Pizza oven, how to choose it:

Pizza oven, how to choose it:

the features you can’t do without

The choice of a pizza oven (and not only) must start from a careful analysis of various factors, some essential and others linked to personal tastes: from wood-fired pizza ovens to gas-fired pizza ovens, the characteristics to be taken into account are certainly not few.

What is certain is that this decision must absolutely not be superficial, but careful and thoughtful: choosing a good pizza oven will determine the success or failure of your dinners!

When we talk about pizza it is inevitable to connect it to cooking in a wood oven: both for the technical characteristics and for the charm linked to the tradition of wood cooking, these ovens are considered the undisputed kings of pizza, but let’s see why. However, there are also different solutions of gas pizza ovens that can perfectly meet the needs of preparing an excellent pizza at home: certainly, the advantages of a gas pizza oven are ease of use, much faster times compared to a wood-burning oven and the ease of cleaning operations, as we do not have to deal with the residues of wood combustion.

Wood-fired ovens certainly have the characteristic of traditionality, linked to the aromas of the wood, but they need more attention to manage temperatures and, above all, a little longer times linked to the combustion of wood; a gas oven is more practical and allows you to organize dinners and pizza in much faster times, think for example of midweek dinners after work where you certainly won’t have time to wait a few hours for the oven to reach the optimal temperature.

An excellent solution can be hybrid-cooking ovens, which allow you to choose the fuel according to your needs, such as our Fontana oven for pizza (and more) Piero.

Traditional pizza ovens can be of different types:

The most faithful to tradition is certainly the one made of refractory bricks and concrete, as we used to see in old country houses; these ovens can be external or even walled in home kitchens.

In addition to these, there are also free-standing pizza ovens, that is ovens that can be placed both on structures equipped with wheels and on the kitchen top. Up to the most modern transportable pizza ovens, to meet the most varied needs.

Why choose a wood-fired oven for cooking pizza?

There are many who argue that the wood oven is the best for cooking pizza, mainly for two characteristics: the high temperatures that these ovens can reach and their resistance. There are also those who add a third reason: aromas. By using wood as fuel it is, in fact, possible to experiment and enjoy the different aromas released by the combustion of various types of plants.

Let’s analyze the two main features in detail.

Possibility of reaching high temperatures

Wood-fired ovens are generally suitable for the preparation of many other dishes, but their ability to reach high temperatures makes them particularly perfect for preparing pizza.

Baking pizza must be a fast process and it is essential that the oven reaches high temperatures so that the dough cooks evenly, without risking undercooked parts and others that are excessively dry.

High resistance

Wood-fired ovens must be made with materials that are extremely resistant to fire stress and often have a massive structure, which inevitably makes them more resistant and less prone to malfunctions or breakages, in short, they are real long-term investments.

Why choose a gas-fired oven for cooking pizza?

The different models of gas ovens are born as successors of the traditional wood-burning oven and, therefore, to facilitate the somewhat more complex management of the previous ones. The methods of use are now almost identical: with current manufacturing technologies they are able to reach high temperatures in a short time. The main strengths are: immediate and rather simple management, a uniform flame in terms of intensity and, if the burners are positioned in a straight line, also in terms of height and heat distribution. They do not require cleaning (other than that of the flour left on the top) and a knob is enough to ignite and adjust the intensity of the flame.

In addition, the hybrid-cooking ovens allow you to choose the type of cooking (wood or gas) depending on the dishes and, above all, the time available: think of the weekend with all the time available, you can savour the dishes cooked with the taste of the tradition of the wood-burning oven and during midweek dinners, when the rhythms are tighter, you can count on a gas-fired oven that in a few minutes is able to reach the perfect temperature to take out the most succulent pizzas.

Now that we have analyzed the main categories of pizza ovens and their respective functions, we come to the features that you absolutely must not underestimate in the choice of the best pizza oven, some of these can concern all types of ovens, from wood-fired to gas and hybrid ones, others are obviously more linked to the world of wood-fired ovens.

Pizza oven: 6 features to pay attention to

Shape

The shape of an oven is essential: this is precisely the feature that allows the diffusion of heat and air currents. The dome shape should be preferred, but above all that the dome has a height such as to allow the cooking of many other dishes, such as bread, roasts, poultry, etc. …

 Inside the round dome, movements of hot air are generated and heat is transmitted by radiation, but, in addition to the flame currents, the heat is also given off by the embers that allow to maintain the temperature of the oven.

The heat from the embers is collected and gently released from the refractory material of the oven base.

Construction material

It is almost obvious to say that you should always choose products made with high quality materials, especially when it comes to ovens: both because the materials come into direct contact with our food, and because of the durability of the product subjected to the high stresses of fire.

Beware of too cheap ovens: the use of poor quality materials can lead to rapid wear of the oven, they may also not perform as they should and, for example, not reach high temperatures or fail to maintain constant heat.

Oven mouth and lid: practicality first of all

Eating well is not enough, it is also necessary to cook comfortably: here the size of the oven mouth plays a fundamental role. This must be large enough to allow a comfortable management of fire and pizzas, but not excessively in order not to risk dispersing the heat, but above all make sure that the oven you are going to buy is equipped with FIRE DOOR, a fundamental accessory to allow the oven to heat up faster and with the least use of energy and fuel and to allow cooking at a lower temperature such as that with bread, which must be carried out in a “closed” cooking environment.

Unfortunately, many products on the market, to attract more sales thanks to a lower price, do not include this essential accessory.

Still with regard to the fire door, it is necessary to emphasize the handle, which must be comfortable and stable, both when the lid is closed and when it must be opened to let air through or add more wood.

Speed in reaching the temperature

The speed with which the oven reaches the temperature depends on several factors: both from its structure and from the type of wood, obviously with regard to traditional wood-fired ovens.

The perfect oven is the one that, despite its size, manages to quickly accumulate high temperatures, without excessive consumption of fuel.

Ability to cook uniformly

Uniformity of cooking is another aspect that should not be underestimated: especially when you have to bake many pizzas this is really important. An oven that allows uniform cooking will make our work easier and allow us to prepare unique and unforgettable dishes!

Ability to retain heat

A good wood-fired pizza oven drops in temperature very slowly and this allows you to use it even after cooking pizzas, for dishes that require lower temperatures, such as bread, or even a roast, when the temperature has dropped to around 200 °

The ideal wood-fired pizza oven is one that is capable of maintaining the temperature for several hours after all the pizzas have been baked and the oven will be closed. This is an advantage not only in practical terms, but also when it comes to reducing and containing fuel consumption: with a single ignition you can prepare various dishes for different occasions.

In conclusion

Choosing a good oven for pizza (and more) is not something to be underestimated, but must start with a careful analysis of various factors, some essential and others related to personal tastes.

If you are looking for a pizza oven here are all our main suggestions, but remember, there is only one fundamental recommendation: choose the oven that will allow you to bake succulent and fragrant pizzas, able to inebriate you with fantastic aromas and make your guests go crazy!

Before leaving you, we advise you to take a look at the entire range of Fontana Forni Outdoor Ovens, all of them fully reflect the characteristics listed above, and even more!