blocked. You may also want to check to make sure that you have enough open space around the air intake. If everything looks like it should, but the oven still does not work, then your oven may be defective and will need to be replaced or repaired.

Wood Pellets

wood pellets

A wood pellet pizza oven is one that uses wood pellets as fuel.

This is a great option for those who want to use a more sustainable fuel source. While it is still not quite as good as using a renewable fuel, it is better than using something like coal or propane.

A good example of this type of oven is the Ooni Fyra 12.

Types Of Wood Pellets

There are a lot of different wood pellets available on the market. Some of these are better than others, but only you can make that determination. You will be looking for options that will not leave around toxic residue or create too much soot. The most important thing is to find pellets that are made from renewable resources and will not pollute our world.

Process Of Heating A Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Wood Pellet Pizza Ovens have very little maintenance compared to other pizza oven options. You simply load the pellets and turn on your oven.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat?

The pellets are going to heat up more quickly than the traditional charcoal or wood fires. Depending on the type of pellet you are using, it usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to get up to speed. With that being said, it will not be super hot and will not burn food as fast as a coal or wood fire would.

Pros Vs Other Fuel Options

A wood pellet oven is really good for those who want a sustainable fuel source and are looking for a way to make their kitchen more eco-friendly. It is also biodegradable and can be recycled after use in a compost bin.

Cons Vs Other Fuel Options

Wood Pellets are not as good as coal or wood fires in terms of controlling heat, but they do work really well and heat up quickly. If you do not keep an eye on your fire or if you are unsure how much fuel is needed, your pellet oven may short out. This can happen when the pellets get to hot for the oven.

Not Lighting?

If your pizza oven is not lighting, it could be a few things. For example, the wood may be too wet. You can try to dry it out a little bit by placing it on the stove or in the oven for twenty minutes to an hour.

If that does not work, check to make sure that you have enough air flow due to an air damper. If there is a lot of air flowing through your oven, then you will need to adjust your air controls or move your wood closer to the door.

Not Heating?

If you are using a wood pellet pizza oven and you are having problems getting the oven to heat up, there are a few things that you can do to fix the problem.

First, make sure that you have a new bag of pellets. If you have used them all up and your oven is still not heating properly, then you may need to buy more pellets or check your vents to make sure they are open.

If there is enough fuel available, then it could simply be that your vents need to be checked.



A charcoal pizza oven is one that uses charcoal as fuel.

This is a very easy and effective cooking method. However, it is very messy and will require you to clean up after the cooking process is complete.

A good example of this type of oven is the TC-Home Outdoor Pizza Oven. When you are looking for a pizza oven, this may be one of your best options as long as you can make sure that it holds enough for your family needs.

Types Of Charcoal

There are a lot of different types of charcoal available on the market. If you are going to cook pizza with your oven, then it is important that you purchase an option that burns really hot and stays hot. My recommendation is to get the hardwood lump charcoal.

A lot of the options sold are even mixed with other fuels like propane or coal to keep them burning hotter. However, this causes issues because it burns out the natural oils in the wood before it even gets to the stove.

Process Of Heating A Charcoal Pizza Oven

Charcoal pizza ovens have very little maintenance compared to other pizza oven options. You simply load the charcoal and turn on your oven.

How Long Does It Take To Preheat?

It will take a while for a charcoal pizza oven to get up to speed and get hot; however, you can expect it to be ready in about 20 minutes or so, depending on the size of your oven.

Pros Vs Other Fuel Options

If you are looking for an option that is easy and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, then a charcoal pizza oven is a good choice. In addition, they are relatively inexpensive to purchase and don’t take very much skill to figure out.

Cons Vs Other Fuel Options

While there are a lot of benefits to using this type of oven, there are also some drawbacks as well. The biggest negative is the mess that you will have to clean up after you are finished cooking your pizza.

Not Hot Enough?

If you are cooking your pizza in a charcoal oven and it is not even warm enough to cook your pizza or keep the pizza warm, there are a few things that you can do to fix the problem. For example, if the fire is too low you may need to add some more charcoal. You can also try adjusting the damper to give the fuel a bit more air.

What Temperature Should You Preheat An Outdoor Pizza Oven To?

The average temperature for an outdoor pizza oven is about 800 degrees. I would recommend cooking your pizza on the hotter side of that range. The reason for this is because by cooking your pizza on the higher end, you will get a better crust and less risk of burning your toppings.


All-in-all, there are a lot of good options for pizza ovens available today that offer a lot of different benefits. Each oven has its pros and cons, but it is my belief that most people will find a great option for themselves and their family to have a wonderful time adding pizzas to their outdoor adventures.

I am very happy with the results I have seen from my pizza oven and all of the people who have used it, including my friends and family.