How to Light Your Ooni Karu

The Video Guide

A video guide to lighting your Ooni Karu pizza oven using wood alone - we get to over 450°C in less than 20 minutes using super dry, mixed species British hardwood.


What wood should I use in my Ooni Karu pizza oven?

You should only ever use hardwood kindling in your Ooni Karu. Softwood may be cheaper but it will burn through quickly, struggle to get your oven to temperature and leave behind a lot of excess ash, 

Make sure the wood you use in you pizza oven is dried to well below 15% moisture so it burns hot with minimal smoke.

Our hardwood kindling is cut to the perfect size for your Ooni Karu, shop here

The Step by Step

What you need

  • Hardwood kindling
  • Two firelighters
  • Extra long matches
  • Digital thermometer
  • Heat proof gloves

1. Get your Ooni Karu ready

It's critical that the door is closed, the chimney is open and the chimney cap is off before you start

2. Start building the fire

Put two firelighters into the fuel tray at the back and build the hardwood kindling around the firelighters

Don't put too many in to start with - four pieces of kindling is plenty

3. Get it lit

Use an extra long match to light each of the firelighters and put the fuel tray door back on

4. Stoke it up

Check on the fire every few minutes, and if there's space in the fuel tray, add more kindling to keep the fire stoked and burning aggressively - smouldering wood won't get you to temperature

5. Check the flame

After around 12 to 15 minutes and several refuels, open the front door to check you have a rolling flame at the back

Use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the stone. You need it to be in the range of 400-450°C to cook Neapolitan pizza

Wind can affect the way the Ooni Karu runs, so if it's not ready, close the door and add more kindling, checking again in a few minutes.  A small electric fan can help with airflow into the fuel tray if there's no wind at all

6. Launch!

Once you're at your desired temperature, you're ready to go - so add a piece or two of kindling to make sure you come back to a rolling flame once you've opened your dough and built your pizza. Enjoy!

Make sure you share your pictures with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging @planetfriendlyfirewood


Shop Hardwood Kindling for your Ooni Karu here