Can You Use Charcoal in a Wood Fired Pizza Oven?

The city of Perth, Australia, is known for its incredible food scene, particularly its wood-fired pizza. There’s a uniqueness to the taste that only a wood fire pizza oven can offer. But a question that often comes up is, can charcoal be used in a wood-fired pizza oven? In this article, we will delve into the topic and explore the various aspects related to wood fire pizza ovens in Perth.

wood fire pizza oven


Wood-fired pizza ovens are a traditional method of cooking pizzas that are known for imparting a unique smoky flavor. Typically, hardwood is used to heat the oven, but there’s a growing trend of using charcoal. Let’s explore both options and understand what the experts in Perth have to say.

Benefits of Using Wood

Wood has been the primary source of fuel for pizza ovens for centuries. The benefits include:

  • Flavor: Imparts a smoky, rich taste.
  • Heat Distribution: Even and constant heat.
  • Sustainability: Many hardwoods are sustainable.

Charcoal in a Wood Fired Pizza Oven: Pros and Cons

Here’s a look at using charcoal in wood fire pizza ovens, breaking down the advantages and drawbacks.


  • Higher Temperature: Can reach higher temperatures more quickly.
  • Consistency: Burns evenly and predictably.
  • Availability: Often more readily available than specific types of hardwood.


  • Flavor Difference: May lack the unique flavor wood provides.
  • Compatibility: Not all wood-fired ovens are designed for charcoal use.
  • Environmental Concerns: May not be as sustainable as using hardwood.

Expert Opinions in Perth

Several pizzerias and chefs in Perth have experimented with charcoal in wood-fired ovens. Some claim that it offers an exciting variation, while others stick with traditional wood.

  • Traditionalists: Many prefer wood for the authentic taste.
  • Experimenters: Some find charcoal provides an interesting twist.
  • Hybrid Approach: Combining wood and charcoal to achieve a balance between flavor and temperature control.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can any wood-fired oven use charcoal?

Not all wood-fired ovens are designed for charcoal use. Check with the manufacturer.

Will charcoal affect the flavor?

Charcoal may offer a different flavor profile, less smoky compared to wood.

Is charcoal more affordable than wood?

Costs can vary, but charcoal may often be more readily available and cheaper in some regions, including Perth.


Using charcoal in a wood-fired pizza oven is a subject that brings diverse opinions, especially in Perth’s vibrant culinary scene. While charcoal offers specific advantages such as higher temperatures and availability, it lacks the authentic smoky flavor that traditional wood offers. A hybrid approach using both wood and charcoal may provide a balanced solution, but compatibility and environmental considerations should be taken into account. It’s always best to consult with the manufacturer and perhaps even experiment a little to find what works best for your specific situation and taste preferences. The rich culinary culture of Perth continues to inspire and innovate, and whether you choose wood, charcoal, or a combination of both, the city’s wood fire pizza ovens are sure to delight your palate.