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Make Your Own Authentic Italian Pies in An Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Wood-fired pizza ovens are the latest must-have for your backyard cooking experience. You might think that you need to eat a lot of pizza on a regular basis to justify installing one in your outdoor living space, but they are actually a very versatile addition.

Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Sure, you can bake spectacular pizzas whose wood-fired flavor will outdo anything you can order in, but you can also cook many other things in a wood-fired pizza oven: Bread, vegetables, meats and marvelous steaks. And, while you probably don’t want to give up your grill for quick, daily grilling, a pizza oven is a worthy investment for family enjoyment and entertaining.

Of course, there are a number of decisions to make before shopping for a wood-fired pizza oven.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Our Favorite: Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Affordability and ease of use anywhere make this our pick overall. This entry-level pizza oven lets users get comfortable with making wood-fired pizza and is perfect for those who might only do so occasionally.

Overall: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Reaches 950°F (500°C) in 15 minutes, for fresh stone-baked pizza in just 60 seconds.

High-end: Bella Grande 32-Inch Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven On Cart

This baby does it all and doesn’t require a dedicated outdoor sport for installation, making it our high-end choice. It’s the ideal option for pizza lovers who do a lot of outdoor cooking in general.

Reasons Why You Need an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Reasons Why You Need an Outdoor Pizza Oven

High Temperatures for Fast Cooking

You can only get a true Neapolitan-style pizza with the high heat that a pizza oven provides. Its specific construction and heat retention create the perfect environment to cook up that thin, bubbly crust that you love. High temps also mean that you can easily feed a crowd with their favorite pies because they take just two or three minutes in the pizza oven. There’s no waiting 10 or 15 minutes per pizza like you do in an indoor oven, even when using a pizza stone.

It Gives Food an Incomparable, Unique Flavor

There’ something about that wood-fired pizza flavor that you can’t get with any other method. Again, this comes down to the high heat and fast cooking. While you can cook a pizza on a regular grill and it will taste better than one from an indoor oven, it’s still not the same – or as fast – as a pizza oven. In fact, anything you cook in a pizza oven will have that wood-fired flavor, from roasted chickens to seared meats or you favorite breads.

You Can Cook More Than Just Pizza

Speaking of other foods, you can cook just about anything else in a pizza oven too. Make as many pizzas as you want while the oven is at its hottest, and then use it to cook meats, breads and other dishes while the temperature is lower. There can be enough residual heat to bake breads and rolls or other dishes outdoors even as the oven cools down.

It’s More than Just Cooking – It’s an Experience

Using a wood-fired pizza oven is truly an outdoor experience and if you’ve ever wanted to refine your outdoor cooking skills, this is a great way to do it. From lighting the wood and tending the fire, to doing the cooking at different temperatures, it’s a slow food experience that connects you with the whole process. Using a pizza oven is not like grilling up a quick weeknight dinner for the family and it is not meant to be. It’s a fun Friday night or weekend experience that’s enjoyable start to finish

An Outdoor Pizza Oven is Party-Perfect

Entertaining is no problem with an outdoor pizza oven. The quick cooking of the high heat means you can make a long succession of pizzas in a short amount of time and still cook other foods. It’s a lot of fun to have friends and family join in, topping their own pizzas. The pizza oven becomes the centerpiece of your outdoor entertaining and adds to the special atmosphere of your party

Pizza Outdoors is More Fun

Sure, making pizza is fun, but making and cooking it outdoors brings it to another level. In the summer, it’s great to cook in the back yard and avoid heating up the house. In cooler — and even frigid – weather, the pizza oven is a great centerpiece for being toasty warm outside while making and enjoying your pizzas. The bottom line is that an outdoor pizza oven is just a lot more fun.

It’s an Investment You’ll Enjoy

Depending on the type you choose, an outdoor pizza oven can be a bit of an investment, especially if you choose a built-in style that requires masonry work. That said, it is money well spent because it’s not only for family cooking, but also for entertaining. You’ll enjoy it as will your friends and family. Besides, it also means spending more time outdoors, enjoying the backyard or patio.

The best options for an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven:

1. Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza OvenView in gallery

Pizzas and parties are a great mix and this fabulous wood-fired pizza oven lets you have both anytime you feel like it. Cook up a few pies for the family or turn out a crowd’s worth of crusty Neapolitan pizzas for a gathering. This portable pizza oven heat up quickly and cooks fast, whether that’s in. your own backyard, on the beach or at a campground.

The Basics

  • Provides consistent high heat thanks to hardwood pellet fuel
  • Makes tasty woodfired pizzas up to 12-inched in size
  • Hits 950°degrees in 15 minutes
  • Bakes pizzas in little more than a minute
  • Super portable at just 22 lbs.
  • Up to a 3-year warranty

Why Should I Buy the Ooni Fyra 12?

Many people think that wood-fueled ovens are a lot of bother but the wood-pellet fuel used in the Ooni Fyra 12 pizza oven makes it super simple to use. There’s a hopper that uses gravity to automatically feeds the pellets into the fire and a compact 6.5-lb. bag of pellets will give you a good 2-3 hours of cooking time. It’s actually the successor model to the first-ever wood-pellet fueled pizza oven. It’s also great for cooking other foods like steaks or other meats.

Why Should I Buy the Ooni Fyra 12View in gallery

The design of the oven and wood fuel help it heat up really quickly: You can be sliding in your first pizza in just 15 minutes! For many people, the next most appealing feature is that the Ooni Fyra 12 pizza oven doesn’t require a dedicated space on your patio or in your outdoor kitchen: It has folding legs and the hopper and chimney can be removed and stored inside the oven when you’re not using it or want to take it with you to another location. And speaking of taking it with you, this pizza oven is super portable because it weighs just 22 lbs., which means you can take it to your next beach outing camping trip or tailgate party.

Ooni covers its products with a one-year warranty that can be extended three years by registering your pizza oven with Ooni.

The Extras

The Ooni Fyra 12 comes with a Cordierite stone baking board and the chimney cover doubles as a pellet scoop. You’ll want to purchase a pizza peel for safely shuttling the pizzas in and out of the oven. Some users say they also purchased an infrared thermometer to keep an eye on the interior temperature.

The Bottom Line

This is a great little pizza oven at an affordable price that cooks up delicious, authentic Neapolitan pizzas anywhere, anytime. The ease of use and quick heating make it ideal for weeknight family pizzas or a larger weekend gathering.

Pros:

  • Easily portable
  • Fires up to 900 F quickly
  • Cooks pizzas in about a minute
  • Great for larger groups

Cons

  • Only uses wood pellet fuel

2. Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza OvenView in gallery

Ooni’s Pro Portable Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven is a fabulous oven that quickly cooks one 16-inch pizza at a time — in as little as one minute! Ideal for a family and for casual entertaining, the Ooni lets you choose between cooking with wood or charcoal — or both. You can use charcoal as the main source of heat and then before cooking, add the wood that imparts the marvelous flavor everyone craves. Even better, a wood pellet burner accessory expands the number of fuel options for this oven. The exterior of the pizza oven is made from durable stainless steel that looks fabulous and the interior cooking surface is 324 square inches of Cordierite ceramic. Thanks to the cordierite stone and ceramic fiber insulation, the oven can hit 932 degrees Fahrenheit in just 20 minutes.

With this Ooni model, you can control the heat with the chimney as well as a ceiling vent, which makes it super versatile for cooking meats and vegetables as well as bread and other items. It actually has two different doors: A letterbox-style opening for sliding the pizzas in and out, and the Ooni Pro Door with Thermometer. This second door lets you keep an eye on the temperature and features a  fully removable door so that you can cook bread, large pieces of meat and food in a cast-iron skillet. Ooni pizza ovens come with a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship and by registering your Ooni online, you extend the warranty for an extra year.

Pros:

  • The Ooni Pro is a lightweight 57 pounds and has an easily removable chimney, which adds to its portability.
  • Buyers noted that even pre-made fresh pizzas are stunningly good when made in this oven.
  • The different fuel options make it more versatile for cooking other food items.

Cons:

  • Some buyers had trouble adjusting the heat so that it cooks the center of the pizza properly.
  • It must be placed on a fireproof surface.

3. ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza OvenView in gallery

The perfectly puffed crust of a wood fired pizza with the ease of a gas grill are yours when you choose the ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven. This portable model can reach temperatures over 932ºF and cook your pizza in just 60 seconds. Set this up anywhere and start cooking in about 15 minutes.

The Basics

  • Ready to cook out of the box
  • Totally portable
  • Exterior stays safe to the touch
  • Gas-fueled for convenience
  • Cooks other foods too

Why Should I Buy the ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven?

This small but mighty portable outdoor pizza oven gives you the puffy crust of wood-fired pizza but without the wood fire. Those who are dedicated to their gas grills will love the convenience of this gas-fired pizza oven that has the same heating power of a wood-burning oven. Flip the switch and within 15 minutes, the oven will hit 900 degrees and within 30 minutes, the stone interior will be at 840-850 degrees. The temperature level is easily regulated by adjusting the eight of the flame. For those who would rather have wood, a detachable wood burner can be purchased separately.

Why Should I Buy the ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza OvenView in gallery

The ROCCBOX also has an added safety feature on the form of an outer silicone coating that helps prevent accidental burns from touching the exterior of the oven. Although it’s designed with pizza in mind, this oven can also bake, roast, grill or barbecue the foods of your choice, making it a great on-the-go model. The retractable legs and detachable burner make set-up a breeze too.

The Extras

The ROCCBOX by Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven comes with the Gas Burner, a pizza peel, bottle opener and the user’s manual. The oven is also supported with a library of delicious recipes, “how to” videos, Guest chef interviews and cooking sessions available on the Gozney website.

Pros:

  • Ready to go out of the box
  • High heat with the convenience of gas
  • Complete portability
  • Quick heating
  • Cooks pizza in about 60 seconds.

Cons:

  • At 63 lbs. it’s heavier than other portable models.

4. Clay Freestanding Wood-Fired Pizza Oven in Gray

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Family fun with rustic style – and delicious pizzas – is what you’ll get with the Clay Freestanding Wood-Fired Pizza Oven. This is a compact model that lets you burn your choice of fuel and looks great in the backyard. Cook up homemade pizza pies or give a pre-made pizza some extra oomph and flavor.

The Basics

  • Freestanding clay oven
  • Cooks pizzas up to 11 inches in diameter
  • Heats up to a maximum 400°F
  • Burn a choice of fuel types
  • Cooks homemade pizzas or premade products

Why Should I Buy the Clay Freestanding Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?

This is a stylish backyard pizza oven that will give any outdoor space a bit of authentic clay oven flair. Crafted in Mexico, it comes with a stand that puts it at a convenient height. Best of all, this pizza oven gives you great flexibility when it comes to the type of fuel that you can use: Hardwood, wood pellets and charcoal are all suitable for this model. Build up the fire in the back section of the oven and prepare your pizza for wood-fired cooking that will add amazing flavor. Build a pie with all your favorite toppings on the iron grill and slide it in. The oven is also great for cooking other items, including breads.

Assembly of this oven is minimal: Grab a friend and put the oven on the stand (it weighs 69 lbs.), attach the door, insert the chimney and you’re ready to cook. The stand also has a handy shelf underneath to hold extra fuel like logs or a bag or wood pellets or charcoal.

The Extras

As mentioned above, the Clay Freestanding Wood-Fired Pizza Oven comes with its stand for safety and ease of use. It also comes with a bonus wooden paddle as part of a special promotion.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a pizza oven that will provide countless evenings of food and fun for the family, the Clay Freestanding Wood-Fired Pizza Oven. It’s a great choice for people who prefer a thicker crust or more toppings on their pizza than the traditional Neapolitan-style pizzas. Because the temperature is more moderate than some other models, it’s also perfect for premade pizzas and other foods. Fuel versatility is a plus.

Pros:

  • Options for fuel type
  • Lower temp for cooking versatility
  • Rustic clay oven style
  • Easy to incorporate into outdoor space

Cons:

  • Must be stored away in extreme weather to prevent cracking

5. Alfa 5 Minuti 23-Inch Outdoor Countertop Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

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For a super stylish centerpiece in your outdoor kitchen, you can’t beat the Alfa 5 Minuti 23-Inch Outdoor Countertop Wood-Fired Pizza Oven. It’s a compact design that can still accommodate two pizzas at once, meaning that you can host a big family or crowd of friends with ease. Just install this on your countertop and fire it up – no curing required!

The Basics

  • Can reach desired cooking temperature in as little as 5 minutes
  • Can accommodate 2 pizzas at one time
  • Insulated to retain heat
  • Fire brick cooking surface
  • Wood-burning

Why Should I Buy the Alfa 5 Minuti 23-Inch Outdoor Countertop Pizza Oven?

Loads of stylishness come along with this versatile woodfired pizza oven – it’s handcrafted in Italy after all. The dome shape is more than just attractive: It maintains the temperature inside the oven, which means that your pizzas and other foods will cook up evenly. Alfa’s patented Forninox technology helps the oven withstand the stress that high temperatures create by fusing the properties of modern steel and old-school cooking on a brick surface. This special technology also lets you heat up with less fuel, thanks to ceramic fiber insulation and the refractory cement cooking

Alfa’s pizza oven requires little assembly and best of all, no curing, which can be very time-consuming. Designed to be installed on a countertop, the copper-colored powder-coated stainless steel dome retains heat and a built-in thermometer lets you keep an eye on the interior temperature. Best of all, this oven’s 465 square inches of cooking space is perfect for making pretty much anything – breads, meats, vegetables and even desserts!

The Bottom Line

For a higher-end pizza oven that will be the centerpiece of your outdoor cooking space, you can’t beat Alfa 5 Minuti 23-Inch Outdoor Countertop Wood-Fired Pizza Oven. We love it because even though it requires a dedicated countertop space, installation is simple and you can be grilling the same day you get it! This model makes it simple to get authentic wood-fired flavor in your own backyard. Did we mention how great it looks too?

Pros:

  • Easy assembly and no curing
  • Heats up quickly
  • Versatile enough for much more than just pizza
  • Two-year warranty
  • Fabulous wood-fired flavor for foods

Cons:

  • Requires countertop installation

6. Bella Grande 32-Inch Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven On Cart

Bella Grande 32-Inch Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven On CartView in gallery

If versatility – along with outstanding pizza – is what you want, look no further than the Bella Grande 32-Inch Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven On Cart. This baby can cook four 12-inch pizzas at once and is ideal for everything from roasting meats and whole chickens to baking bread. Despite its large size, The Bella Grande heats up in 15 to 30 minutes and is fuel-efficient. Perhaps best of all, it sits on its own wheeled cart, so it’s easy to move and doesn’t require a dedicated outdoor kitchen.

The Basics

  • 32 x 24 inch cooking surface holds up to four 10-inch pizzas at once
  • Sturdy stainless steel construction
  • Heats up in 15 to 30 minutes
  • Freestanding and easy to roll around
  • Made in the USA
  • No curing required

Why Should I Buy the Bella Grande Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?

Whether you want to cook a range of dishes for dinner or want to crank out up to 60 pizzas on an hour for a party, the Bella Grande Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven will handle it with ease. Wood-fired cooking is easy with this oven because it heats up quickly and has a built-in thermometer for easy temperature checks. Inside the stainless steel construction, the oven features ceramic insulation. The 32 inch x 24 inch cooking floor is made of high-grade, 1.5-inch-thick refractory ceramic tiles, needs no curing and arrives ready to cook. Speedy heating also means that you can cook anytime you feel like it.

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This pizza oven is. Ideal for pizza, thanks to its ability to maintain a constant 800 degrees, but it also does so much more. While cooking directly on the ceramic tiles is the main appeal, using cedar planks, specialty pans and cast iron skillets. Residual heat is also ideal for baking after you’re done with the main event.

The Extras

Bella’s outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens come with a stainless steel pizza peel, a pair of gloves, and a wooden pizza server. So, stock up on wood so you’ll be ready to cook as soon as your oven arrives!

The Bottom Line

The great wood-fired cooking versatility of the Bella Grande Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven makes it a fabulous choice for people who want one oven that does it all. It heats quickly and can bake pizzas for a big crowd as well as cook virtually any other foods. This oven has a quality stainless steel exterior and is made in the USA. Best of all, it’s freestanding and doesn’t require installation or a dedicated outdoor kitchen space.

Pros:

  • Large cooking area
  • Holds up to four pizzas at once
  • Heats up in 15 to 20 minutes
  • No curing or installation required
  • Cook anything in this oven
  • Two-year warranty, Five-year for dome welds

Cons:

  • Must be used outdoors only

Features of an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Construction and portability

Portable or fixed?

This depends on where you want to put it. If you don’t have a permanent location for a fixed pizza oven, you can purchase a grill cart and install it on that. These are convenient because they can be wheeled around and easily store in the offseason. If you don’t use a cart, you’ll have to place it on a fireproof surface such as brick or stone, located at a safe distance from any structure. Wood-fired pizza ovens can also be incorporated in a full outdoor kitchen.

How large?

Consider how many pizzas you’ll want to make at one time and choose model that fits your needs. If you’ll mainly be cooking for a smaller family on a regular basis, a small pizza oven should work. If you have lots of parties or often feed a crowd, you’ll want to invest in something that can hold more pizzas at once.

What type of oven construction?

Most wood-fired pizza ovens are made with a stainless steel exterior, just like grills. This is because it retains heat well and is durable. Others — mostly the built-tin type — may be constructed of refractory cement in the Italian tradition. Also, the cooking surface is typically made of ceramic. Lastly, you’ll want to pay attention to the type of insulation used in the pizza oven. This is because super high heat is the key to cooking pizza properly, and the oven’s ability to not only heat up quickly but also to retain that heat is critical. You’ll want to look for insulation made from rock-spun wool or ceramic fiber for durability and performance.

What kind of fuel?

There’s nothing like the taste of a wood-fired pizza, so real wood is the way to go for an authentic flavor. That said, numerous models of wood-fired pizza ovens allow you to cook with charcoal or wood pellets instead of, or in addition to, real wood. Generally, a fire fueled by charcoal will not get as hot as a wood fire.

There are a few important things to keep in mind about a wood-fired pizza oven. Because you’re using real wood and need the oven to be at a very high temperature to quickly cook the pizza, it does take time to heat up to the proper temperature. Using real wood also means that you’ll have to tend the fire while preheating and cooking. If you’re the type of person who loves their gas grill because it’s quick and convenient, you might be happier with a gas version of an outdoor pizza oven.

Types of Outdoor Pizza Ovens

Types of Outdoor Pizza Ovens

1. Brick Pizza Ovens

This is probably the type of pizza oven that you automatically think of at the mention of authentic wood-fired pizza. It is also the traditional Italian pizza oven that you see in the shape of a half-dome or igloo. The main feature is that one internal chamber holds the fire and serves as the cooking space.

Some of these ovens are Tuscan style, which means they are taller and have a larger opening, while others are known as Neapolitan because the rounded section is a little flatter and not as high. Real pizza aficionados love the Neapolitan style oven because it is designed specifically for pizza. You can certainly bake bread and cook other items in it, but its shape and design help it achieve some of the hottest temperatures, ideal for pizza.

Another type of brick pizza oven is the barrel vault oven that sports a rectangular interior and a dome in the shape of a half-barrel. One type of barrel vault oven is fully enclosed with a door on the front, making it perfect for pizza and breads, but also suitable for grilling. It’s also great for cooking in clay pots. The open style of barrel vault oven is just that: Completely open at the front. The design lets you use a full grill and cook just about anything, but it also makes it a little less than ideal for pizza.

All of these types of pizza oven require having the masonry laid once the interior section is in place. It is a permanent structure and is not portable.

2. Fully-Assembled Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens

The quickest and easiest route to setting up a wood fired pizza oven in the backyard is to buy one that is assembled and ready to use. These can be built into an outdoor kitchen, serve as a stand-alone unit, or come as a portable model. The interiors are cured and set to go, the insulation is in place and the exterior is attractive and functional.

Fully-Assembled ovens are all designed to reach very high temperatures of around 900 degrees Fahrenheit, essential for an authentic pizza. Normally, with convenience also comes a higher price, but that’s not always the case, given the range of models available. Plus, there’s no brickwork involved!

3. Portable Wood Fired Pizza Ovens

Advances in manufacturing and technology have allowed manufacturers to create a wide range of portable outdoor pizza ovens. Some are truly portable, countertop-style models that you can move around, take camping or tailgating. Others are “portable” in that you can wheel them across the patio out of the way or into the garage for storage.
As far as designs go for portable wood-fired pizza ovens, some are the same style as the large dome types, with one chamber for the fire and for cooking. Others are dual chambered, with one to hold the fire and a second, separate chamber for cooking, directly above the fire.

4. Single Chamber Models

The design principle is the same as the dome oven but the construction is different. The cooking surface is typically rectangular or square and made of ceramic tiles that refract heat. The exterior of these ovens is definitely not made from brick and instead features a double-layer sheet metal dome or top. All have some sort of insulation material around the cooking chamber to help retain heat and create those high temperatures that are a must for pizza. Installation of these ovens is very simple and they tend to use less wood than the large brick ovens.

5. Dual Chamber Models

These outdoor pizza ovens feature two chambers, one for cooking and a second one to hold the fire underneath. Similar to the portable single chamber models, these types of pizza ovens are also made of steel with a porcelain cooking surface. The dual-chamber models need to have great insulation to raise the temperature to the appropriate level, so you want to make sure that a particular pizza oven has this feature – sometimes reflected in the price!

Dual-chamber models have more cooking space than their single-chambered brethren because you’re not losing any area to the burning wood. These ovens are also super versatile when it comes to cooking things other than pizza, like bread, roasts and dishes in pots. While these are some of the easiest to use, so0me of them don’t get quite as hot as the 800 degrees needed for a true Neapolitan pizza.

Think Before You Buy a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

Just as when you are deciding between a charcoal grill and a gas grill, it’s important to consider your cooking style and other factors when buying a wood-fired pizza oven:

Your Location

If you have a small backyard or little patio space, installing a large pizza oven may not be the way to go. Besides taking up a lot of space, you have to reserve room for storing the wood you will need. Also, if you are not staying in the house for a long time, the cost associated with the oven will likely not be recouped when you sell – unless the buyer also happens to be a big fan of pizza!

The Oven’s Location

High heat, open flames and heavyweight all mean that you can’t just pop a large pizza oven on your deck, even if it is portable. Consider where you will place the oven on your patio or in your yard and assess whether it’s a safe location or not before you buy one.

Your Cooking Style

If you’re the type of outdoor cook who loves a gas grill for the convenience of turning a knob and being ready to cook, a large pizza oven – especially a brick oven – is probably not for you. Large wood-fired ovens take a few hours to heat up, so you’re not going to do that for a couple of pizzas. These ovens are good for cooking a succession of foods because the oven stays hot for such a long time.

Portable models heat up much faster and are not such a huge time commitment: some can heat up in as little as 30 minutes.

What You Like to Cook?

If it’s authentic wood-fired pizza you’re after and you want to make it for a big family or larger gatherings on a regular basis, then by all means, go for the brick pizza oven. If your outdoor cooking repertoire is going to be broader and for a smaller number of people, any of the portable models will do. Also, just about all pizza ovens will be able to cook other types of food.

Cooking Capacity

If we’re talking about pizzas, you’ll probably be cooking one at a time, but you still want to make sure there’s enough space on the cooking surface for handling the pizzas. Base your estimates on the typically sized 12-inch pizza. Even if you’re doing one at a time, you want an oven with room for two pizzas, just so you can cook other things too.

FAQ

What Temperature Do I Need for Pizza?

True Neapolitan pizza ovens cook at a temperature of around 800°F – 905°F, which is much hotter than your home oven. That’s why all kinds of indoor gadgets fall short when trying to recreate an authentic pizza –always wood fired. Pizza stones and certain techniques can yield a quality pizza, but not the same thing that you’ll get from a wood-fired oven.

How Can Pizza Ovens Get So Hot?

The reason these specialty ovens can get so hot is because three different types of heating are going on all at once: radiant heat comes from the fire and cooks the pizza directly and indirectly as it bounces off the inside of the chamber. At the same time, the conductive heat transfers into the pizza from the cooking surface and convective heat from the fire is pushed around the oven.

Can I Cook Other Things in a Pizza Oven?

Since you can’t eat pizza every day (well, maybe you could…) it’s helpful to know that you can cook all sorts of thing in a pizza oven. The large masonry ovens stay hot for so long that after the pizzas are done, you can roast meats, cook things in pots and even leave something inside overnight to cook at a low heat like a slow cooker. Portable models can also cook a wide range of items, just not for so long on residual heat.

The same delicious wood-fired flavor can enhance your breads, meats, seafood and vegetables. You can also break out the tagine, clay pot or Dutch oven to roast dishes in the pizza oven – as long as it fits through the door!

What Makes a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Different from Gas or Electric?

Besides giving the pizza a distinctive wood-fired flavor, there are some major differences:

  • Fast, hot cooking. Gas and electric ovens use primarily direct heat for cooking. A wood-fired pizza oven pizza uses radiant, direct and indirect heat to cook. The higher temperature cooks super hot and super fast – in just minutes!
  • Changeable flavor profile: Just as smoking meats with different woods changes the flavor of the meat, switching up the kind of wood you use fir your pizza oven can change the flavor profile of the final product.
  • Authenticity. Believe it or not, there is an Italian association . (True Neapolitan Pizza Association or Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) that sets the rules for what counts as an authentic Neapolitan pizza. A wood-fired pizza oven is one of the specifications.

Conclusion

Before investing in a wood-fired pizza oven, it’s important to know what type you need. You can tell by considering all the factors that play into your cooking style, family size and personal preferences. Cooking in a wood-fired oven should be a fun experience yielding tasty results. Like so many other choices, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Find what’s right for you and you’ll have years of fun and food.