Buying a wood-fired pizza oven: What you need to know.
There is nothing better than making pizza from scratch, using your own fresh ingredients and cooking it in the comfort of your home. So how can you get that ultimate extra cheesy, crisp base pizza that your traditional kitchen oven can not seem to produce? The answer is simple, by using a wood-fired pizza oven.
It just isn't the wood fire that cooks your delicious pizza, it’s the carefully designed pizza oven! In this blog, we explain the wonderful benefits of a wood-fired pizza oven including everything you need to know if you're thinking of purchasing one for yourself.
How does a wood-fired pizza oven work?
A traditional wood-fired pizza oven, also known as a masonry oven, is designed to function as a baking chamber. Made out of either bricks, clay, concrete, stone, cob or ceramics, the materials play an important role when it comes to the effective and even cooking of the food it produces.
Although pizza ovens are heated by a wood flame, the base and dome use bricks, tiles, and insulating layers to trap in the heat. That’s why pizza ovens can reach such high temperatures, cooking pizza in only a few minutes. However, heating such a large amount of material (often more than half a ton of weight) to the appropriate temperature can take a few hours to achieve.
What makes a good wood-fired pizza oven?
The traditional shape of the pizza oven is the shape of a dome for a reason, this helps achieve the circulation of air inside it. It forms a small pocket of hot air generated from the fire which then circulates above the pizza. The heat comes from the bottom up to the top of the dome and is then redirected back down to cook pizzas evenly. This also lets you cook more than one pizza at a time as overcrowding the base does not affect the cooking process.
Therefore things like the height of the dome, available circulating air and various openings can drastically affect how easy it is to heat the oven, how many pizzas you can cook at a time and the even cooking of the pizza once inside.
Apart from the materials and shape used to achieve that perfect temperature. Pizza ovens can also be used to cook a number of other meals (not just pizza). Wood-fired ovens can also cook roasts or bread perfectly. For some great recipes check out this site.
Cooking with wood - what is the best kind?
Wood is a clean, renewable and a carbon-neutral source of energy and a clear favourite when it comes to cooking. Alternatives can be gas or coal but the results differ depending on what you choose. But what is the best wood to use when cooking your perfect pizza? Oak is one of the hardest and densest woods, because of this it burns hot and long which is both cost-effective and also easier to maintain especially during the heating process. It is also the easiest wood to source, but not always the cheapest. Even though oak wood lets off a smokey flavour it doesn't have as much of a distinct flavour as a fruitwood would. Fruitwoods such as applewood, almond wood or cherry wood, are perfect companions to grilled foods and can complement your chosen meat beautifully. Learn more about what woods to use and what to stay clear from here.
When you are looking to purchase a new pizza oven it is important to look at not only the shape but also familiarise yourself with what the oven is made from, so you know you are making a smart investment in the long term.
Aesthetics is also an important factor when it comes to picking the right pizza oven. After all, there's a good chance you'll have your friends and family crowded around it in no time so you want to make sure it looks good too! Finding one that can be the social hub of your dinner party can not only be practical but also a talking point for your guests. Display cooking is becoming more popular especially when your guests can get involved. If a wood-fired pizza oven sounds like the perfect addition to your family then you can download a copy of our brochure by clicking on the button below.