Help With Your Home And Garden

Some Quick Questions You Might Have About Using a Wood-Burning Pizza Oven

by Carolyn Fox

A wood-burning pizza oven is actually easier to install in a home's kitchen than you might imagine; they can often be built from scratch using brick or clay, so they can be worked around any type of kitchen design or footprint. If you love pizza or the taste of authentic cooking done with wood, note a few quick questions you might have about using a wood-burning pizza oven at home.

1. What type of wood is good to use?

Usually it's recommended that you try a dry hardwood for your wood-burning pizza oven. This would include oak, almond, pecan, walnut, or any type of fruit tree. It's good to stock up on a few different varieties, as each one will add a certain unique flavor to your food, and you may want to experiment with what you enjoy best for each type of pizza and other dishes you try. Suppliers of wood for pizza ovens may even be able to give you some tips on which types of wood help enhance certain flavors.

The only woods to avoid using in a wood-burning pizza oven would be anything resinous, meaning something that gives off a resin as it burns. This would include pine and spruce. This resin can be absorbed by the food and interfere with its flavor.

2. Can you cook other foods in a wood-burning pizza oven?

You might actually want to try to cook a selection of meats and vegetables in your wood-burning pizza oven, as the wood and open flame can enhance their flavors as well. Also, just as pizza crust absorbs the flavor of the wood as it cooks, certain breads and other baked goods will do the same. Baking pasta dishes in a wood-burning pizza oven can also give them more flavor, so rather than just boiling your noodles and adding sauce, try any of those dishes in your oven as well.

3. Can any pan be used in a wood-burning pizza oven?

You can typically use any type of heatproof, oven-ready pan in a wood-burning pizza oven. However, you want to be sure you don't put your pans directly on the flame, even if they are meant to be used in an oven. A direct flame can often scorch and damage many types of pans, even one made of metal or cast iron. Be sure you're using your wood-burning pizza oven correctly when you cook so you avoid burning your food and damaging your pans or the oven itself; the manufacturer can usually note additional details about how to protect your cookware and your food when you use a wood-burning pizza oven.