Three Minute Care for Your Wood-Fired Oven
Finally, the long wait is over! Your newly purchased wood-fired oven has just been delivered. Everyone is excited to dip their hands and roll out the dough. Even relatives and friends could not wait to taste their first taste of pizza baked with an authentic wood-fired pizza oven. The coming days in your kitchen will be busier than usual. The last thing you have in mind is how to maintain a pizza oven.
So before you get lost in your excitement, here are ways to treat a wood-fired pizza oven if you want it to deliver the best results and prolong its life.
The following ways could make the job easier
Observe proper curing
Learning how to cure a pizza oven is the first step to take before you entirely operate your range. Nobody wants to eat a pizza with a new brick taste. Heating the oven at a high temperature for the next five days for 4-5 hours will do the trick. It will remove the moisture from the bricks, preventing them from cracking. It will also season it so the wood flavor we all dream about is ready to go.
The brick oven requires a longer curing time compared to metal ovens.
Maintain its cleanliness
Keeping your wood-fired oven clean is a breeze. The high temperature naturally disinfects the bacteria and molds and burns food morsels and grease. Leftover ashes could be removed using the following wood-fired oven cleaning tools:
- Oven brush
- Pizza peels (wood and metal)
- Bubble popper
- Ash shovel
- Pizza turner
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a wood-fired pizza oven.
1. Allow one day for your oven to cool down before cleaning it thoroughly.
Start by removing the ashes, food bits and wood remnants using either a shovel or a rake out of the oven.
2. Use an oven brush to scrape hard to remove burnt food particles, wood residue and oil from the oven floor.
Soap and solvents are unnecessary. Brush with metal bristles is recommended not to damage the heating surface of your oven.
3. Sweep the oven for the last time to remove the ashes.
4. Keep the oven door closed until the next cooking session. Closing the door would prevent water and moisture from coming in. It is important to ALWAYS cover your oven to protect it from any harsh weather, especially rain and snow.
5. Grease stains could be removed by rubbing with a sponge soaked in water and vinegar and rinsing it afterward. Using detergents is not ideal because they could alter the taste of food. If some soot deposits build up, use a wet sponge and quickly scrub.
Schedule a regular cleaning and maintenance check-up
Clean your wood-fired oven after every use to remove leftover foods. However, cleaning of the exhaust stack should be done monthly if you are using it frequently. Soot could build in the flue, blocking ventilation, making it a fire hazard.
If you are unsure how to clean the exhaust properly, seek a trained professional to do it
Outdoor cooking with a traditional, brick, wood-fired oven is a delightful culinary experience that you wish to enjoy now and then. Do not let a broken or malfunctioning oven dampen the fun. By simply maintaining and cleaning your outdoor pizza oven properly, you are assured of another gastronomic pleasure.
- Romela Ortega