This article will explore the benefits and disadvantages of using gas, wood, or a combination of the two to cook your pizza. It will compare these different cooking methods in terms of combustibility, temperature management, fuel cost and environmental impact. We’ll also analyze their sustainability and convenience factors. Got the best Ooni pizza oven for you? Let’s get started!
Which Is Better? Ooni Gas Or Wood?
If you are trying to decide between a wood or gas fuel, the choice is not a difficult one. Either one will get the job done, and either one has its benefits.
The wood fired pizzas tend to have a more ‘authentic’ taste, largely because wood is what is traditionally used for pizza. Think about it; when you get a pizza from your local pizzeria it’s probably going to be cooked on a wood fired oven. Conceived with this in mind, the flavor is likely going have some similarities between the traditional and gas fuel.
That being said, the gas grills tend to have better heat distribution and the ability to cook at a higher temperature. They also don’t require any kind of wood processing or storage, which can save you time and money.
All forms of cooking have their sustainability benefits, so long as you are using renewable resources. However, wood fired pizza will require more frequent trips to your wood provider than would a gas fueled oven. This isn’t a complete deal-breaker, as any fuel source can require more frequent replenishment if you are continuously cooking with it.
Convenience is a relative term, but one which we will use to determine how easy it is to fuel your oven or grill. The gas fueled oven is easier to fuel than the wood fired oven. With the wood fired oven, you’ll need to continually replenish your wood supply, whereas for the gas fueled grill you simply need to drop in a new propane tank when it runs out.
Managing The Temperature
Wood fired ovens are very difficult to regulate, mostly due to the nature of how they burn. Gas fired ovens are easy to regulate, but it may take some trial and error to find the right temperature.
The temperature of the gas grill is relatively easy to manage. Some grills will come with preset temperatures, while others will be controlled manually by a dial. The latter can be more difficult but once you get used to your specific oven it’s a critically simple process.
The wood fired oven is quite different in this respect. The wood burns very slowly and it’s very difficult to control the temperature through open air vents. This can be solved by building a firebox, but this is less convenient.
Gas powered cooking is more expensive than wood, so it makes sense that wood would win in this category as well.
Wood fired pizza requires you to keep your fire alive and burning at a high temperature, which can be a challenge depending on the conditions. If you are using a gas fueled oven, it is much more difficult to achieve the crispy crust that come with the wood fired model. That being said, it is certainly possible to do so with some modifications in terms of surface area and temperature management.
In the case of the gas fueled oven, you can use a two sided grill to concentrate your heat in one area. This will help you to avoid over-cooking.
The wood fired pizza tends to be much more tender due to the nature of cooking with flames. If a gas fueled oven is not heating up properly (such as if you are using an electric oven) then it is much harder for the meat and veggies in your pizza to cook all the way through.
Which Ooni Ovens Can Use Both Gas Or Wood?
Ooni carries a couple models that actually accept multiple types of fuel including gas, wood, wood pellets or charcoal. These ovens are the Ooni Pro 16, Karu 12 and Karu 16.
Which Is Best For You?
In the end, it depends on your individual needs. If you are looking for the most authentic taste, then the wood fired pizza is going to be your best bet.
Related reading – Has anyone cooked frozen pizza in an Ooni pizza oven?
It is difficult to make a clear decision between wood and gas based cooking methods as both have their advantages and disadvantages.