If you’re wondering how to use a pizza oven, you’re in the right place.
The wood-fired pizza oven is becoming an increasingly popular product these days among people keen to make and enjoy their own pizza dough. With a wood-fired oven, you can create your own delicious pizza at home and get a unique taste, unlike anything you’d get from a gas oven.
Of course, learning how to cook a pizza with a wood-fired oven is important if you want to get the right results. The more you know about your pizza ovens, the more you can ensure your pizza cooks evenly, so you don’t end up with a mess.
Here’s your guide to making the most of your wood-fired pizza experience.
How to Light a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
The first step in using a pizza oven depends on the kind of oven you’re using. Gas pizza ovens are generally quite easy to use, as they involve simply adding gas to a container and pressing a button or turning a dial. It’s a lot like having an outdoor oven similar to the one in your kitchen.
If you’re using a wood-fired pizza oven, the approach is going to be a little different. You’ll have to open the door of your pizza oven and the chimney smoke vent at the same time and place the kindling in the centre of the oven. Your oven will need to burn wood pellets to get hot, so make sure you have plenty available before you prepare to start cooking your pizza.
Light your match or firelighter and place it in the middle of the pizza oven among the kindling. You might have to add a few logs of even the best wood to get the heat inside the oven as high as possible. Wood-fired pizza ovens cook at high temperatures. The pizza dome will begin to turn black because of the smoke produced by the wood fire. The firewood will also gradually turn white, and you may need to add more wood to the oven regularly to keep it hot.
Allow the temperature to increase until the entire oven floor is covered in a sort of white dust. Move the fire to ensure the wood is burning properly, and use your laser thermometer to check that your pizza oven is at the optimum temperature. The right temperature for most wood-fired pizza ovens will be around 350-400 degrees.
Preparing to Cook Your Pizza
Each pizza oven should have some instructions to follow for how to prepare for the first time you use it. Remember, some new pizza ovens will need to be cured before you use them – this is usually the case if you’re using a ceramic oven. Many domes come pre-cured to ensure you can start making your wood fire pizzas as quickly as possible.
If you do need to cure your oven, this will usually involve lighting a series of smaller fires inside the oven without the intention to cook anything. This will allow moisture to evaporate from the dome if any is left inside. You only need to cure the oven the first time you use it.
Once you’ve got everything set up, the best foundation for a good pizza will be to make good dough. There are plenty of options, including purchasing pre-made doughs, but the best solution might be to create your own. It’s much easier than most people think, and most of the time you spend making the dough will be spent waiting for it to rise.
You can create all kinds of great pizzas following menus and instructions online. It’s a great idea to add your own personal twist to the mix by adding creative extras like a dash of olive oil, herbs, or various recipe variations. Once you’re done with the dough, you can roll it out with a little flour and add your toppings. The pizzas you cook can be as experimental as you like once you’ve got your own wood-fired pizza oven. Just make sure you know how long your pizza toppings usually take to cook before you place them in the oven. The high oven temperature of the wood-fired dome usually means it will cook food much faster than a regular oven.
Cooking Your Pizza
Once you’ve prepared your pizza with all the ingredients you want, and you know your pizza oven is at the desired temperature, move the fire embers slightly to one side and to the back of the oven to make space for roasting your food. If you’re cooking the pizza, move the embers to the back of the oven so you can place the pizza towards the front.
Check the embers are still burning at high heat. If there are still embers and flames in the wood, you might need to open the door vent for a little while to avoid leaving too much smoke in the oven. You can then place your pizza inside. The key to a good pizza for many people will be using a pizza peel. The peel is the wooden instrument you might have seen being used at a professional pizzeria in the past. The flat wide tool helps you to move your pizza around on the pizza stone, so you can cook it perfectly.
When cooking your pizza, make sure that all parts of the pizza are getting enough heat to continue cooking perfectly for the whole time it’s in the oven. You’ll want a slightly charred edge and crispy crust (which you’ll have rolled out with your rolling pin) to get an authentic pizza oven taste. If the pizza doesn’t seem to have enough heat, or the fire starts to die when you’re trying to cook, you might need to add more logs to the fire. Continue to burn the wood in your pizza oven until the heat increases to a point where it can stay hot for a while.
Higher temperatures will always work best when you’re making pizza in your own home. Once you’re happy with the look and heat of your food, you can remove the pizza very carefully from within the oven’s surface. You might want to place some flour on a board to place it onto or a pizza stone after you’re done.
Enjoying Home Cooked Pizza
Cooking in a pizza oven and wood fire cooking ovens can both be very fun if you know how to use these tools correctly. Pizza ovens come in a range of different materials, some with ceramic floor and some with stone floor elements. No matter what type of pizza ovens you look at, the key to perfect cheese pizza or any other food is knowing how much heat to burn to get the best results.
Remember, you’ll need to keep the temperature high and the fire roaring if you want the full pizza to cook evenly. Once you get the hang of using a wood-fired pizza oven with your pizza peel, you’ll be ready to cook pizza at a moment’s notice. You can even use your pizza peel for cooking food outside of the cheese pizza.
Cooking With Your Pizza Oven
How to use a pizza oven? As long as you can get your food to heat evenly and your oven heats to an extremely hot temperature, you should get great results with your cooking – whether you’re making pizza or other hot meals.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pizza toppings after you’ve got used to how your oven heats. In no time, you’ll be an expert at creating the perfect pizza with outdoor ovens.
Remember to keep your pizza oven as clean as possible, too, so you can continue to use it in the future without having to worry about the smell of burned ingredients.