Why should you cook with wood? For the same reason our ancestors did: it produces nourishing, beautifully textured, intensely flavored food. But unlike our great-grandparents, you won’t have to spend the day tending the fire to get the authentic experience of a wood-fired feast.
A wood-fired oven produces higher levels of heat than any other type of oven. Even if a gas or electric oven were made to achieve the blazing temperatures of a wood-fired oven — which can approach 1000 degrees — it would be impossibly expensive to maintain that heat using a gas or electric fuel source.
Why does high heat matter? It’s these searing temperatures that allow for the rapid yet delicate cooking that produces the perfectly browned and crispy outside, deliciously tender inside. Ever wondered why your homemade pizza, though beloved by your family, just doesn’t have that same perfect bubbly, char-brushed crust that you get at the pizzeria? Now you know — the difference is the wood flame.
And a wood-fired oven can do so much more than pizza. Roasts, breads, vegetables, steaks — virtually anything that tastes better with a browned outside and tender inside — they all take on a unique savor that you just can’t produce any other way. If you’ve never tasted wood-roasted leg of lamb, fresh from the flame and bursting with succulent juices all sealed inside — well, you just haven’t lived until you have.
Wood and the environment
With a Fontana oven, using wood for fuel is an environmentally friendly choice. The fires in Fontana wood-burning ovens burn hot, bright, and clean, causing them to produce very little smoke. They also heat up the oven quickly, reducing the fire’s burning time and therefore further minimizing its smoke output. And because Fontana’s ovens use only one-fifth of the wood used by other ovens, they’re about the most environmentally sound choice you can make.
(For more information on the environmental impact of Fontana ovens, please see our FAQ.)
In a wood-fired oven, it’s not just how high the heat is — it’s where the heat is. When you cook with a Fontana oven, you’re taking advantage of natural convection. As the oven heats up, the hot air begins to circulate and draw in fresh, cooler air, creating more heat. As the exchange builds, the inside of the oven becomes a little tornado of blazing-hot air, which — assisted by Fontana’s unique convection fan — distributes itself around the oven to create the perfect cooking environment. Crusts are crisped, skins are browned, and pizza toppings are cooked so quickly that they retain their nutrients and fresh flavor.
One thing you often hear about wood-fired ovens is that they force us to slow down, to ease back from the sometimes frenetic pace of modern life, and adopt the serene patience of a Zen master tending his fire. Now, we’re all for that. We just think that, if you’re going to take some much-deserved time for yourself, you don’t necessarily have to spend all of it minding the fire. With the much shorter heat-up times of a Fontana oven, you can absolutely relax and enjoy cooking. But you can also shake a martini, greet your guests, fold your napkins into the shape of swans — whatever tickles your fancy. It’s your time.
When it comes down to it, there’s just no substitute for the glow of the true wood flame. It creates a warm centerpiece for welcoming family and friends, reminding everyone that you’re here to enjoy the food — and each other.