Much more than the delicious appeal it has on our palates, one of the other exciting things about pizza is the cooking process. However, there exists the question of whether it is best to cook indoors or outdoors.
Outdoor pizza ovens can safely heat up to higher temperatures than home, indoor ovens and usually produce better results, especially when making good Neapolitan-style pizzas. Many people wonder if outdoor ovens, by nature, take longer to heat up than indoor ovens. If you have that same question, we are here to answer that question.
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What is an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
Outdoor pizza ovens have, over time, become more suitable options for pizza cooking when compared to the typical indoor ovens. An outdoor pizza oven can reach temperatures exceeding 900°F, in contrast to indoor ovens that max out at around 600°F. The higher temperature range implies you can make more pizza varieties, with each bearing respective defining features.
Outdoor pizza ovens can be fuelled by gas, wood, or charcoal. It all comes down to personal preference and the cost implication of the fuel. The typical operation mechanism involves burning fuel to generate enough heat energy to heat up the oven’s interior. However, the highlight is that the ovens are designed for heat retention.
Recently, we have seen these ovens become more compact, more effective, and more affordable. Additionally, they come in several sizes, and you shouldn’t have a problem owning one if you have limited space.
Outdoor Pizza Oven Tips
Just before we get to the heat-up time of outdoor pizza ovens, let’s discuss some helpful tips to improve your outdoor pizza-making experience.
This is one of the most important things to consider when situating your oven. Ensure that the surface on which the oven stands is flat and sufficiently stable. Furthermore, check the balance and stability as it will become unsafe to move when high temperatures have been attained.
Use an Oven Thermometer
Like with most kitchen appliances, you get more familiar with repeated use. Use an oven thermometer to get a real sense of the cooking temperature and heat up time. Quite naturally, you should progressively understand your oven over the first months of use, right until you can accurately estimate the cooking temperature and required preheating time relating to the temperature settings display of the oven (if it has one).
Have a Wire Brush and Peel Around
Maintenance is a big part of oven usage, and a wire brush is one of the most significant pieces of cleaning equipment. It would help if you had it to remove embers and dirt from the firing space. Endeavor to clean before and after each use. Also, it would help if you had a peel nearby whenever you use the oven.
Distribute Heat Evenly
This is particularly important in charcoal and wood ovens. You need to ensure that the wood burns relatively evenly for as long as you need to cook. Furthermore, it would be best to push some of the burning embers to the right and left whenever you notice the embers smoldering. What you want is a little flame burning on the embers always.
However, you want to avoid excessive smoke in the oven, so you should keep the burning flames at bay.
Cooldown the oven
As outdoor ovens can reach higher temperatures than kitchen ovens, you are more likely to burn your food when they get too hot. You can administer a quick test to determine if it is safe or not to put your dough in the oven. Throw a handful of flour into the oven; if it catches fire or burns black immediately, open the oven to cool it down for 15 to 20 minutes before putting in the dough.
Turning the Pizza
If you hope to get evenly-cooked pizzas with the right level of crispiness, you ought to turn the dough occasionally. You’ll need a pizza popper or turner to turn occasionally so that you can get consistent cooking throughout the pizza.
Cleaning the oven
Wood and charcoal ovens require more cleaning effort than gas ovens. Nonetheless, always leave the oven to cool down fully before you attempt to clean. Clean out the ash with a rake or brush. It may not be very safe to scrape with abrasive materials if you have to clean out baked-on food. A soft, damp rag is sufficient if you have a metal oven. Brick ovens should not be cleaned with water.
How Long Does it Take for an Outdoor Pizza Oven to Heat Up?
Several factors combine to influence the heat up time of an outdoor pizza oven. On average, it would take at least one and a half hours to reach normal pizza cooking temperature. Some of the other factors that affect heat up time are:
While it is relative to some other factors like fuel type and the burning rate, the size of an oven affects how long it takes to heat up fully. The larger an oven is, the longer it will take to heat up fully at the constant fuel consumption rate. With wood and charcoal ovens, you hasten the temperature rise by burning more fuel quantity.
Charcoal, gas, and wood all burn at different rates to produce different heat intensities. For example, wood burns faster than charcoal and will typically heat up an oven faster than charcoal. Gas also burns fast but is not commonly used in pizza ovens.
Brick and metal are two of the commonest outdoor pizza oven materials. However, they have different levels of heat conductivity and retention. Brick ovens have been impossible to replace in heat retention and insulation. They do take longer to heat up, though. On the other hand, metal ovens tend to heat up faster, but they do not retain heat as much as brick ovens.
If you plan to get an outdoor pizza oven or just wondering how long it takes to heat one up to a temperature perfect for making pizza, hopefully, we have answered your question.
In this post, we have covered several factors that can affect the heat up time. Nevertheless, we advise that you use an oven temperature to get a more accurate reading of an oven’s internal temperature at all times.