Does the Type of Wood Used in a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Matter?

Dear Slice

Slice mail answered.

I recently got this email from Vinny, a self-described pizza freak and longtime Slice'r. I thought it'd be worth opening up to everyone out there for thoughts.
The Mgmt.

Aside from the pizza making & eating madness (born & raised in Brooklyn doesn't help me break the addiction!!), I'm also longtime BBQ cook and competitor.

There's a lot of similarities between great, traditional pizzas and BBQ.

One thing I rarely see discussed in the pizza world is the types of wood used. So much focus is put on the flour/dough making process, origins of sauce & cheese, type of bricks used, temps etc... but very little is ever discussed about the wood.

Clearly, not the biggest factor in a great pizza as at the high temps a clean burn and quick cook imparts little to no smoke, but it definitely has an impact on flavor and texture of crust etc.

While some go to great lengths to get their ovens built by hand, many probably are not paying attention to the type of wood used... Different woods (nut & fruit woods) burn at different temps/BTU's and also produce different smoke flavors.

I'd love for you to consider this as an upcoming topic on Slice, see what some of the top pizza makers thoughts are here or if they really think of it at all and just care that their wood deliveries arrive each week and they just go by what gets delivered and can't tell the difference between oak, hickory, cherry, maple etc...