How to Light a Ooni Wood Pellet Pizza Oven?

So, you’re stumbling over how to light your Ooni wood pellet pizza oven correctly?

You’re not alone; I’ve struggled with this exact issue too, learning that a common mistake is simply adding too many pellets at once.

But there’s no need to worry.

This article by our expert Pizzaiolo team will guide you through the safest and most efficient method of lighting up your pizza oven, avoiding typical pitfalls along the way.

Ready for perfectly cooked pizzas every time? Let’s fire it up.

Related: How to cook a frozen pizza on a wood pellet grill?

How to Safely Light an Ooni Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Step 1: Start by cleaning out any residual ashes from the previous fire because a clean oven ensures efficient burning and heats up faster.

Step 2: Place it on a level surface, clear of flammable materials for safety purposes. Ensure that your pellets are dry as damp or wet ones can affect ignition significantly.

At this stage, you should also get your fire-starting tools ready; A handy torch works best for igniting the wood pellets swiftly.

This prep work sets you up for success in achieving perfect flames and that desirable smoky flavor in your pizzas without hitches or delays during cooking time.

Step 3: Carefully distribute enough pellets to fill about half of the tray.

This quantity serves as an optimal foundation for ignition and ensures consistent flame patterns necessary for perfect pizzas.

In order to avoid clogging the pellet hopper, be deliberate with your pace. Just add pellets gradually every 3 minutes or so and you should be fine.

Also, take note not to overfill as pellet overflow could cause excessive smoke and disruptions during cooking.

Step 4: Now, it’s time to ignite the wood pellets in your Ooni pizza oven. Use a blowtorch, pointing it directly at the wood pellets for approximately 30-60 seconds until they catch fire.

Ensure all pellets are fully lit and not just smoldering by checking through the viewing hole on your oven. Your successful ignition means you’re almost ready to cook delicious homemade pizza that boasts of wood-fired flavor.

And that’s it!

Keep this guide handy as it’s undoubtedly an easy way to light a wood pellet pizza oven.

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Tips for Achieving the Perfect Fire

To achieve the perfect fire in your Ooni wood pellet pizza oven, it’s crucial to adjust the airflow properly. This step plays a vital role in controlling the temperature and intensity of the flame.

With too much airflow, you risk creating a blazing inferno that could burn your pizza quickly. On the other hand, insufficient airflow may result in a weak flame and inadequate heat distribution.

To adjust the airflow, start by opening both air vents on your Ooni pizza oven fully. This allows maximum oxygen flow into the oven and promotes efficient combustion. As you begin preheating, monitor the flames closely to determine if any adjustments are necessary.

If you notice that flames are roaring excessively or reaching up towards your food faster than desired, it indicates that there is too much air entering from below. To address this issue, gradually close one or both vents partially until you achieve a more controlled flame height and intensity.

Conversely, if you find that flames are struggling to ignite or aren’t providing enough heat for proper cooking, it implies limited oxygen flow into the oven. In such cases, open one or both vents wider to allow more air circulation and facilitate better combustion.

Monitoring the temperature throughout the cooking process is a key factor. By keeping a close eye on the heat level, you can ensure that your pizzas cook evenly and come out with that beautiful crispy crust.

One way to do this is by using an infrared thermometer gun to measure the temperature of both the oven floor and the dome. This will give you an accurate reading of how hot your oven is and if it needs any adjustments.

Another method is to observe the color of your flames inside the oven. Bright yellow flames indicate a higher temperature, while dull orange or red flames mean it might be cooling down.

Troubleshooting and Common Mistakes

how to light ooni wood pellet pizza oven

Discovering issues with ignition, dealing with excessive smoke, or avoiding pellet overflow can be frustrating when lighting your Ooni oven.

But fear not! Our troubleshooting tips and common mistakes section will help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Addressing issues with the ignition

If you’re facing issues with ignition when lighting your Ooni wood pellet pizza oven, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. First, make sure that you have enough pellets in the fuel tray and that they are dry.

Damp or wet pellets can be difficult to ignite. If needed, check the weather conditions and store your pellets in a dry place before using them.

Next, ensure that the airflow is adjusted correctly. Too much air may cause the flames to go out, while too little air can result in poor combustion. Experiment with adjusting the vents on your oven to find the right balance.

Additionally, it’s essential to monitor the temperature inside your oven during ignition. The ideal temperature for starting a fire is around 300°C (570°F). Use an infrared thermometer or built-in temperature gauge if available.

If you’re still having trouble with ignition, try using a torch or lighter to directly ignite a small portion of pellets at one end of the fuel tray. This method can provide an initial flame source that will propagate throughout the rest of the pellets more easily.

Dealing with excessive smoke

Excessive smoke can sometimes be an issue when lighting a wood pellet pizza oven.

To avoid this, it’s important to ensure that the air vents on the oven are properly adjusted. Opening the vents too wide can result in excessive airflow and cause the pellets to burn too fast, creating more smoke than necessary.

On the other hand, if the vents are closed too tight, there might not be enough oxygen for combustion, leading to smoldering pellets and increased smoke.

To find the right balance, start with partially open vents and observe how the fire behaves. If you notice excessive smoke, gradually adjust the vents by slightly opening them or closing them until you achieve a clean-burning flame without excessive smoking.

It may require some trial and error at first but finding that sweet spot will ensure your pizza cooks perfectly with minimal smoke.

Additionally, ensuring that your wood pellets are of good quality can also help reduce excess smoke. Poor-quality pellets tend to produce more ash and impurities which can lead to increased smoke production during combustion.

Opting for high-quality wood pellets made from hardwoods like oak or maple can significantly minimize excess smoking while providing efficient heat for cooking delicious pizzas in your oven.

Avoiding pellet overflow

To avoid pellet overflow, it is crucial to add the pellets gradually and not overload the fuel tray. Adding too many pellets at once can lead to an excessive fire and potentially cause damage to your oven.

By adding them little by little every few minutes, you can ensure a steady and controlled burn without risking any spillage or overflow.

It’s also important to pay attention to the size of the wood pellets you are using. Using larger or irregularly shaped pellets can increase the risk of overflow. Opt for evenly sized pellets that fit well within the fuel tray.

Additionally, make sure to properly close and secure the fuel tray after adding each batch of pellets. This will prevent any accidental spills while you’re cooking.


In conclusion, lighting an Ooni wood pellet pizza oven is a simple and straightforward process.

By following the proper steps, such as preparing the oven, adding wood pellets to the fuel tray, and igniting them correctly, you can ensure a safe and efficient fire for your pizza cooking adventure.

Remember to adjust airflow, monitor temperature, and manage the flame for optimal results. With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of lighting your Ooni pizza oven.