If there is one calorie-blasting product that’s everyone’s guilty pleasure, it would have to be pizza. When you learn how to make your own pizza, you gain more control over what goes inside it, leading up to a healthier recipe.
Of course, making pizza isn’t always easy, and having a proper oven is part of what could make or break it. So, without too much delay, let’s talk about backyard pizza ovens: how to choose them, why you need them, and what products are purchase-worthy.
How to Choose
Before spending money on a pizza oven, be it an outdoor or indoor one, there are some things to consider in order to make sure you don’t get frustrated with ending up with the wrong product. So, if you’re not sure what shopping for a pizza oven is all about, take the following guidelines into consideration:
- The size of the pizza oven should play an important part in your shopping decision because small households don’t need large ovens and some people might not even have the space to put them. Small pizza ovens are up to 26 inches wide and can fit one small pizza at a time, medium-sized ovens are about 27 to 33 inches wide and can cook up to 4 12-inch pizzas at once, large pizza ovens have between 34 and 42 inches in width and can hold even 6 12-inch pizzas at once, while XL ovens have a width greater than 43 inches and can cook a bunch of pizzas simultaneously.
- Pizza ovens are also divided according to their class and knowing these classes can help you determine which one suits you best. You have economy pizza ovens (usually portable models, with a small cooking area), practical ovens (budget-oriented products), premium pizza ovens (more versatile and made from commercial-grade stainless steel), and luxury ovens (for those of you looking to make perfect pizzas every time, constructed with high-quality materials).
- The construction of the pizza oven is also a chapter that requires more information and research. The majority of pizza ovens that you’ll find on the market usually have a refractory cement interior and a steer exterior. The less expensive ones are made with painted or powder-coated steel, and the best ones are usually made from stainless steel because it’s more durable. As for the inside of the oven, you can opt between ovens that have a single poured cement dome, a steel construction, or steel bodies with refractory tile floors.
- If you look at our sections below, you can see that there are multiple types of pizza ovens, so you’ll have to read about them and see which type caters to your needs.
- Lastly, consider the accessories that come with your pizza oven choice. These include pizza peels, cutters, cutting boards, cast-iron cookware, and more. Oh, and don’t forget about the pizza oven cover!
Pros & Cons of Owning & Using a Backyard Pizza Oven
When it comes to outdoor pizza oven, the pros will always outweigh the cons, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of owning and using a backyard pizza oven:
Pro: You can socialize while you cook. When you have guests over for a meal, your only two options are to start cooking before the guests arrive or while they’re there. In both cases, you’ll most likely be alone in the kitchen. We all know that cooking with company can be a lot more fun. When you own an outdoor pizza oven, you can basically cook while you chat, have a beer, have a laugh, so you don’t have to sweat in the kitchen all by yourself anymore.
Pro: These ovens are good for more than just cooking pizza. You can make anything from steak or roasted vegetables and there are plenty of recipes out there that can teach you how to make delicious food using an outdoor pizza oven.
Con: Since you’re cooking outdoors, chances are you’ll be conditioned by weather. This, of course, depends on the actual positioning of the oven, but since it’s most likely not hidden under a roof, then you will find it difficult to cook when it’s raining or snowing outside.
Pro: You get to spend more time outside. Basically, anything that forces you to stay outdoors for longer is highly recommended, and with an outdoor pizza oven, you have one extra excuse to not be indoors.
Pro: It’s fun to cook outside. Using a pizza oven creates a rather unique experience, especially if you enjoy cooking overall. There is nothing like pulling a tasty pizza out of an outdoor oven.
Con: Naturally, compared to a regular stove oven, an outdoor one will be more difficult to clean because it’s bigger and has nooks and crannies that aren’t that easy to reach.
Types of Pizza Ovens
Pizza ovens are usually classified according to a variety of different rules, so let’s try to cover the common types and determine if they are suitable for your needs:
- Wood pizza ovens are designed to heat up by burning wood. The fire is started either in the main compartment, right next to the pizza, or in a separate one which is usually below the cooking area.
- Gas pizza ovens are amazing because they offer a steady supply of fuel without you having to get your hands dirty and burning wood. They are constructed with a bunch of different types of burners.
- Built-in pizza ovens are usually built with a stone or a ceramic exterior, and have an enclosure where one can find storage room for the wood or space to store a propane tank.
- Countertop pizza ovens occupy less space, but do require a sturdy support to be placed on.
- Freestanding pizza ovens are another viable option for a backyard, as they are basically designed as ovens on a cart. They are highly mobile and less expensive than building an oven into an enclosure.
- Portable pizza ovens speak for themselves. They have smaller cooking chambers but they are perfect for long-time campers that still want to be able to make delicious pizza on the go.
Pizza Oven Recipe Ideas
As mentioned before, there are so many things that you can cook inside an oven besides actual pizza, so we’ve put together a list of recipe ideas to help you get started on your next Google search and make the best out of your pizza oven:
- Pulled pork is one recipe idea because your pizza oven can easily double as a smoker. The flavor will be amazing, especially if you have a wood oven.
- Corn on the cob is a classic barbecue recipe, but it tastes even better when made in a pizza oven. Just make sure to soak the husks first to prevent them from burning.
- Gratin potatoes can be served as a side dish to a lot of steaks (which can also be cooked in the pizza oven) and when you place them inside the pizza oven, the cheese topping will be a delight to eat.
- Maple plank salmon is one of our favorites, because it’s healthy and tastes amazing at the same time. If you cook it on a plank of wood, the flavors are enhanced and the fish stays moist.
Backyard Pizza Oven Inspiration
Looking for some outdoor layouts that have pizza ovens as a centerpiece?
Mugnaini suggests opting for this white setup for all those of you passionate about alfresco dining. There are multiple shapes that match this decor perfectly.
SHED Architecture & Design shows you how you can have a compact pizza oven with extra space for storing firewood and an integrated side table for cooked and uncooked food.
In this photo by Futral Construction, you can see how rustic elements are combined to make room for an exquisite outdoor cooking space, having a pizza oven as a focal point.
What could be more beautiful than sitting in front of an outdoor fire after you’ve enjoyed a tasty meal prepared in a pizza oven? Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design suggest this layout for all those of you that just can’t get enough of that fresh outdoor air.
Jeff King & Company is here to show you that with an outdoor pizza oven and a grill, you literally have everything you need to never have to cook in a kitchen again.
The Best Backyard Pizza Ovens
This 60” H x 48” W x 48” D pizza oven has a cooking surface area of 870 square inches and is a wood-fired oven that’s made with stainless steel. It can cook at a maximum temperature of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and is available in a red and black version. It has a storage tray underneath it and caster wheels for extra portability.
Made by the same manufacturer as the one who made the oven above, we have yet another wood-fired product that’s available in a black and a red option. It measures 90” H x 48” W x 48” D and has a cooking area of 14” H x 29” W x 27” D. when assembling it, you will need an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver, and a socket wrench. It’s made from stainless steel and comes with a storage tray underneath it.
If it’s a stylish and vintage-looking pizza oven you’re after, you are going to love this one. It measures 47.5” H x 18.5” W x 16” D and offers a cooking area of 10” W x 13.5” D. It is made from cast-iron which is durable and comes with an antique-bronze finish to compliment your rustic exterior design. It has a stainless steel grill top and a screen door opening of 10.5″ W x 13.5″ H.
Coming in strong at 32” H x 43” W x 43” D and with a cooking area of 19” H x 31” W x 33” D, we have this very practical pizza oven designed with premium hardware and a solid construction overall. It is a built-in type of pizza oven that’s constructed using steel, bricks, and cement, and can withstand temperatures of up 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a wood-burning oven and comes delivered together with a patch kit for superficial cracks that might appear over time.
The Talavera outdoor pizza oven is another product that we just couldn’t ignore. It measures 15.5” H x 26” W x 26” D and has a mouth opening of 5.75″ H x 15″ W and works at a maximum temperature of 650 degrees Fahreinheit. It’s made from clay and doesn’t require any adult assembly to start using it. It works by burning wood and has a natural brown color that could easily fit into a multitude of existing backyard decors.
With a domed design and measuring 93” H x 37” W x 41” D, this pizza oven is a regular beast. It’s a wood-fired oven designed to withstand temperatures of up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. It offers a cooking area of 28” W x 28” D and it’s built from quality stainless steel. It is equipped with caster wheels for easier mobility, and portability is always a plus when you don’t want to be stuck cooking in the same corner of the yard all the time.
For smaller families or for those of you that have limited outdoor space but would still like a pizza oven, this little fellow right here is a true gem. It measures 52” H x 19” W x 22” D overall and offers a cooking area of 9.5” H x 17” W x 15.5” D, making it suitable for individual pizzas that have a maximum diameter of 11”. Made from clay, this pizza oven has a very cute design and offers a storage rack for your wood right underneath it.
This backyard pizza oven is another potent product that’s bound to aid you in preparing delicious meals outdoors. It measures 48.75” H x 33.25” W x 30” D and has a cooking area of 13.25” H x 24” W x 20” D. It’s made from stainless steel and works as a countertop oven with a maximum cooking temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Our last suggestion in terms of quality backyard pizza ovens is this beauty right here. It’s a wood-fired oven that operates at temperatures of maximum 900 degrees Fahrenheit and promises to offer you 6” H x 20” W x 20” D of cooking space. It’s made from stainless steel and measures 74” H x 49” W x 26” D overall.
Is an outdoor pizza oven worth it?
Truth be told, you are the only one who can answer this question. Overall, if you love pizza, have enough space outdoors for an oven, have a large family or plenty of guests over for cookouts, a pizza oven is an absolute gem of a product to have.
How much does it cost to build a pizza oven?
Assuming that you don’t want to buy a pizza oven and you want to make one from scratch, you should know that it can cost anything between $1,500 and $4,500. Of course, you can go nuts and buy the very best materials to build a high-quality pizza oven, but when you draw the line, that could cost you up to $10,000.
What else can you cook in a pizza oven?
The best part about owning an outdoor pizza oven is that you’re not limited to cooking JUST pizza. You can use that oven to make steaks, roast vegetables, make bread, cook delicious potato recipes, grill fish, and plenty of other delicious meals.
We truly hope that we provided you with enough knowledge and inspiration to choose a quality pizza oven suitable for your needs. Make sure that you consider the many different types of indoor and outdoor pizza ovens that exist, because they each have their own set of features and characteristics, and only when you’ve analyzed them all will you be able to tell which product is best for you.