In this article we'll do our best to (impartially) guide you towards a great wood-fired pizza.
Why a wood-fired pizza oven?
Wood ovens are usually dome-shaped and made of some form of clay or concrete to retain the heat. A fire is then lit inside using hardwood, which gives a slower and more consistent burn, this enables the oven to get to a nice even temperature.
Getting your oven started
Getting your pizza oven going can take a couple of hours, but is well worth the effort.
- Load kindling-sized logs and firelighters at the front of the oven and light.
- Check back in 10-15 minutes.
- Add more kindling-sized pieces of wood.
- As these burn spread the glowing wood slightly.
- Add slightly larger pieces of wood.
- As these burn down spread the wood slightly.
- Over roughly 1-2 hours add wood and spread.
- Roughly 30 minutes before cooking stop adding wood.
- Minutes before the first pizza is ready push all embers and burning wood back to create a clear space for the pizza.
How to cook pizza in a pizza oven
This part is equal parts, fun and nerve-wracking! First, sprinkle a good amount of flour on the pizza paddle so the pizza slides off when it goes into the oven.
Next, slide the pizza into the oven a good distance from the still-burning wood.
How long does a pizza take to cook in a pizza oven?
Depending on the temperature it can be anywhere from 20 seconds. However with a good fire should they should take around 1-2minutes to cook.
Because this isn't an exact science you'll need to keep your eye on the pizza and watch for the cheese to bubble slightly. The edges will get hot first so make sure you turn the pizza using the paddle for a nice, even heat distribution.
Your first pizza may be your worst so you may want to consider taking one for the team and making that one your pizza!
If you're cooking a lot of pizzas you may need to add more logs to keep the heat going.
Toppings, is too much topping too much?
Without wanting to start a war of words, there is such a concept as too much of a good thing when it comes to pizza toppings.
Stacking your favourite toppings thick and high will prevent the heat from getting to the inside of your mushroom mountain. Your crust may be crisp, but the innermost items could still be a little soft.
Be kind to the pizza cooker and create a nice, even layer of toppings. You'll also enjoy the experience a bit more. Instead of having so many flavours that your mouth doesn't know what's hit it you can create great combinations from fewer items.
You also won't experience half your toppings sliding off the first time you pick up a slice.
Benefits of using a pizza oven over a traditional oven
There are few measurable benefits. A kitchen oven heats up in less time, can do two or more pizzas at once and takes a pretty standard amount of time to cook (making it easier to plan).
However, a wood-fired pizza oven creates a unique and authentic taste to each slice, it creates a social hub as people watch their pizzas get the genuine treatment, and the amount of effort invested makes for a more memorable experience.
It's the lifestyle a pizza oven creates that makes it so desirable. Friends and family will ask when your next pizza party is, and as it's an easy meal to cater for you may even find yourself wanting to fire it up of an evening.
There are many reasons why a pizza oven is a great investment, but it may take tasting your first wood-fired pizza for you to fully realise its full potential. For more information about our range of pizza ovens, download your very own copy of our brochure today by clicking on the button below.