Guidelines and FAQ

Tips on Operating Your Oven

At Applewood Ovens, we are proud to say that no one builds wood-fired ovens like we do. Our ovens make cooking pizza, bread, chicken, or other meals a delight to see, smell, and taste.

Tending a fire while cooking invokes a primal sense of excitement, comfort, and togetherness. You will be amazed at how impressed your guests will be with this unique yet time-tested cooking method.

Step: 1

Stack four hardwood pieces in the center of the oven. Use kindling and paper or a butane torch to start the fire.

Step: 2

Let the fire in the center of the oven burn until the four original pieces of wood start to form glowing coals. Gradually add more logs around the fire. The goal is to maintain a roaring flame for approximately 1 to 2 hours. This ensures that the oven’s floor and dome reach an even temperature.

Once the oven floor is covered in a bed of coals, move the coals to the back or one side of the oven. Traditionally, the heated coals are pushed to the back left of the oven, and the pizza is cooked on the front right side.

Step: 3

Continue to tend the fire. You will need to add additional logs to the bed of coals. Use appropriate safety gear, as the temperature in your oven can reach more than 900°. Once you’ve added the additional logs, clear the cooking surface of any ash and get ready to cook your pizza.

Step: 4

When you’ve finished cooking your delicious pizzas, pull the coals from the side of the oven and cover the base of the oven floor. The coals will cook off any excess food, leaving the floor clean for the next time.

Place the door on the oven to cover the opening. Your brick oven can retain heat for hours. If you want to use the retained heat for cooking in the morning, close the oven with an insulated door. The next morning your oven should start at around 300° and finish the day at around 200°. This means that you can slow roast dinner over the course of the next day.


  • What do I do if pizza toppings spill on the oven floor?

Easy. Clean as much of it out as you can. Cover the rest with hot coals and let it burn for around 10 minutes. Use a brush to remove any residue, and you can return to cooking.

  •  Why are my pizzas not cooked on the bottom?

You may need to allow your oven to heat up longer. You should leave the coals in the center of the oven for at least 90 minutes to two hours.

  • Why is my pizza burning?

Your fire could be too stoked, or the floor could have excess flour buildup that is sticking to the bricks. Both things will leave you with an overly charred crust. You can correct this by moderating the amount of flame in your oven and minimizing the amount of flour you put on the bottom of your peel.

  • Why won’t my pizza slide off of my peel?

You’re likely not using enough flour on the peel.

Making pizza and other food in a brick-and-stone oven is a ton of fun. The questions mentioned above are some of the most commonly asked questions. Still, we are happy to answer any other questions you have. With practice and a little time, you will make pizzas and other meals in your brick oven just like the professionals do!

Do you have any additional questions or concerns? If so, reach out to us at:



(720) 400-3267