Buying Guide to Wood Burning Pizza Ovens – Not all wood fired pizza ovens are alike

When it comes to wood fired pizza ovens, size matters. You can’t just look at the outside of the Italian pizza oven. That visual won’t tell you what you need to know. You have to find out what the size is, in square inches, of the cooking area.

Don’t be fooled by the outside appearance. Even if several ovens appear to be the same size, the cooking space may be too small for your needs. And you don’t want to face that disappointment once you’ve set up your wood burning pizza oven, right? Do your research first!

One way you can determine whether or not the pizza oven is a good fit for you is to take 12” plates and arrange them to see how many pizza pies the oven will fit. But remember, you have to leave room for the wood as well.

Here is a list of some wood fired pizza ovens on the market and the size and square inches of the cooking area:

  • Forno Bello® – 24” x 28.5” 684 square inches
  • ilFornino® Mini Basic – 26” x 30” 795 square inches
  • ilFornino® Mini Professional – 26” x 30” 795 square inches
  • Pizza Party Oven – 23 5/8” x 23 5/8” 529 square inches
  • Fontana® The Margherita – 24” x 24” 576 square inches
  • ilFornino® Basic – 26.5” x 38” 1007 square inches
  • ilFornino® Professional Series – 26.5” x 38” 1007 square inches
  • ilFornino® Grande G Series – 35.5” x 35.5” 1260 square inches
  • Fontana® The Mangiafuoco – 24” x 32” 768 square inches

Some manufacturers fail to disclose the size of the cooking area. Make sure you ask before you buy!

In addition to size, you have to keep in mind the quality of materials used. Brick wood burning pizza ovens appeal to many. But they have their drawbacks. Namely, uneven heating. Heat escapes through the spaces between the bricks, which means the floor of the oven does not distribute even heat. Plus, the non-reflective quality of bricks means it takes longer to cook your pizzas.

Stainless steel outdoor pizza oven is a better option, especially with solid, one-piece oven flooring. Stainless steel reflects the heat evenly and, with no gaps in the flooring, your pies are cooked to perfection in the wood fired pizza oven – just as you would expect. But you must decipher the quality of the stainless steel. Read reviews. If consumers are complaining about their outdoor pizza ovens rusting, stay away from those manufacturers. Sure, their ovens are less expensive. But you get what you pay for and a rusty oven eventually will need to be replaced.

Several models of the ilFornino® pizza ovens feature the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface™. Made from large slabs of proprietary refractory material, the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface holds and distributes the heat evenly throughout the wood burning pizza oven, even after the flames are extinguished. This unique feature produces pizza crusts that are cooked to perfection. Pizza toppings crisp up better than when cooked in a regular oven. If you’re looking for the best pizza you can make, the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface™ is definitely something to consider. The following ilFornino® ovens feature this surface: Professional Series, Professional Plus, and Grande G Series. The Elite Plus will be added to the list soon.

The best advice for you to follow when shopping for a wood fired pizza oven is to do your research. Check out reviews. Read about the materials used. Know what you’re looking for before you start shopping and then go for it! You won’t regret adding a wood burning pizza grill to your equipment because, let’s face it, there’s nothing better than a fresh pizza right out of a wood fired pizza oven!

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