Winter in Queensland: Warmth, Sunshine, and Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens
Winter in Queensland offers a delightful departure from the traditional cold weather experienced in other parts of Australia. With its mild temperatures, abundant sunshine, and diverse outdoor activities, Queensland stands out as a perfect winter destination.
In this blog, we will explore the unique characteristics of winter in Queensland and delve into the joys of using wood-fired pizza ovens to enjoy outdoor cooking, even in cooler temperatures.
Embracing Queensland's Unique Winter Experience
Unlike the chilly winters experienced in other Australian states, Queensland enjoys a subtropical climate that offers milder temperatures throughout the winter months.
With average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), residents and visitors can revel in comfortable days and escape the harsh cold.
True to its nickname, Queensland boasts an abundance of sunshine even during winter. While other regions may experience overcast skies and gloomy days, Queensland remains a sunny paradise.
The warm rays of the sun create a pleasant outdoor atmosphere, perfect for exploring the state's stunning natural landscapes and indulging in outdoor activities.
Queensland's picturesque beaches offer a unique winter experience. With fewer crowds and enjoyable temperatures, winter is an ideal time to soak up the sun, stroll along pristine sands, and take refreshing dips in the ocean.
Combining the pleasure of the beach with the comfort of mild weather, Queensland's winter beach days are a true treasure.
The Joy of Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens in Winter
Cosy Outdoor Cooking:
While cooler temperatures might discourage outdoor cooking in other parts of Australia, Queensland's mild winter creates an inviting environment for outdoor culinary adventures
Wood-fired pizza ovens provide the perfect solution, allowing you to relish the warmth and ambience while preparing delicious meals in your backyard or patio.
Versatility and Authenticity:
Wood-fired pizza ovens offer versatility beyond pizzas alone. They can be used to prepare a wide range of dishes, from succulent roasts to mouthwatering bread and delectable desserts.
The high heat generated by these ovens ensures quick and even cooking, while the smoky flavours imparted by the wood infuse the food with an authentic and unique taste.
Socializing and Entertaining:
Cooking with a wood-fired pizza oven creates a unique social experience, especially during winter gatherings. Friends and family can gather around the warm glow of the oven, sharing stories and laughter while enjoying the tantalizing aromas and flavours of freshly baked pizzas.
The ambience created by the crackling fire and the joy of outdoor cooking in the winter months makes for memorable moments and cherished connections.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability:
Wood-fired pizza ovens are energy-efficient and eco-friendly cooking options. The use of natural and renewable fuels, such as firewood, reduces reliance on electricity or gas.
Additionally, the residual heat generated by the oven can be utilized for other cooking purposes or to warm outdoor spaces, adding an extra touch of cosiness during cool winter evenings.
Winter in Queensland offers a refreshing twist on the traditional cold weather experienced in other parts of Australia. With its mild temperatures, sunny days, and a wealth of outdoor activities, Queensland beckons residents and visitors to embrace the great outdoors even during the cooler months.
And what better way to enjoy outdoor cooking in winter than with a wood-fired pizza oven!
These versatile ovens not only provide delicious meals but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere for socializing and entertaining. So, whether you're a Queensland local or planning a visit, don't miss the opportunity to savour the joys of winter in Queensland while indulging in the pleasures of wood-fired cooking.
Here are some winter recipes for your wood-fired pizza oven.
WOOD-FIRED OVEN STEAKS
- Preheat the pizza oven to 400c for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rub the steaks all over with 1 tablespoon of the butter each, then season generously with salt and pepper.
- Put a medium cast-iron skillet in the pizza oven and let it heat for 5 minutes.
- Place the steaks in the skillet, return the skillet to the oven and cook until there is a dark brown crust on the bottom of the steaks, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Flip the steaks and cook until the other side develops a dark brown crust, 2 to 5 minutes more.
- Transfer the steaks to a cutting board with tongs, reserving the skillet. Holding the steaks in place with the tongs, cut 1/2-inch-thick slices crosswise.
- Transfer the steaks back to the skillet, pushing the slices together so they all touch.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on top of each steak and return to the oven.
- Cook to your desired temperature, basting with the melted butter halfway through.
NOTE: For reference, medium rare was about 2 minutes more for us, but it may vary based on your oven's temperature
WOOD-FIRED MAC AND CHEESE
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Add and cook just until tender:
- 2 cups elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
- 2 1/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar/gouda or Colby cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole or skim milk
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Fire up your oven, and get the temp up to about 350˚ Celsius
- Fill a cast iron pot with a few cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta and place a cast iron pot in the middle of the hearth. Check it every few minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, the pasta will be fully cooked.
- Take the pasta out of the oven, strain it, and pour it into a baking dish. Cover and set aside.
- Head back to the oven, rake the coals over the hearth and let them sit for 20 minutes, then rake them out of the oven and close the door. This will equalize the temperature
- Next, melt the following in your cast iron pot (see recipe for exact measures) butter, flour, milk, minced onion, 1 bay leaf, and paprika. Let these simmer for 15 minutes before adding your cheese.
- Grate Gouda-style cheese.
- After grinding a little salt and pepper to taste, add two-thirds of the grated cheese and let it melt down for 5-10 more minutes before adding in the macaroni.
- When the cheese melts, stir in the macaroni, and pour half of it into the baking dish. Then sprinkle half of the remaining cheese over the layer of macaroni. Add the rest of the macaroni on top.
- Before putting the macaroni and cheese back in the oven to finish baking, combine a half stick of butter with a cup and a half of breadcrumbs to make the top layer along with any leftover cheese.
- For the last step, put the dish back in the oven to bake. Bake it for 18 minutes at 185˚ Celsius. Bread crumbs should be toasted. Let it sit for 5 minutes to cool.
NOTHING LIKE A WOOD-FIRED BREAD RECIPE
- 3 cups water lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon yeast 1 packet
- 1.5 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- 6.5 cups white flour unbleached, all-purpose white flour
- Cornmeal for pizza peel
- Add 1 Tbsp. yeast to bowl along with 1-2 Tbsps kosher salt. Add 3 cups of warm water. Stir.
- Gradually add 6 1⁄2 cups flour.
- Stir the mixture until it's thickened and well combined. I use this Danish Whisk which is GREAT. Cover the bowl with a tea towel. Allow to rise for 2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen divide it into 3. Form each section into a ball and pull the 4 sides of the dough underneath. This is stretching out the gluten and aligning it. It gives you a nice tight top to the bread.
- Preheat oven to 250˚ Celsius. You want it to heat for an hour before baking your bread.
- Leave the dough for its final proof on a very well-floured proofing cloth (the floured, linen mat you see in my video) or tea towel for 45 minutes.
- After it's proofed, gently transfer it to your peel or baking tray/stone. Cut several slashes across the top. This allows the bread to move upwards as opposed to sideways when it bakes.
- Bake until the interior temperature of the bread is 100˚ Celsius. (about 25 minutes).
* If you want a crispier crust, when you're heating your oven add a deep pan. Right after you put your bread in the oven, throw a cup of water into the empty hot pan. This will create steam which is GREAT for baking bread.
*You can also just use a third of the dough, and put the remaining dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*For an extra nice crust, bake the bread in a preheated Dutch oven. Leave the lid on for the first 15 minutes of the bake and then remove it.
*Try removing 1 cup of the white flour and replacing it with Red Fife, Rye or another flour for a different flavour.
For more delicious wood-fired pizza oven recipes, follow the Authentic Pizza Ovens blog.
If you have any queries or need more information, call us at 0411-331-911 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meat Dishes You Can Cook in a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
- 5 Easiest Dishes To Cook in A Wood-Fired Oven
- 5 Advantages of Having A Wood-Fired Oven
- Authentic Pizza Ovens