Cooking with your At-Home Pizza Oven: What You Need to Know
No matter who you are, there’s definitely a learning curve when adjusting to using a pizza oven versus your ordinary stove.
The most important thing to remember while getting the hang of baking pizzas in your brand-new oven is that trial and error is necessary. You’ll probably end up burning a pizza or two in figuring out the nuances of your personal oven, but that’s perfectly fine!
However, we know that no one wants to pull a smouldering, black pizza from the oven when you’ve been craving a restaurant-quality pie all night, so here are some of our best tips on getting the most out of your pizza oven!
#1: Choose the right wood
The wood you use for your pizza oven is more important than you think. For example, using woods like pine or other conifers can easily emit sap when burning and turn your oven into a sticky mess— not to mention, they could leave your food tasting or smelling a little funky.
We suggest using air-dried hardwoods such as maple, hickory, or oak, as these burn at higher temperatures and heat your oven quickly.
#2: Start the fire slowly
When starting your fire, it’s best to begin with a small pile of kindling or a non-toxic fire starter. Once you have a small flame, start adding only small pieces of wood at a time. This will ensure that you have the most control over your oven’s temperature. After all, it’s much harder to cool it down than it is to heat it up.
Once you have a lively flame, add wood as needed (though no more than about 2-3 inches in diameter). Additionally, be prepared to wait. Heating a pizza oven to the correct temperature (about 371C) can take a while (30-90 minutes).
#3: Once you’re finished cooking, remember to clean
Cooking in a pizza oven is a wonderful experience, but it does come at a price: it won’t take long to amass a large pile of ashes you have no idea what to do with.
To clean out your oven, allow it to cool overnight to ensure you don’t burn yourself. The following day, simply take a scoop and shovel all of the ashes and refuse out of the oven. What you do with it next is up to you, of course, but we recommend putting it into a compost bin, as these types of ashes are perfect for gardening.
If compost isn’t your thing, though, you can dispose of the ashes in a covered garbage bin, as most places don’t have regulations on how or where you can dispose of ash.
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Let’s Sum it Up:
Using a traditional pizza oven, while sometimes challenging, can be incredibly fun! Just remember to follow the tips outlined here, and pay attention to your oven. It will take some adjusting, but over time, it will tell you exactly what it needs to make the perfect pizza.
All you have to do is listen.
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- Romela Ortega