If you have an outdoor pizza oven, you may have already grabbed a slice of summer with the delicious flavours of homemade pizza. If you haven’t, you may be wondering where to start. In this article, we cover what you need to know to get the best results from your outdoor pizza oven.
Choosing the right outdoor pizza oven
When choosing an outdoor pizza oven you will need to consider the fuel type, which would be whether to choose wood-fired, gas-fired, or portable options. Wood-fired ovens can offer authentic flavour but require more maintenance. Gas-fired ovens are convenient to control but the results can lack the smoky taste. Portable ovens are versatile but may sacrifice temperature control so can risk burning your food. You should select the oven based on your own preference and/or experience with pizza ovens to ensure you can get good cooking results.
There isn’t much else you need to cook a pizza, but we would definitely recommend getting yourself a pizza peel or paddle. This can really assist in getting the pizzas in and out of the oven with ease. A great time is to add some course semolina or flour to the peel to ensure the pizza does not stick and slides off evenly and easily. A pizza stone or baking steel is another great addition for enhancing your pizza production. They are placed into the over to heat and help ensure a crispier, chewier base.
Preparing the dough
Preparing the dough is crucial for a delicious pizza and necessary to get the best results. It’s difficult to give the perfect recipe as much will be down to personal preference. However, we recommend trying this quick pizza dough recipe from Sainsburys Magazine which you can read more about by clicking here. Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Then, make a well in the centre to which you will add oil and 225ml of water to create the dough. Tip the mixture out of the bowl and knead until it is smooth. Stretch it gently to your desired thickness, ensuring a balance between chewiness and crispiness.
Perfecting the sauce and toppings
Achieving pizza perfection lies in perfecting the sauce and toppings. Fresh ingredients like ripe tomatoes, aromatic herbs, and flavourful spices are essential for a delicious sauce. Explore different options like traditional marinara, creamy white sauce, or vibrant pesto. When it comes to toppings, try to strike a balance between flavours and textures, combining sweet and savoury, soft and crunchy, or mild and bold elements for an unforgettable pizza experience.
Preheating your pizza oven
Preheating your pizza oven is essential for achieving the perfect pizza. It significantly impacts the cooking process, ensuring a crispy crust and evenly cooked toppings. By preheating, the oven reaches the desired temperature, allowing the dough to cook quickly and evenly, resulting in a deliciously crispy crust. Additionally, a properly preheated oven ensures that the toppings are cooked thoroughly and evenly, enhancing the overall flavour and texture of the pizza. One tip to preheat the oven is by allowing enough time to reach the desired temperature. Depending on the type of oven you are using, we suggest allowing at up to 30 minutes to get to the right temperature.
Mastering cooking techniques
Using direct heat and indirect heat are two common cooking methods for an outdoor pizza oven. For direct heat, place the pizza directly on the hot cooking surface, which produces a quick and crispy result. With indirect heat, create a cooler zone by placing the pizza away from the heat source, allowing it to cook more slowly and evenly. This method is ideal for thicker crusts or pizzas with delicate toppings. The key to success is usually down to experimenting with both methods to achieve different textures and flavours in your pizzas, a lot of this can also be down to the preference of the person eating it though.
Timing and rotating pizzas
To ensure your pizza is evenly cooked and to avoid any burning, you should keep an eye on cooking times and adjust if needed. You can rotate the pizzas during cooking to get consistent heat distribution. This prevents uneven spots of cooking. In order to get a golden crust and melt the toppings, you will need to find the right balance of timing and pizza rotation. This comes with practice, as once you notice the toppings start to melt you will know it’s time to rotate and do the other side.
Experimenting with flavours
Once you’re comfortable with using the pizza oven, it is time to explore and experiment with your cooking. There are various different recipes available online to create a unique and new experience for your taste buds. Equally, the different recipes online will allow you to cater for different dietary needs.
Cooking the perfect pizza will always take time, practice and experimentation with both the ingredients and recipes. But with the right kit, methods and attention to what worked well and what didn’t, you can get great results with your outdoor pizza oven. So if you don’t get it right the first time then try again!
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