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How to Light Your Oven

January 19, 2024

So, your DeliVita oven is all set up in the garden.

Your friends and family are invited to the inaugural pizza party.

Your dough is proving in the kitchen.

There's only one question left to ask:

How do you light a wood-fired pizza oven?

Lighting your wood-fired pizza oven is easy — when you know how. Traditional wood-fired pizza ovens, like the DeliVita wood-fired oven, are designed to do most of the hard work for you.

Follow these simple instructions to get your oven up to temperature and ready to cook.

Equipment for lighting a wood-fired pizza oven

Make sure you have the tools of the trade ready to light your pizza oven.

  • Organic firelighters — Odorless firelighters, ideally made from natural wood shavings
  • Kindling — Low moisture, softwood kindling around 12cm Length x 4cm depth
  • Logs — Small, low moisture, hardwood logs, around 25cm length x 10cm depth
  • Lighter or matches — Ideally an extra-long kitchen lighter or matches
  • Infra-red temperature gun — A digital infrared thermometer, so you know when your oven is at the correct temperature
  • Oven brush — to move the flame and keep your oven base clean
  • Prod & Blow — to safely place larger logs into the flame

Lighting a wood-fired pizza oven

Now you’re ready for the fun part: lighting your oven.

  1. Place one or two organic firelighters in the centre of your oven
  2. Take around eight pieces of kindling and build a jenga-style tower around the firelighters:
    • Place two pieces of kindling parallel to one another, on the base of your oven, one on either side of the firelighter (in a “=” shape)
    • Stack another two pieces of kindling, on top and perpendicular to the first two (the kindling should now form a crosshatch ‘#’ shape, with the firelighters in the centre)
    • Place a piece of hardwood on top of the tower
  3. Light the firelighters with extra-long matches, or a long kitchen lighter, and keep an eye on your oven as the flame catches, burns, and starts to smoke
  4. Allow the fire to burn in the centre of your oven for 20-25 minutes — you should see a strong flame burning in the centre of your oven, with very little smoke, and you can use your infra-red temperature gun to check that your oven has heated to at least 400 - 450°C
  5. Use your oven brush to move the flame to the back of your oven, leaving a hot, clean base to cook your pizza
  6. Load your prodder with a small hardwood log, and place it in the flames at the back of your oven to catch fire and continue the burn

Safety around a wood-fired pizza oven

DeliVita ovens are very safe, and you don’t need any specific safety equipment to light your pizza oven, but as always when working with an open flame, there are a few safety precautions to take.

  • Place your oven on a flat, stable surface, away from walls and with plenty of ventilation
  • Do not use accelerants or other materials aside from the wood and kindling advised
  • Ensure your oven is operated by a responsible adult
  • Keep loose clothing and hair away from the fire — you can even use a leather apron and gloves, for added protection
  • Keep young children and pets away from your hot oven
  • Do not leave your oven unattended while lit

WATCH: Lighting a pizza oven

More of a visual learner? DeliVita’s very own Chef Marco walks you step-by-step through lighting your pizza oven in the video. 

Now you know how simple it is to light your pizza oven, you can enjoy a wood-fired pizza any time. Make sure you have all the accessories, stay safe, and get ready to make the perfect pizza in your DeliVita oven.