Advantages of an Outdoor Pizza Oven

 In Outdoor Design, Poolside Living

A luxury outdoor kitchen can turn your backyard into a true cooking and entertaining destination.  With the ability to include any elements that you have in your indoor kitchen, as well as a few extra, you can showcase your cooking skills and style.  Some households wind up spending twice as much on their outdoor kitchen as on their indoor remodel, and one of the most popular features to include is a wood-fired pizza oven.

Anyone who has tasted wood-fired pizza knows that it has a superior taste and crispness to one that is cooked in a regular oven. Restaurants that specialize in gourmet pizzas or offer them as menu items are all the rage.  With so many options for seasonal ingredients, herbs, cheeses, and specialty meats, pizza is a highly versatile dish that is great for family meals and many types of events you may host, making it a great focus for a section of your outdoor kitchen.

Some chefs consider pizza ovens to be a great way to be more actively involved in the cooking process.  Tending to wood or coal requires more attention as it can’t be turned on with a simple button.  Wood-fired ovens take some time to heat up and should be monitored, turning cooking into an experience, while still being simple to operate following these basic steps:

  • Light a fire inside the oven, leaving open the chimney and door so that gasses and smoke can escape. Dry hardwood such as walnut, oak, and pecan should be used rather than a resinous wood such as pine.
  • The oven’s interior will retain the heat and should get white hot, generally over the course of 60 to 90 minutes.
  • Wait while the heat radiates around the oven. The heat absorbed by the walls while spread throughout the oven.  It is normal for the ceiling of the oven to be hotter than the floor.
  • Sweep the embers to one side and close the chimney and door. With a temperature of around 800 degrees Fahrenheit, the oven is at the perfect temperature for pizzas.  Remember that they will cook fast.
  • When the temperature drops to around 450 degrees Fahrenheit or even a little lower, the oven is suitable for big roasts and meats that you want to slow-cook.
  • Keep in mind that the amount of time the oven stays hot will depend in large part on the thickness of the walls, with many ovens being able to cook at a high temperature for around six hours. At lower temperatures it is suitable for drying herbs, mushrooms, and fruits.
  • While food is inserted directly onto the stone base of a pizza oven, clean up is simple as well. Any grease or food that remains on the stone will simply burn off.  When the oven cools, ash should be swept out.

As an alternative to barbecuing, pizza ovens offer multiple uses.  Meat can be seared on the hot stone base or you can rely on the incredible amount of residual heat, which is useful for meals that include multiple dishes. Roasting meat, baking bread, and cooking vegetables can be done easily, or you can use the oven to finish dishes including desserts, especially the fruit crisps and crumbles that are so popular in the summer months. Schedule an appointment with your NYC backyard contractor to determine the best oven design to meet your cooking and entertaining needs.

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