An outdoor pizza oven is a worthwhile investment in your outdoor living space, as it is not only a fun and entertaining way to make dinner interactive for the family while creating delicious pizza at home, but it can also be used for to cook a good many things beyond pizza. With this in mind, here are some ideas on how to make your outdoor pizza oven do more for you and how to expand what you use your outdoor pizza oven for.
Let’s get the most obvious and most important point out of the way. Nothing on earth can create pizza quite like a wood fired pizza oven. The best pizzas ovens like the Ooni Karu 16, which is specially designed to be used exclusively outdoors, can achieve very high temperatures, and that is the key to the best tasting pizzas. The wood fire also gives pizza that delicious smokey taste that we associate with wood fired pizza. There are many different pizza styles that call for a wood fired pizza oven, so try a few of them out.
Beyond just the base of a pizza, your pizza oven makes a fantastic oven for cooking breads of all tyles. Try it out with an Italian style focaccia or a yeast bread for fantastic results. The floor of the pizza oven creates a gloriously crispy crust, and that wood infuses the bread with that same smokey taste that we love about wood fired pizza. Using the pizza oven for breads works best with thinner bread styles like Italian ciabatta, Indian naan bread and Greek pita breads. Don’t forget that the fire and coals should be controlled so that the temperature in the pizza oven is lower, and they are a direct heat source, so bread should be rotated to get evenly cooked during the process.
Prime Cut Steaks
You might not associate the pizza oven with the cooking of steaks, which you might traditionally opt to pan fry or grill, but you can make a delicious steak using a pizza oven. Ideally, you’ll want to use a rib-eye steak cut for the best results and cook it on a grid stand so that it gets even heat distribution. You’ll never want to go back to any other cooking method once you’ve tried a wood-fired cooked rib-eye steak. Heat up the pizza oven using a fire in the center of the pizza oven, and then either rake the coals or push them right up against the side for best results.
Low and Slow Meat Cuts
The barbecue meat style is achievable in a wood fired pizza oven if you’re able to control the temperature of the oven by letting the fire burn quite low. Cuts of meat that benefit from a very low temperature and slow cooking like a soft and tender beef brisket or fall-off-the-bones barbecue ribs can be done right in your pizza oven. Keep a spray bottle of stock or broth handy to keep them moist and succulent as they cook away over a few hours and by the end you’ll have the most tender, soft, and delicious barbecued ribs you’ve ever tasted. Start off easy with a lamb or pork shank and experiment with bigger meat cuts once you’ve mastered the smaller ones.
Vegetables are delicious when you roast them, and a wood fired pizza oven makes the perfect roast vegetables. Marrows, onions, peppers, potatoes and even fruits like apricots are right at home in the pizza oven. You can either create vegetable skewers or just roast them right in a pan, though you’ll need a cast iron pan for this one. Have a look around for stainless steel skewer racks that are purpose-built to give you an easy and convenient way to roast vegetables in the pizza oven.
Not even desserts can stump a wood fired pizza oven. You can create fantastic baked desserts using a cooler pizza oven with a less aggressive fire and they’ll taste wonderful; combining the softly wooded taste with the sweetness of the sugary dessert is an experience you can’t get anywhere else. Try your hand at baking chocolate brownies, cheesecakes and even cookies in your pizza oven. It can be a challenge to get it perfect, but when you do, you’ll never want to cook desserts in your kitchen oven again.
As you can tell, you’re not confined to cooking just pizza or even savory meals in the outdoor pizza oven. It has much more versatility than most people realize. Not only is it the centerpiece of your outdoor living space, but with a bit of ingenuity and experimentation, it can also be one of the most often-used options when it comes to cooking at home with everything you can throw at it – from low and slow meat to cheesecakes.