Pizza ovens have been popular with Australian families for some time now and their popularity is increasing as their versatility is becoming more and more apparent - can you only cook pizzas in a pizza oven? No way! The possibilities can be as creative and varied as pizza toppings!
Pizza ovens not only cook your food superbly, giving you a unique wood fired flavour, but they are convenient, easy to use and maintain, and make an interesting and stylish point of interest in your backyard or outdoor kitchen.
If you are yet to own your own pizza oven, have a look at Gasmate who offers a gas outdoor pizza oven on a stand so you can just set it up and cook. The stand provides easy accessibility to the oven and a spot for your gas cylinder. Invite your family and friends to experience your delicious restaurant quality dishes and create wonderful memories to look back on.
Types of Pizza Ovens
The most common domestic pizza ovens are powered either by wood or gas. Both have their benefits so consider which may work best for you.
Wood ovens are the authentic way to provide that unique wood fired flavour that pizza ovensare renowned for. A downside is that there is a bit of skill involved in building the fire just right, not to mention the clean out of the fire remains after cooking.
Pizza ovens built with bricks are beautiful to look at and provide a feature in your backyard. They can be expensive to build however, unless you're handy and choose to build it yourself. Also, they can take an hour or more to reach the required temperature which can be tricky to maintain. There are metal options available which are quicker to heat up than brick and they can be cheaper than gaspizza ovens due to the lack of burner elements.
Wood fired ovens are larger and heavier so keep that in mind if space is an issue or if you plan on keeping it on a balcony, and remember you won't be able to use these during fire restriction periods.
Gas pizza ovens are simple to use with the quick turn of a knob. They are quick to heat up and with a built in temperature control it is easy to maintain the desired temperature throughout the cooking period.
They are much cleaner than wood fired ovens - no need to prepare the fire or clean up the ash. They may feature a viewing window and a light, just like your indoor oven. Being outside, there will be less mess in your kitchen and all the cooking smells will just waft away. The surfaces are easy to clean and you can have it plumbed into your mains gas supply so you'll never run out of gas.
You can still get the wood fired flavour into your food, by ensuring you purchase a pizza oven that comes with a wood chip smoker box.
What to Cook in a Pizza Oven
As the name suggests, pizza ovens are just that - ovens, so the key to experimenting with cooking in your outdoor pizza oven is to begin with the meals you would normally cook in your conventional indoor oven.
Ready to use your outdoor pizza oven for more than just pizzas? Here are some ideas to start you exploring how to get the best quality food out of your pizza oven.
Pizzas - Of course, homemade pizzas are scrumptious and you can top them with almost anything. Making them yourself also gives you control over the healthiness of them. Keep your bases thin and limit the cheese and cured meats so you'd be happy to regularly serve them up to your family as a healthy meal.
Bread & Cakes - Bake homemade bread and cakes in your pizza oven much as you would in your kitchen. Adding wood chips will provide a unique rustic flavour to bread - smother on some butter and devour!
Roast and Slow Cooked Meat - Roast or slow cook a whole chicken or leg of lamb for a delicious meal, adding wood chips for a smokey flavour. Place in a roasting pan, oil and season, and cook until it's tender and juicy, falling off the bones.
Roasted Vegetables - Chop up a range of colourful vegetables and place them in a pan with a drip tray, drizzle with oil and seasoning - your preferred herbs or spices or just salt and pepper.
Baked Potatoes - Any potato variety can be oven baked so the skin goes crispy and the inside is soft and fluffy - top them with cheese and coleslaw, a bean mix, tuna or slow cooked meat.
Seafood - Fish can be wrapped in a parcel with lemon wedges and chilli and baked until it is cooked. Experiment further with fish such as salmon which is perfect to cook on a plank of wood such as maple or cedar - just ensure the wood you use is safe and suitable for this purpose.
Desserts - Keeping in mind you can use your pizza oven like a conventional oven, try apple crumble, or a dessert pizza - cook the base and then top with chocolate spread or mascarpone and fruit!
Your mouth must be watering now.... Like pizza toppings, the options for cooking dishes in your outdoor pizza oven stretch as far as your imagination. Visit an expert pizza oven company such as Gasmate and prepare to enjoy your new cooking adventure!