A Wood-Fire Pizza Oven Adds a New Spin to Outdoors Cooking

October 21, 2015

The sight of a large masonry pizza oven reminds us well of our neighborhood Italian restaurant of the tastiest, freshest pizza that we grew up with. In addition to restaurants, some people have even incorporated a pizza oven into their homes, or even into vehicles or trailers. For the pizza lovers out there, you no longer need to seek out your local pizzeria for a slice of goodness – you can get your very own pizza oven installed wherever your heart pleases very easily and inexpensively. Before diving into buying a pizza oven, understand how these pizza ovens work to see if it best fits your space and style.

Every component of a pizza oven plays a significant role to the pizza-making process. The interior surface usually consists of a flat brick or ceramic bottom with a caved or dome roof. The primary source of heat comes from burning wood, which normally sits at the back of this compartment so that the heat radiates and reflects throughout the oven. This pocket of heat allows for even heat exposure, and functions well to cook more than just pizzas or flatbreads. Many chefs prep food in a pan or pot and stick it directly into the oven for a different approach to cooking. A pizza oven makes for a good project if you enjoy cooking and entertaining outdoors. Before purchasing a pizza oven, make sure that the area you intend to install it in even allows the installation of it. For example, areas prone to wildfires or areas close to multi-story buildings may not allow an outdoor pizza oven due to the risk of fire.

While very few manufacturers (mostly Italian) make portable ovens, experienced builders can get away with building a pizza oven from scratch for under a grand. Portable ovens usually cost a few thousand dollars, while completely custom pizza ovens with significant masonry construction can run you a bill that can easily top ten grand. If you believe you can commit to the idea of acquiring a pizza oven, the seasonal transitions (spring and fall) make the best time to begin installation. The summer makes a great season for outdoor entertaining, while the winter means that the heat will feel comforting when cooking. Places in colder climates may even consider customizing the pizza oven with a mini vent or fireplace. Paired with all-weather outdoor furniture, an outdoor pizza oven not only serves as an effective cooking appliance/tool, but also serves as a fire pit.

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