Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

193/18: Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

193/18 – Ooni 3 Pizzas #2:

Time to finish off the pellet testing on the Ooni 3 so it was time for Ooni 3 Pizzas #2.

The Book:

The dough and sauce recipe is from The Pizza Bible Book:

Ooni Blog:

My new Ooni Blog is now live on this site with all of my notes on there. It’s split out into categories so should be a lot easier to use now. Will be easier for me to update too:

Ooni Blog


Flour: Caputo Red Flour 

Yeast: Saf-Levure Dry yeast 

Tomatoes: San Marzano Plum Tomatoes 


6 litre food grade container with lid: I use this to bulk ferment the dough once it’s mixed

Food grade pizza dough trays (x3): I use these to cold proof the dough balls

Wooden Pizza Peel: Stops your pizza sticking when you launch it into the oven, needs minimal flour also. I wish I had bought one of these years ago as it’s a total game changer.

The Dough:

Page 21 onwards in the Pizza Bible, it’s my favourite dough at the moment. Made two days in advance and cold proved as a large ball for 24 hours then split, balled and cold proved for another 24 hours.

The Sauce:

New York – New Jersey Tomato Sauce from The Pizza Bible book. The San Marzano tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano, salt and oil blitzed with a hand blender then hand crushed tomatoes were also added. 

The Fire:

As part of the testing I asked my wife to package up Ooni pellets and Balcas Brites in different unmarked containers. Last time I went for the closest container and they were really good to cook with, time to use the other container.

I weighed out 1kg before I started. I lit the fire with a flamer in the tray, left it 5 minutes but the pellets weren’t lit so I added another flamer plus one in the middle for good luck. I haven’t had pellets fail to light before, this wasn’t a good start! It took another 10 minutes with the fan on to get a decent fire going so I could add the jam funnel and fill it. The whole 1kg of pellets had now been added so I topped up the scale with another 500g ready to top up. The hottest I could get the stone was 475c which was strange as it normally hits 550c without an issue.

There was a serious amount of smoke coming out of the Ooni at this point, I had to step outside for a bit to clear my lungs!

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

This video shows the amount of smoke coming out the back.

This was the state of my bbq hut.Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

There was even black smoke coming out the chimney!

And when it was time to cook the stone was black and covered in debris.

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

The Cook:

Really not sure what happened with this one, it seemed to get stuck on the stone when I went to turn it!

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

Bit of a better shape

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

I only had salami for the kids so I ripped it up a bit as it looks pretty poor whole.

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

Small dough ball so a small pizza

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

Some East Coast Cured Merguez on mine.

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2

And again!

Ooni 3 Pizzas #2


All in it took an hour to light and cook 6 pizzas vs 34 minutes on the other pellets. I also used 2.4kg of pellets vs 1kg of the other pellets.

The amount of smoke that came off these was horrific, I didn’t feel too good after cooking from inhaling the fumes. There was a bit of a smell/taste to the smoke too, can’t quite place it but a bit chemically. I couldn’t get the oven as hot as normal and the stone was covered in soot.

The pizzas looked good but had a sooty/acrid taste to them. I haven’t managed to clear the taste from my mouth 4 hours on!

Pretty quickly I guessed these were the Balcas pellets due to the issues lighting them and the amount of smoke which I haven’t had on the Ooni pellets before. It’s a bit of a shame as a lot of people on the forums are massive fans of these but due to the smoke, soot and acrid taste on the pizza I won’t use them again. Also a shame as the Balcas people were really helpful on email. It’s definitely a quality product, fully natural, no additives and they produce 500 tonnes a day running 24/7. They also offered me a tour of the facilities to see the pellets getting made which was nice. I think these are best suited to biomass boilers and not to food ovens. My first time trying softwood pellets and I am afraid it will be my last as I will stick to the Ooni pellets in future. I fully expect a number of die hard Balcas fans to tear this apart, I don’t know what could have been done differently to achieve a better result. I turned the fan off for the last few pizzas and it was no better. If you use these pellets and have no issues I congratulate you, if you haven’t used them I would suggest you stick to the Ooni ones!


The dough and sauce recipe is from The Pizza Bible book:

If you don’t have an Ooni 3 yet you can buy one here



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KUNGFUBBQ: UK BBQ Blog and Ooni Blog documenting recipe cooks from various cookbooks, my own recipes, reviews of BBQ’s and Accessories plus handy hints and tips. UK BBQ Blogs

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