Part of perfecting your outdoor kitchen is keeping up with popular trends to make sure your space stays current modern and welcoming. According to data from Yelp, searches for outdoor pizza ovens spiked by almost 200% in March 2021 compared to the previous year, so if you haven't been thinking about a pizza oven, maybe it's time to!
Outdoor pizza ovens have gained popularity among outdoor kitchen aficionados thanks to their quick cooking times, cooking versatility, and ease of use. They come in many different options to suit your outdoor space, which means you're only a few steps away from putting a twist on classic BBQ and treating your friends and family to piping-hot pizza, as they enjoy your other outdoor kitchen accessories, such as TVs, furniture, patio heaters, and fireplaces.
The price of outdoor pizza ovens ranges based on options -- your pizza oven can be built into your brick outdoor fireplace, or you can go with a compact portable model capable of cranking out pizzas in minutes. Use our guide to outdoor pizza ovens to learn more about the various types, what to look for when shopping, and how to use one safely.
- Build Quality - Like any home furniture or appliance, build quality is the first quality you should look for. The best pizza ovens -- the ones worth a spot in your outdoor kitchen -- include excellent insulation and are made with stainless steel, which offers superior weather resistance.
- Included features - Cooking the perfect pizza requires temperature management, so an accurate thermometer is an essential feature. Modern pizza ovens also have optional features like sliding doors, which we'll leave up to your discretion.
- Performance - You want an oven that can deliver the kind of pizza preferred by you and your guests. Another thing to look for that most people don't know about - easy fire access (or effortless fire maintenance).
Wood-fired pizza ovens are the most common type, using hardwoods and flavored pellets that add a signature, smoky flavor to your meal. Wood-fired ovens are known for reaching temperatures over 1,000 degrees, bringing a crispy crust to your authentic wood-fired pizza. Gas pizza ovens are a welcome newcomer to the party, making authentic pizza easier than ever. For the campers and adventure types, a portable pizza oven is a great option as they are lightweight and portable, allowing for easy travel and pizza anytime, anywhere.
1. Fuel Type: Wood Burning vs. Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Ovens
As we said above, the two most common pizza oven fuel options types available are wood-burning and gas. Wood-burning pizza ovens use hardwood or flavored hardwood pellets to deliver a rich, smoky flavor to your food. The main advantage of gas pizza ovens is their ease of use — let them preheat and then let them rip.
2, Oven Size
Outdoor pizza ovens come in all sizes, from small portable ovens that cook one pizza at a time, to larger ovens that can cook multiple pizzas simultaneously. The main question to answer: Who will you be cooking for, a small family, or large gatherings? For those who love to travel, tailgate, or camp, a portable pizza oven is a great option to get fresh-baked, restaurant-quality pizza anywhere.
3. Oven Materials & Construction
At first glance, many outdoor kitchen pizza ovens may look the same, and many of them (even the cheap ones) will share the same features as their more expensive counterparts. However, it's the little details that separate the pizza ovens that will last for years and the ones that will burn out in short order. All ovens, for example, feature a dome-shaped ceiling to facilitate even heat dispersion across the pizza stone in your oven. Some of those, however, employ lower-grade steel and materials, so their longevity will be reduced.
What else can you cook in an outdoor pizza oven?
Despite their name, pizza ovens are suited for more than just pizza. Your pizza oven gives you the power to cook just about anything, from roasted vegetables and baked fish to freshly baked bread and slow-cooked meats. Rest assured, even if you're not a pizza person you'll get a lot of use out of your pizza oven.
How long does it take to cook pizza in a pizza oven?
In a regular oven, pizzas take between 8 and 15 minutes to bake. It might sound too good to be accurate, but a wood-fired pizza oven can accomplish that in a fraction of that time. Cooking at temperatures above 800 degrees should only take one to two minutes to cook.
Outdoor Pizza Oven Safety Tips
We recommend reading the user manual carefully before using your outdoor pizza oven. Gas or wood-powered ovens should only be used outdoors on a flat, sturdy surface that's non-flammable. Keep the oven at least 25 feet away from the nearest structure and any flammable materials, such as trees or outdoor furniture.
These appliances can become extremely hot very quickly, so never leave your pizza oven unattended, and keep kids and pets away when it's in use. Always let it cool completely before attempting to move or clean it. For ovens that use wood pellets, follow the manufacturer's instructions for clearing out leftover ash and residue after each use.
Contact the Grillnetics team with any questions about making the most of a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen.