What is a wood-fired pizza? The photo below leaves no questions. Over time, the direct heat from all this burning wood raises the floor and ceiling temperature until it reaches the sweet spot of 750+/- to 1000 degrees F. When the bricks on the floor reach temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Fahrenheit, cooking times are less than 3 minutes. It has taken years to fully understand and appreciate the virtues of a brick oven. I am still learning every day and have configured the embers in every shape imaginable just to see how it affects cook time and the finished product. There is more science in pizza than anyone would believe. You can cook a pizza with basically any heat source. Cooking it well is where science meets art.
There is a very distinct finish to a pizza cooked in a brick oven. The outer crust gets charred in places leading to a very unique and delicious taste. Using a wood burning oven is far harder than a deck or convection oven. The operator needs to understand the relationship between fire’s effects on the pizza, ambient temperature, floor temperature, timing, how to properly use a peel to place the raw pizza, then how to use a separate peel to turn and move the cooking pizza, etc. It’s not to be taken lightly. One wrong move and you have a pizza with a hole in it that takes out part of the floor rendering it useless until cleaned up and super-heated with coals to bake off the material which used to be part of the pizza. Many are attracted to fire like moths to a flame and few master the oven.