How To Cook A Pizza In A Wood Burning Pizza Oven
By Bill Snead
Terracotta pizza ovens are wood burning. They are made out of terracotta clay and are dome shaped with a chimney. Terracotta pizza ovens stand on a steel base. Cooking your pizza with wood gives your pizza a great smokey flavor that will impress your friends and family year round. You the cook can create wood fired pizzas at home in your backyard or on your patio. First, spread a two pound bag of sand around the base of the pizza oven. This raises the pizza stone to the lip of the opening making it easier to turn the pizza while it’s cooking. Also this is helpful to pull the pizza out when it is done. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, ash, beech, and birch are the best to use in your wood burning pizza oven. Next build a fire out dry wood at the back of the oven and it will be ready for baking in just fifteen minutes.
Once the fire has been built in the back of the wood burning pizza oven it is important to get the temperature right before putting the pizza in. The pizza oven needs to be between 450-500 degrees F (250-260 degrees C) and the stone needs to heat up while the oven heats. Large, thick-crusted pizzas may need a temperature closer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) so the crust can cook completely before the toppings burn. The best way to check the temperature of your wood burning pizza oven is with an infrared thermometer. The infrared thermometer will assess the temperature with pinpoint accuracy allowing you the cook to keep a safe distance from the heat. Once the temperature is set, place your dough in the oven to bake. Soon it will be ready to eat.
When cooking pizza in a wood burning pizza oven you need some basic tools. A pizza peel is used for placing and pulling the pizza out of the oven. An infrared thermometer is an essential in checking the temperature of your pizza oven. The surface for cooking your dough is a pizza stone. Using a long handle brush is handy for cleaning the oven. Suede leather gloves are useful for protecting your hands. When it is finished, a rotary cutter is perfect for making slices.
While in the wood burning oven, after seven minutes rotate your dough 180 degrees. This helps it cook the same on all sides. Use a pizza peel or tongs to rotate the pizza. Wearing gloves is helpful because the wood burning oven temperature can be dangerous. Adults should always be cooking and keep children away from the heat. After eight minutes once rotated, your crust should golden and the cheese should be bubbling. This is a good indicator that your pizza is done. Pull the pizza out with the peel. Wait approximately 4-5 minutes, then cut the pizza into slices with the rotary cutter and serve to your friends and family to enjoy.
Now you now the basic information of cooking with a wood burning pizza oven. You are ready to set up your wood burning oven and get the temperature perfect. You know how to evenly cook your pizza. You are informed of the basic tools for cooking with a wood burning oven. You too can be successful with a wood burning pizza oven.
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