What Makes A Great Outdoor Pizza Oven?
Before getting started on choosing your outdoor pizza oven, you should know first what makes a good woodfire pizza oven. You have to acknowledge that all outdoor ovens are not the same, and if in your excitement you bought one without any prior knowledge, then you are definitely going to suffer from a lifetime of guilt.
So what makes a pizza oven a perfect fit for all your needs and requirements? Consider the overall performance, design, quality, and features to figure things out. Read more to understand further.
What Is an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
An outdoor pizza oven is one that can be powered by gas, charcoal, or wood. These are usually dome-shaped cooking chambers that can reach extremely high temperatures ranging from 200 degrees C(212 degrees F) to 427 degrees C (800 degrees F) or more. The higher the temperatures of the ovens, the crisper and better the pizza crust will be. The best outdoor pizza ovens usually have a pizza stone, brick, and ceramic cooking surface, which absorbs pizza dough moisture to achieve the crispness that is loved by all.
The outdoor oven is actually designed for people who like entertaining guests. Aside from all this, it can help you prepare meals for everyone in no time, it also makes a pretty magnificent centerpiece to sit around your garden and enjoy your precious moments.
These days pizza ovens are not very big and massive, recently released models look similar to some of the outdoor barbeques. And who does not want their private pizzeria from the comfort of their home? Here are the key points to determine what makes your oven a great deal.
Oven temperature can reach from gentle heat to blazing hot temperatures. Cooking versatility greatly depends on how low and high the temperature can get. The best pizza oven will make you a crunchier crust than all the standard ovens can ever make. Our dealbreaker here is that the outdoor ovens offer easy fire management and a quick cook.
The best pizza ovens normally reach heat temperatures ranging from 370 to 800 degrees centigrade and since the heat can shoot up so high, they can cook pizza in just 90 seconds or in just minutes.
The design of ovens is one of the real tests of a good oven. Best pizza ovens will always have a vent over the opening to help the heat draw up throughout the oven for an even cook of the food. The vent helps in removing the smoke from the backside of the oven and even circulating the smoky flavor produced by the wood charcoal burning combination in the entire oven. Air circulation pattern is critical to achieving high-quality, and evenly cooked food every time.
A good pizza oven means it has excellent insulation ability. Quality insulation is essential because of the necessity of sustaining very high temperatures throughout the cooking process. Insulation material takes full control of heat absorption and retention. If the insulation is damaged or of poor standards then the oven will not stay hot enough to create quality food products. You will end up making some unevenly and spotty cooked pizzas every time. The exterior of the oven must also be fully insulated, meaning the dome and the hearth too. This is to make sure that the high temperatures do not reach the exterior doom and make the oven dome terribly hot to touch and even in some cases prevent the oven from setting fire to your pizzas or backyard.
It is quite a necessity for ovens to have an accurate thermometer. To create a perfect pie or any side dish you need to have an accurate measure of the temperature, as every meal requires a different temperature for baking or cooking. Easy management taking food in and out of the heat, sliding doors, and quality-of-life accessories are some of the features of a good outdoor pizza oven.
What Are The Varieties Of Outdoor Pizza Ovens?
Outdoor pizza ovens have become more and more popular nowadays. Due to the high demands and versatility of these ovens, they are now available in a much wide range of sizes, prices, and with different fueling methods.
- Charcoal and Gas pizza ovens are noticeably cheaper and smaller. Portable ovens can be fueled up with gas, charcoal, wood chips, or wood pellets. There are also some gas and electric models offered in the market, but the produced heat temperature is not what a wood-fired oven can provide. They are available in a tabletop model or that can directly be placed over a charcoal or gas grill.
- Wood-fired pizza ovens are the ones comparable to what is used in an actual pizzeria. These ovens are heated by the wood fire until it reaches the desired temperature. Wood-fired pizza ovens give pizza a smoky taste that can never be obtained with charcoal or gas burner. These ovens are generally more expensive and bigger than gas and electric models. Wood-fired pizza ovens are available in large varieties from portable, made of refractory bricks or stainless steel, heavy-duty countertop in your kitchen or garden, or the ones that are difficult to relocate once they’re set up.
Ovens can be termed as portable or stationary. For those who engage a lot in traveling, camping, tailgating or simply looking for a more compact pizza oven for your outdoor cooking, then a portable oven will be the best pizza oven for you. Portable pizza ovens are lightweight and can work on gas, wood fire, and electricity. While a stationary oven is immovable and large. It is typically built into the backyard or your kitchen.
What Can You Make In An Outdoor Pizza Oven?
An outdoor pizza oven is a perfect addition to your garden or backyard because of its versatility, aesthetics, entertains and feeds the crowd, creates a perfect get-together moment. Apart from making delicious pizzas, it can do all of your cooking, roasting, baking, and almost everything you desire if you have the knowledge and skills to make that meal.
Cooking steaks is very easy in an outdoor pizza oven. Just find a perfect rack to hold the steaks directly over the fire. Add your preferred oil to it for a complete cook on all the sides and add pepper, salt, and the flavor you prefer. If you have a wood-fired pizza oven then you are definitely going to love the smoky flavor on your steaks that come from the burning of wood. That’s it the delicious steak is ready to serve and combine it with your favourite flavours that you love to create the perfect meal.
A wood-fired oven is perfect for cooking barbeque ribs, as they require a lot of heat and time to cook. Barbeque ribs require intense temperature for cooking that can be easily achieved by a pizza oven but the temperature needs to checked timely so that your ribs are fully cooked for a delectable treat.
Pizza ovens are not just great for making pizzas but for many other meals too. That you might have figured out till now. You can cook almost everything with an open flame mixed with your skills and knowledge. Outdoor pizza ovens are your best choice for cooking several side dishes along with your most loved pizzas. Side dishes that can be made with these are: -
- Roasted vegetables
- Baked or grilled fish
- Slow-cooked meats
- Jacket potatoes
- Creamy soups
- Focaccia and flatbreads
- Shrimps, potato wedges, and potato chips
- Baked feta
- Clams, mussels, and squid
- Hot desserts
Bake fresh bread
Want to make some delicious bread without having to go to the stores, then a pizza oven is your best choice. A pizza oven can make you delicious breads right from the comfort of your home. Prepare your favourite dough recipe and place it on the floor for it to rise into a beauty. More the moisture content more the dough will rise thus creating a very soft and moist center that is loved by every bread lover.
What Are The Advantages Of Outdoor Pizza Ovens?
- Great for holding a social al-fresco dining
- Pizzas cook real quick
- They can reach higher temperatures which is a must to create quality pizzas
- They can also be used to cook fish, meat, or bread in bulk.
- Practical and affordable
What Are The Disadvantages Of Outdoor Pizza Ovens?
- A more expensive choice
How Much Does an Outdoor Pizza Oven Cost?
Sometime in the past, outdoor pizza ovens were as unobtainable and as mythical as a golden unicorn. Only those super-wealthy could afford to buy one, let alone they have extra space to build one. But nowadays, the elusive golden horned wood-fired ovens have been modified into a beautiful, compact, and affordable reality.
Depending on the fuel method and model you choose, the prices of outdoor ovens range from less than $200 to several thousand. If you are opting for masonry pizza ovens, you will have to take into consideration the materials costs, price of cement blocks, rebar for the oven base, and insulating materials.
Is Getting An Outdoor Pizza Oven Worth It?
Pizza is known to be the most popular takeaway food. Today in Australia, there are 100s of options to choose a pizza. But having an outdoor pizza oven at home is a great deal.
There are plenty of ways to create mouthwatering pizzas at home from a regular simple pizza to an all-dancing all-singing wood-fired pizza oven in your outdoor area.
Whichever pizza oven you choose to have, always consider your budget before you finally jump in.