A Beginner’s Guide to Wood Fired Ovens

Pizza ovens have always been something of a staple in our North American society. Due to the popularity of pizzas around the world, they give us an option for a quick meal that we can buy whenever we’re busy. Many pizza shops also use them to run their businesses quickly and effectively, only adding to the popularity of pizzas and pizza ovens.

As a result, many manufacturers have started to sell pizza ovens that their customers can use at home. Much like barbecues, pizza ovens can use different types of fuel, each with their own advantages. Out of the different types, wood fired pizza ovens have been said to give the most authentic and smoky flavour that many people love.

To learn more about wood fired pizza ovens and how they work, read this article. If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, visit Dickson Barbecue Centre for all your needs.

How do pizza ovens work?

Depending on the type of fuel that the pizza oven uses, the general location of where the fire starts can vary. Generally, in wood fired ovens, logs are set up close to the back or sides of the oven then lit on fire to create heat. The heat is then trapped by the domed inside of the oven, with the inside often being made of bricks, tiles or even a combination of metal and insulating layers. With the added fact that many modern pizza ovens have doors or smaller openings, the internal temperature trapped inside can reach as high as 900 degrees fahrenheit or 482 degrees celsius.

One example of the materials that make a great pizza oven is a classic brick oven. Though more modern steel and metal ovens are far more common today, much of the heat trapping works the same. The inside of the oven is frequently made of terracotta and dried clay bricks, all sealed together with cement to retain heat for cooking.

Today, metal wood fired ovens work the same way as a brick or ceramic oven would, retaining heat inside for baking. However, they also tend to lose heat faster as well due to the fact that metal is a good heat conductor as well as the thinner walls. As a result, metal wood fired ovens need the fire inside to be even more carefully maintained to maintain a steady temperature. Despite this, both are still quite great options for cooking pizzas at home.

Types of pizza ovens

Beside what makes up the pizza ovens, they can also be categorised by how portable they are and even further by how they’re built or used. For example, many wood fired ovens are considered full sized, meaning that once you place it in a spot, it’s rarely moved. However, in more recent times, more portable wood fired options are being sold.

Full sized ovens

As the name suggests, full sized pizza ovens are typically large ovens, often made of a much heavier material like bricks. Even though there are smaller models available on the market, the main thread linking these types of ovens is that they tend to be harder to move. Many wood fired and full sized pizza ovens have a shelf built in or as an accessory that can be used to store logs or chunks of wood to be used.

Due to their more permanent position and builds, full sized wood fired pizza ovens are frequently loved due their high heat ranges and the speed at which pizzas can be baked at. With an oven like these, you can easily get a smoky, rustic pizza in 90 seconds or even less. Though initially costly, many have found that it can actually give you more value to your home at the end of the day.

Portable pizza ovens

These kinds of pizza ovens are typically much smaller and tend to be relatively lighter than their more stationary counterparts. Many wood fired models come with attached handles and use wood pellets instead of the usual logs as fuel, still allowing the smoky taste that a full sized oven would. However, due to their lighter sizes, portable pizza ovens aren’t capable of trapping the needed amount to reach the same high temperatures, at most reaching 700 degrees fahrenheit.

Many portable pizza ovens also come as a type of accessory you can place on your barbecue. Though many barbecues typically use gas or charcoal, others can also use wood as a fuel source. From there, all that’s needed is a portable barbecue grill and your pizza oven can be taken wherever you’re on the go.

Due to their smaller sizes, portable wood fired pizza ovens are a great option if you want to make homemade pizzas for a smaller group. If you tend to host smaller gatherings or just want to cook for your family dinner, portable ovens still bake pizzas at a quick rate, though one at a time. Though a little slower, the overall quality never drops.

FAQs on pizza ovens

Why are pizza ovens so hot?

In case you’re wondering why a pizza oven needs to reach such high temperatures, one of the reasons is that it allows the pizza to cook much faster. But not only does this mean you can eat a delicious pizza much sooner than if you just used your kitchen’s oven, it also allows your pizzas to be healthier. The high temperatures allow the vegetables and meats to cook quicker, retaining their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants far better while still being juicy.

Why do they have chimneys?

Much like a house’s chimney, a pizza oven uses a chimney to vent out any excess hot air and smoke from the inside. When it comes to wood fired pizza ovens, the chimney has the added requirement of also getting any ash out, too. The extra heat, smoke and ash can be hard to clean off from the insides and can even cause the oven to crack.

At the end of the day, pizza ovens are a great addition to a home, giving it value in more ways than one. With a little bit of work, you can have delicious rustic pizzas whenever you want.

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