Buyers Guide to Fire Pits

How to Choose a Pizza Oven:

If you enjoy pizza and hosting outside, then an outdoor pizza oven is a must-have for cooking and entertaining your guests. Choosing the right pizza oven involves considering several key factors to ensure it aligns with your preferences and culinary needs.

Types of Pizza Ovens

Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens: 

These ovens rely on wood as their primary fuel source and are favoured by traditionalists, or those looking for an authentic cooking experience. The natural fuel source leaves a distinctive smokey flavour and are known for being very reliable. There is, however, a significant learning curve involved in creating the fire and maintaining it whilst cooking. They will also need regular cleaning to prevent a build-up of soot. 

Gas-Fired Pizza Oven: 

Convenient and efficient, gas-fired ovens such as Ooni offer a consistent heat source for quick and controlled cooking. While offering a cleaner burn, they do rely on a constant supply of propane gas which can be more expensive than wood. Although gas ovens may not give the same authentic feel as their wood-fired counterparts, they are often easier to set up and clean. 

Electric Pizza Ovens: 

Easy to use and often suitable for indoor use, electric pizza ovens provide a reliable cooking method for those who perhaps can not cook outside. They are often a little smaller than other types of ovens but are still very user-friendly; enabling you to cook other things on them.

Important Features of Pizza Ovens

When evaluating your choices for pizza ovens, it is worth looking at the following factors to help you choose one right for you:

Pizza Oven Size:

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing is the size of the appliance, as it will affect the size of the pizza you can cook. Similarly, you must consider the size of your outdoor space and where you will be placing the appliance as it must be placed on a solid steady surface. 

Oven Temperature:

Look for ovens with the ability to reach high temperatures quickly, a key factor in achieving the perfect crispy crust. Due to the high temperatures of these ovens, they can be ready to eat in as little as 90 seconds. 

Cook Time: 

Assess how quickly and evenly the oven distributes heat to ensure consistent results across your pizzas. Consider the cooking time required for your preferred pizza style, especially if you’re aiming for quick and efficient cooking. Similarly, most ovens will reach their maximum temperature within 15-30 minutes of pre-heating – while this may seem like a long time, you can be prepping the dough and ingredients during this time.

Pizza Oven Buying Guide
Pizza Oven Buying Guide

Ease of Use

While the main factor of a pizza oven may be the performance and speed at which it can cook, it is also important to think about ease of use, including set up, cleaning and safety features. 

Setup and Cleaning: 

Evaluate how easy it is to set up the oven and clean it after use; low maintenance is often a desirable quality. Wood-fired ovens will require you to wait for the wood to burn down and then dispose of the leftovers, whereas gas-fired ovens burn cleanly and may only require a wipe-down between uses. 

Accessibility: 

If you are new to cooking with a pizza oven, it is recommended to start with a gas-fired oven as there is a steep learning curve involved with wood-fired ones. With wood-fired stoves, not only do you have to learn how to move quickly and efficiently, but there is a whole other art to learning how to create and maintain a fire that will produce the correct range of heat.

Portability: 

For those who value flexibility, portability is a crucial consideration. Portable pizza ovens are great for outdoor use and for those who want to take their pizza-making skills on the go. Some ovens may have design features such as foldable legs or a lower profile, enabling them to be transported more easily. Many ovens such as the Ooni ranges, have carry cases that can allow for them to be carried.

Versatility: 

While pizza ovens are primarily designed to cook just that – pizzas – there are some instances where you may be able to cook other foodstuffs such as bread or certain desserts. However, this will largely depend on the size of the oven chamber and the associated size of the opening.

Pizza Oven Buying Guide
Pizza Oven Buying Guide

Pizza Oven Accessories

You can enhance your pizza-making experience with accessories like pizza peels, stones, and more. Pizza peels, with their long handles and flat surfaces, enable the easy transfer of pizzas in and out of the hot oven, ensuring a smooth manoeuvring process. These are often stainless steel or wooden; the latter can double up as a serving board. 

Pizza stones, crafted from materials like cordierite or ceramic, absorb and distribute heat evenly under the pizza, contributing to the coveted crispy crust. Infrared thermometers provide accurate temperature readings, helping you maintain the ideal cooking environment. Lastly, covers will protect your pizza oven from the elements, extending its lifespan and preserving its performance. It is recommended that you store your pizza oven indoors during winter months to further protect the appliance.

If you’re looking for a pizza oven, pop in store at Holt Garden Centre to view our range. If you’re not quite sure which type or model is right for you, one of our friendly team will be happy to help you find the best one for you.

Read More

  • Garden Parasol Buyers Guide

    Garden Parasol Buyers Guide