Outdoor ovens have been used for centuries in different cultures around the world, from Italy to India. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more people want to taste the unique flavors that can only be achieved through wood-fired cooking ovens.
In addition to their functional benefits, outdoor ovens also add aesthetic value to outdoor living spaces. They can serve as a centerpiece for backyard gatherings and enhance the overall ambiance of your outdoor cooking area. They are ideal for cooking a variety of dishes (and not just pizza) including pasta, different types of bread, meats, vegetables, and even desserts.
The Best Uses for an Outdoor Oven
Below, we explore the best uses for outdoor ovens, what else can you cook in a pizza oven, and our favorite wood-fired oven recipes. We will also go over the outdoor kitchen accessories you need to make the most of your oven regardless of how you use it.
An outdoor wood-fired oven has many uses and offers a range of things to cook in a pizza oven. These include:
- Cooking time is much faster than a pizza baked in a conventional oven, typically taking only a few minutes to cook.
- They are more energy-efficient than traditional ovens because they don’t require electricity or gas.
Tips for Making the Perfect Wood-fired Pizza:
- Use fresh and high-quality ingredients.
- Let your dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping and topping it.
- Keep your toppings simple and don’t overload your pizza.
- Use a pizza peel to transfer your pizza into the oven and to turn and remove your pizza.
- Don’t overcook your pizza; it only takes a few minutes to achieve the perfect crispy crust.
Grilling with an outdoor oven is a versatile way to cook a variety of different meals. Using a grill grate over the fire or a cast-iron skillet or griddle, you can whip up a variety of foods, including meats, vegetables, and seafood.
Tips for grilling:
- Choose the right cut of meat that is lean and tender.
- Use vegetable and seafood options that are relatively firm and which can hold up to the heat of the grill
- Preheat your grill so it is hot enough to sear the outside of your meat and lock in the juices
- Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking
You can bake delicious bread and create unique desserts in your outdoor oven with the perfect combination of wood-fired flavor and traditional baking techniques.
Tips for baking:
- Use proper cookware when baking high-moisture desserts
- When baking bread, you can bake directly on the stones provided in the oven
- Hardwoods used can flavor your desserts, but make sure you don’t over-smoke them
- Use a baking stone, as it helps to distribute the heat evenly and create a crispy crust
- Different types of wood will give your bread and desserts different flavors
- Choose hardwoods like oak, hickory, or apple wood for a subtle smokey flavor
With a perfect blend of traditional roasting techniques and the rich, smoky flavors imparted by a wood-fired oven, you can prepare mouthwatering roasted meats, poultry, and vegetables in your pizza oven.
Tips for roasting:
- Choose meats, such as chicken or pork, with crispy skin and juicy meat for roasting.
- Use a roasting pan or grill grate to elevate the food and prevent it from sticking to the oven floor. A cast iron skillet works very well for roasting vegetables.
A wood-fired pizza oven works perfectly as a smoker to infuse meats, fish, and vegetables with a delicious smoky flavor that you can’t achieve in a conventional oven.
Tips for smoking:
- Use wood chips or chunks in a smoking box or smoker tray to create smoke
- Choose hardwoods such as hickory, mesquite, or fruit woods like apple or cherry for a strong, smoky flavor
- Make sure to get a long-burning wood like ours from The Cutting Edge
Cooking for Large Groups
Catering for a crowd with an outdoor oven can be a convenient and enjoyable experience, allowing you to prepare delicious meals quickly and efficiently while enjoying the company of your guests.
Benefits of using an outdoor oven to cook for large groups include:
- A bigger cooking area
Tips for cooking for large groups efficiently and effectively:
- Plan your menu in advance.
- Prepare as much as possible ahead of time.
- Cook food in batches, starting with items that take the longest to cook.
- Choose simple recipes that can be prepared easily and quickly.
Maintenance and Cleaning
It’s recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance, such as cleaning the oven after each use and inspecting it for damage periodically.
Use a brush and scraper to remove debris and ash, and wipe down the oven with a damp cloth or sponge. By taking care of your outdoor oven, you can ensure its longevity for years to come.
Tips for maintaining and cleaning your outdoor oven:
- Cover when not in use.
- Schedule professional maintenance.
Why a Fontana Forni Pizza Oven Is an Outdoor Kitchen Must-Have
Our Fontana Forni outdoor ovens are 100% handcrafted in Italy, where we combine today’s modern manufacturing methods with the timeless Italian outdoor ceramic design. We offer wood-fired pizza ovens, as well as gas-fired pizza ovens, so you have complete control of the taste, design, and efficiency delivered by your oven.
For more information and further assistance in selecting the best outdoor pizza oven for your home, visit our website or contact us at 877-842-9822 today.