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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Buy where you burn

Transporting firewood outside the area where you burn could spread devastating non-native invasive species according to the Nature Conservancy and the National Forest Service.

When firewood is moved pests that go along with it may include the European gypsy moth, the Asian long-horned beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer, and pathogens such as beech bark disease, sudden oak death pathogen, and several others.

Campers and travelers are urged to purchase or cut their firewood locally and to leave any excess wood at the site to avoid the spread of these infestations.

Some states and counties don’t allow you to transport firewood across their borders.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a very small insect that originated in China and was transported in solid wood packing material used in cargo shipment. The larvae feed under the bark of Ash trees, leaving S shaped marks.  They can wipe out an entire neighborhood within a few years.                       

Why does pizza taste better when it is cooked in a wood-fired oven?

Why does Pizza taste better when it is cooked in a wood-fired oven?

According to most chefs, wood-burning ovens can do things that gas or electric ovens cannot. Wood-burning ovens can achieve very high temperatures of 700—1,000 degrees, reducing cooking time dramatically.  An average 10” pizza will cook in 1 –2 minutes. The pizza will taste fresher and be crisp with a almost burnt edge, like authentic Napolitano pizzas.

The thermal drafts from the wood create a current of air
(convection), which allows the food to cook very evenly on all
sides. So the food cooks faster, yet evenly. 

But the most important factor is that the smoke from the wood infuses the pizza crust with flavor that can’t be beat.

Once you’ve tried wood-fired pizza it is unlikely that you will eat any other type again.

For these reasons, most homeowners are putting brick ovens in their back yards as a part of their outdoor kitchens. The advantages are multi-level since an outdoor oven can be used to cook anything - not just pizza. 

Marge Padgitt is the publisher of Wood-Fired Magazine and is a wood-burning enthusiast. Reach her at