While meat cooking on the grill is a familiar summer smell, nothing beats the aroma of fresh, homemade pizza, wafting from your own backyard. With a personal outdoor pizza oven, you don’t have to wait for the delivery of nearly cold, cardboard flavored pizza. Wood burning pizza ovens used to be reserved for fine Italian restaurants and pizza joints. Not anymore. Now you can enjoy pizza immediately after you pull it out of your home wood fired pizza oven.
Just imagine the parties you’re going to have! There will be no more, “Let’s call out for pizza!” Instead, you’ll be able to say, “Let’s fire up the Italian pizza oven. Who wants pizza?” Your neighborhood will never smell the same! The cooking possibilities are endless. You can make wood fired steaks, fish, chicken, bread and let us not forget pizza!
Depending on the type of outdoor pizza oven you buy, your pizza could be ready before you know it. High quality stainless steel portable wood fired pizza ovens heat up quickly, unlike brick ovens, which can take up to 3 hours to reach up to temperature. Though the end result is the same.
Some people choose to build their own wood fired pizza ovens. That’s one way to go, if you have plenty of time on your hands. Usually, this will take a few weekends. And once it’s built, you have to cure the oven over a period of 3 days. Then, like I mentioned before with the brick outdoor pizza ovens, it takes about 3 hours to heat up. Seems like a long wait to enjoy fresh baked pizza.
There are problems with wood burning pizza ovens. Uneven flooring can make it difficult to remove your pizzas, as the pizza peel will have to maneuver a small obstacle course. Plus, the gaps between the bricks will let heat escape, which means your oven floor will never heat up evenly, and let’s face it, the floor is the heart of the oven. So make sure you have a clear image of the inside of the oven prior to purchasing. Manufactures that do not show clear images of the inside of the oven have something to hide.
Look for an oven with a one-piece flat floor. What caught my eye is the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface™ is a feature in many ilFornino® ovens, including the Professional Series wood fired pizza oven, Professional Plus wood fired pizza oven, Platinum Series wood fired oven, Platinum Plus and the Grande G Series. The Elite Plus Series will soon offer the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface as well. Going to ilFornino website I have noticed that all oven floors were shown clearly. You can also purchase a piece of Himalayan Salt Block and put it on your oven’s floor if you desire. Belforno® offers kits for building your own ovens. Again these are nice kits but you have to ask yourself do I have the time! The building cost tends to add up. Forno Barvo® offers potable stainless steel ovens. Bella Medio by Forno Barvo® has a cooking space of 672 square inches but Forno Bravo fails to show images of the inside of the oven!
What’s the alternative? A wood fired pizza oven made out of stainless steel. Stainless steel pizza ovens are the smart solution to outdoor pizza ovens. They heat up quickly and evenly because the steel reflects the heat, which doesn’t happen with brick domed pizza ovens. You don’t have to worry about rain damaging your stainless steel portable wood fired pizza oven either. Why? Because stainless steel won’t rust. Of course, that does depend on the manufacturer and the type of stainless steel they use. ilFornino® New York makes outdoor pizza ovens that can easily withstand the elements. Their high quality stainless steel insures a superior product. Fontana Ovens® also offer good quality stainless steel, but you’d be better off steering away from Pizza Party ovens. The stainless steel is inferior and tends to rust easily. Again there are many manufactures that sell pizza ovens all over the internet but you have to do your research and keep in mind the following guidelines.
Expect to pay between $1500 – $2800 for a high quality wood fired outdoor pizza oven. Figure out what size you need, the construction of the oven, and the frequency of use each week. There are some fantastic wood burning pizza ovens out there. Look for the following before you make your choice:
Best Wood Fired Pizza Ovens
- Size – How much interior cooking room do you have?
- Flooring – Remember, the floor is the heart of the oven. One piece over multiple smaller bricks is a better choice.
- Set Up and Functionality – How easy is it to set up the outdoor pizza oven and is it easy to use?
- Stainless Steel Quality – There is a saying: “You get what you pay for.” Saving money by choosing a low quality stainless steel will end up costing you in the long run.
- Compare apples to apples – Cooking space, flooring and price.
Deciding to enhance your backyard with a portable wood fired pizza oven is smart. If you and your family enjoy pizza, it’s a wise investment that keeps your family close.