Making pizzas at home can get you the best flavors, especially if you use the best fuel for the job. The best coal for a pizza oven can make great results that most pizzerias cannot attain.
A coal-fired pizza oven for home use provides a unique and versatile way for you to make your pizzas faster, cook cleaner, and maintain or even improve the delicious flavors on your pizza.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Homemade pizza also allows you to create different flavors that you love. Commercial pizza ovens are powerful, but they are expensive and not typically used at homes.
That is why making your pizza at home is usually more popular with wood-fired pizza ovens but if you are taking a chance with using coal as the fuel then this post is definitely for you!
Wood is perhaps the most common fuel you can use when it comes to cooking authentic Neapolitan pizzas. However, there are benefits when using coal instead of wood in your oven.
That is why I am here to tell you everything you need to know when you cook pizzas with coal-fired pizza ovens for home and where to buy the best coals for your pizza oven.
How Did Coal Ovens For Home Come To Be?
Yes, we have all heard about wood-fired pizza ovens, but chances are you only recently heard of coal-fired pizza ovens for home use, and you are curious how they started.
Brick pizza ovens are not that uncommon, and they are the most authentic pizza ovens that can cook pizzas with the perfect crust. The same concept is used with coal-fired ovens.
Pizzas cooked with coal are becoming more and more popular and even garnered the name of “black diamond” pizza because of the beautiful chars on the pizza crust.
Coal-cooked pizzas are not that new, and they have been around as long as when Italian immigrants introduced pizza to the United States and the brick ovens used to cook the pizzas.
The brick ovens can be heated with almost any type of fuel, so since coal is pretty abundant during those times, most Americans used charcoal and coal to fire up the ovens and cook pizzas.
Commercial coal pizzas ovens are still used nowadays and they are resurfacing because of the delicious results.
The best coals for a pizza oven can attain high temperatures and make sure that you make the perfect pizzas with the help of tools like pizza stones, pizza peel, dome-shaped ceilings, and more.
How Do Coal Ovens Work?
Outdoor ovens work differently from home ovens. Coal or wood ovens work better than gas ovens since they produce high heat that most home ovens could not reach when cooking.
Coal ovens for home use usually come with a dome shape on their ceilings.
The same concept used with wood-fired pizza ovens is used with coal ovens when cooking pizzas.
They incorporate a fire-in-the-oven method and heat both the floor or pizza stone and the dome ceiling of the oven.
This allows coal-fired pizza ovens for home use to cook pizzas in minutes.
It will take more than a few minutes for home ovens to cook your pizza but coal ovens can do it in a much shorter time. Coal-fired pizza oven manufacturers also highlight the fuel they use.
That means that they recommend the best types of coal that you can use to make the pizza oven even better.
Coals burn slow and cleanly to not produce too many flames in the oven.
In a way, it is easier to cook pizzas in a coal oven than in wood ovens since you do not burn the pizza too easily. Chefs and coal-fired pizza oven manufacturers recommend pushing the pie to the side.
This means that you need to adjust the pizza right beside the low flames and cook the pizza directly on the floor. Coals burn for a long time without producing too many ashes.
To maintain the internal temperature of the coal oven, you will need to add coals every 15 minutes or so. Wood burns faster so it is good to have other fuel types that you can use.
What Kind Of Coal Is Used For Pizza Ovens?
There are many types of pizza ovens like gas ovens, electric ovens, your regular kitchen ovens, wood-fired ovens, coal ovens, and outdoor pizza ovens that use different fuel types.
Most of these are portable pizza ovens that you can use in your outdoor kitchen. Different types of woods can be used to fuel pizza ovens and cook your pizza.
That does not mean that those are the only types of coals that you can use for pizza ovens.
Pizza cooks that use commercial coal pizza ovens recommend anthracite coals for pizza ovens.
Anthracite coal is an excellent choice as it contains fewer impurities that make easy cleaning.
They also help you attain the right temperature for cooking your pizzas.
They can help you make crunchier crusts that you can only usually get from wood-fired pizza ovens.
Anthracite coal for pizza ovens can be used for commercial coal pizza ovens or your pizza ovens, depending on the type of pizza oven that you have to make crispier pizzas.
If you are wondering where you can buy coal for your pizza oven then check out this link on Amazon where you can get the best coal delivered to your doorstep.
Where Do You Put Coals In The Pizza Oven?
It is really easy to use pizza ovens, unlike propane gas, you do not need hoses or connections to fuel the oven. If you use coal, you need to know the type of pizza oven you have.
Most wood ovens have a fuel compartment at the back of the pizza oven.
Once they reach the maximum temperature, usually 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, the entire oven is ready to cook.
The concept here is to allow the fiercer heat to travel to the dome-shaped ceiling and then down to the pizza. Most Ooni pizza ovens do this process to cook the pizza evenly.
You need the radiance of heat which you can only get with other fuel types and not charcoal.
So, it is safe to say that you can use coal ONLY in coal fired pizza ovens.
Some Ooni pizza ovens use wood pellets, and you can use the pellet hopper, usually a stainless steel hole at the back of the pizza oven, to load up the pellets and then fire the pizza oven up.
You can try using coal with Ooni and nothing “bad” would happen but it is best to avoid this since it doesn’t cook pizzas that well!
You might have to burn the coals for a long time and in theory it should work but I highly doubt it would.
An option is to surround the pizza with coal to provide a lot of heat directly to the pie.
Since coals do not produce too much fire or flames, it plays a huge role in ensuring that the crust of the pizza becomes crispy through convection heat.
If you know where you can buy coal for a pizza oven, I recommend you ask for anthracite coal to avoid too much smoke and cleaner burns for your pizza.
Flavor Difference Between Wood And Coal
A hot oven is all you need to make your pizza crispier. However, you will need a little patience when handling the pizza oven to reach the desired temperature of your pizza oven.
We all know that coal has a distinct flavor that it puts in anything you cook using coal as a fuel. I personally find coal a little messy to deal with than wood.
Wood puts a distinct flavor to the pizza and you can taste it in almost every bite. I think wood does work well since it is a little easier to manage it as a fuel.
You can also make Neapolitan-style pizzas in wood-fired pizza ovens but not on coal ovens.
The leopard spots on the pizza crust are also what distinguishes wood-cooked pizzas.
Although it is not that noticeable, you can almost taste a smoke flavor on the pizza when cooked with wood.
Coal pizza is more for the people of New York City. The flavors usually consist of a smoky but more like a barbecue flavor than a smoked meat taste.
If you cook pizza with coals, there is also a chance that you get a crunchier crust as the coal fire will gently cook the crust while also maintaining the airiness inside it.
Once you get over the slight learning curve, you will be able to cook the best pizzas at home.
So go look for a shop where you can buy the best coals for a pizza oven and start cooking!
If you like the post then do not forget to share it on social media!