Lighting the Ooni 3:
As with the Ooni 2S, Lighting the Ooni 3 is really and it’s simple to get up to temperature but I have some tips to help make it as simple as possible.
Flamers: These are natural firelighters made from wood shavings and wrapped into a ball. Easy to light and burn for ages, I haven’t found anything better to light the Ooni or my BBQ’s with yet.
Lighter: So simple to light the flamers with these as it’s a turbo flame and the long nose keeps your fingers from getting burnt.
IR Gun: The IR gun is pretty essential to make sure the stone temperature is hot enough to start cooking on:
Ooni 3 – Method 1:
The instructions say to add a handful of pellets, light it, leave it a while and then top it up. I tried that and it worked well but you have to stay on top of it keeping the pellets topped up. I find this technique much easier.
Fill the tray with pellets and add a flamer at the front:
Light the flamer and put the tray in the Ooni.
Leave it 5 minutes then fill up the pellet funnel – only ever fill it up in line with the screw on the outside, any more and it seems to block the funnel or choke the fire.
Ooni 3 – Method 2:
As above but use the Looftlighter and a couple of minutes after lighting the pellets give it a couple of minutes of Looftlighter at full power!
You get a cracking fire going with this, in no time at all the Ooni is roaring like a jet fighter!
This works for the 2S and the 3. Maintaining the fire in the Ooni takes a bit of concentration, you need to keep track of the pellet line, check the fire, check your stone temperatures and keep topping up. Sometimes, making and cooking the pizza takes a lot of concentration as well which can cause you to forget about the pellets and that leads to a temperature drop. The best way I have found to avoid this is to buy a Jam Funnel, add it on the pellet funnel and fill it with pellets. It keeps the fire roaring and you can see at a glance if it needs topping up or not. The beauty is it holds so many more pellets you don’t need to top up so often.
Using the Jam Funnel and the Looftlighter allows you to get up to temperature in record time. From lighting the flamer to having the stone at 550c is under 10 minutes.
Quite a few people on the Ooni community page are using fans to add a bit of oomph to their fire. I have been using my Looftlighter but they come with a fairly hefty outlay which can be justified if you are cooking on a number of different bits of kit but most folk might not want to lay out £50 for one. The fan I picked is rechargeable over USB, had good reviews and was pretty cheap. When it arrived it was fully charged ready to go. On and Off buttons plus a power button with 3 speed settings.
The fire was lit in my usual way, tray full of pellets, 1 lit “flamer“, tray back in and left for 5 minutes. The fan was lurking, waiting to be called upon!
A quick blast of the fan (30 seconds) before putting the Jam Funnel on.
With the Jam Funnel filled with pellets it was time to set the fan on full power for a couple of minutes.
I had a quick look through the door. It looked pretty hot in there!
How hot exactly? I think this video explains it quite well!
You don’t need a jam funnel, fan or looftlighter to start cooking awesome pizzas but the jam funnel and fan certainly make things a lot easier and allow you to concentrate on making/cooking the pizzas rather than managing the fire.