January 19, 2021 4 min read

If you have invested in an outdoor or indoor wood burning oven then you want it to perform at its very best. It may be that your food is not turning out as good as it should be. Perhaps it is burning or isn’t cooking all the way through. This is just one of several problems that can occur when you are not able to get your wood burning pizza oven up to temperature.  Check out some of these potential causes for not being able to get the oven up to temperature and you should be able to easily correct this.

Solving the Problems of Your Wood Fired Oven Not Reaching Proper Temperature

You may need to review each of the solutions outlined here one by one until you find the one that answers your question, “Why is my pizza oven not getting hot enough?”

Following The Instructions

Almost every wood burning new pizza oven will come with instructions. These will include how to set up the oven properly as well as how to use it properly. If these instructions and tips are not followed correctly, they can affect how the oven heats up. Every manufacturer is different in its design and construction of their wood burning oven products. It is not wise to assume that all these ovens are the same. This is just one of the reasons why each unit comes with its instructions.

Choice of Wood

This can play a big factor in not only getting the oven up to temperature but maintaining it. Those who use their wood burning pizza ovens a lot may have different opinions as to what is the best wood to use. Part of their opinion may be based on the results they are getting with a specific brand or model.

Many believe that hardwood is the best choice, and this is based on the following characteristics of this wood:

  • Many types of hardwood burn hotter than softwood.
  • Hardwood has more weight to it, so it creates more heat.
  • Hardwood burns longer than softwood.
  • Hardwood is usually readily available in most areas and has been cured properly.

      For those who are using softwood for their pizza oven and are having problems getting it up to temperature, it could be due to softwood being used. Not that it won't bring the oven up to temp. but enough of it may not be being used. Softwood burns faster, so it requires more to be added at more frequent intervals to get the oven up to temperature and maintain it.

      Problems With The Wood

      The right choice of wood is important, but so is the condition that it is in as well. It cannot be greenwood, which is freshly cut. It has to be dried to bring it to the proper moisture consistency. Its use in a pizza oven should have a moisture content no lower than 15%.

      Improperly Built Fire

      Several different techniques can be used to build a fire that will bring the pizza oven up to temperature. One of the mistakes that can be made is packing the wood too close together, so there is no airflow. This means the fire will burn unevenly and not allow the oven to get up to its maximum temperature.

      Improper Fire Lighting

      Lighting the fire properly also means using the proper kindling to burn hot and long enough to ignite the wood. One of the mistakes is only lighting part of the kindling, which only allows it to ignite a portion of the wood. This means only half of the wood is burning, and this is not enough to get the oven to reach the high temperature needed for this type of cooking.

      Using The Oven Door

      When in use, the purpose of the oven door is to regulate air circulation. Depending on how it is used, it can reduce or increase the amount of airflow. For the oven to get up to temperature, the fire needs a lot of airflow. This means you will want to keep the door open. If you have made the mistake of keeping the door closed all the time, this could be the reason it's not getting up to temperature.

      Proper Cleaning

      The wood burning oven must be properly cleaned after each use. You don't want to leave the ashes to build up. Doing so could affect the heat distribution and again hinder the oven's performance in coming up to temperature.

      Not Enough Air Circulation For Indoor Wood Burning Pizza Ovens

      There are many wood burning cooking enthusiasts that want to go with an indoor wood burning oven. Some have modern built homes that are airtight. This model of oven needs airflow as well, which can be regulated with the door. However, there has to be enough air available for it to draw in. Otherwise, there will be issues with bringing it up to temperature.

      Proper Use of Air Vents

      For those pizza oven models with air vents, they have to be appropriately used for the pizza oven to come up to the proper temperature and maintain it. This is where the instruction book will come in handy for those unfamiliar with using the air vents.

      Temperature Gauge

      Many of the quality pizza ovens come with a built-in temperature gauge. However, for precise temperature measuring, an external digital gauge should be used. If an inferior one is being relied on, it may not be giving accurate readings.

      Mobile Pizza Oven Temperature Problems

      The mobile ovens are much smaller, and some of the reasons they may not be coming up to temperature is that too many wood pellets are being used at one time when loading. Or the oven is being set up in an area where there is too much wind and proper airflow is not being realized.

      Oven Repairs

      Older ovens may have got to the point where they require repairs. Cracks may have occurred, and the heat is continually escaping. This may mean the oven is not able to get up to temperature.

      It’s Time For A New Wood Burning Oven

      Some are relying on a wood burning oven that they have built themselves. Some have not relied on kits. These may not be constructed properly, so they are incapable of coming up to the required temperature. Or the materials have not been able to withstand the constant use. In these cases, it may be time to invest in a quality outdoor pizza oven.

      Ryan Caswell
      Ryan Caswell

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