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Pizza is, without a doubt, one of the most consumed foods in the US. By making pizza in a traditional oven, you can transform how your family and friends celebrate in your backyard.
When it comes to making this quick, nutritious dinner, nothing compares to a wood-fired oven for an authentic pizza experience straight out of Naples. A wood-fired pizza in a ceramic Dutch oven produces delicious pies.
However, operating a wood-fired pizza oven could be challenging compared to a gas-powered oven. Of course, you have manuals, but an outdoor wood-fired oven can be tricky for first-time users. We’ve curated this blog to offer tried-and-tested advice and hacks by top pizza experts on using your wood-fired ovens to serve perfect pies.
Unlike a gas-powered oven, wood-fired ovens require wood or coal, depending on the flavor profile you’re creating. Pre-heating it for longer than conventional requirements is necessary as, unlike the traditional range where temperature increases speedily, the wood needs a longer time to build up heat.
One thing to remember about oven temperature is that dough needs a different temperature. Some doughs are okay with 500 F, while others come best between 900 and 1000 F.
Start with hardwood species like beech, walnut, maple, ash, oak, hickory, and birch, which are slightly more than 2-3 inches in diameter. The worst materials are newspapers, particleboard, plywood, or other treated wood.
These produce a lot of smoke from the ashes, which has little heat value and might impart a different flavor to the pizza. Additionally, they are not eco-friendly.
Keeping the heat consistent comes in second to start the oven. A vibrant flame maintains a clean airflow. Airflow is impeded when the fire is overloaded with large logs.
Instead, add a few pieces of wood to maintain a constant temperature. Before cooking your pizza, you want more wood than fire for the most heat.
If properly maintained, your ceramic Dutch oven will last longer. Completely cool down your wood-fired oven, preferably overnight. Use an oven rake or brush to remove the leftover ashes, embers, and wood waste from the oven. Use a steel or metal brush to remove stubborn debris, including residual food bits.
Now that we have covered the proper techniques for utilizing your wood-fired oven, you can use the knowledge to prepare a crispy pizza base. Here’s how:
Because the dough needs to be baked longer, toppings tend to dry in a low-heat oven. For a crispy base, it’s best to bake at a high temperature. To prevent the pie from burning, keep an eye on the fire and ensure it’s even.
The chewy texture of the pizza is a result of high protein flour. A pizza flour shouldn’t have a protein concentration of more than 14%.
Hardwoods are suggested because they burn more steadily and slowly than softwoods. To keep the same quality that a brick pizza oven provides, it’s crucial to use the same type of wood, whether birch, cherry, or apple.
Pizza’s essential but often-overlooked ingredient is oil. Use olive oil as it improves heat conduction. Sprinkle 200–300 grams or half a teaspoon of olive oil over the baked dough.
When heated, water-containing vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach lose moisture, leaving the dough sloppy and wet rather than crispy. Your mozzarella cheese should be drained and dried. The sauce should be thoroughly simmered and not runny.
Cru Ovens is offering its outdoor oven model 30 for sale! Removable dome, ceramic fiber insulation, and a compact design that can be easily fitted anywhere, our wood-fired ovens are a must-have accessory for the perfect pizza night.