Outdoor Pizza Oven
- MagnumWino Aug 18, 2006 05:37 PM
I'm currently looking into installing a woodburning pizza oven outside on my patio. Any hounds have one? If so I'd just like to get your thoughts, how you like it, what you would have done differently, if anything? Any pitfalls you may have encountered along the way.
After much research on Chowhound Cookware and on various online sites I purchased the BIG GREEN EGG. Check out BIGGREENEGG.COM and read the customer feedback...I've never read such great reviews about a product. It's based on ancient Japanese clay oven technology and on it's predessor; the Kamodo Egg. Some Egg owners have had them since world war II. The Green Egg is made of thick ceramic so it maintains even heat for hours and hours. It's a grill, smoker, pizza oven, pastry oven, wok, etc. etc. It uses readily available natural lump charcoal for fuel.
Yeah, the Egg is pretty unbelievable. It's as good as they say. I'm a smokin (that is meat smokin) and grillin fool! I'm just as curious as you about the outdoor woodburing ovens. I havn't picked up my baking stone for my Egg yet. The Big Green Egg forum has a lot of positive feedback on baking pizza's. The BIG GREEN EGG ceramic design and the even cooking temperature offers a good alternative to buying a woodburning oven. The Green Egg can do sooo much so, if you're curious about slow smoking/barbcueing, then The Big Green Egg is worth a look. I'm watching this post closely for the Outdoor Brick Oven feedback!
There's a lot of good info on the web, I've been looking into building one for myself. My wife says I can go ahead as part of a back yard makeover, I just want the oven.
Google wood burning oven for a start, there's an organization that even gives DIY classes.
I read a piece about a year ago about building your own outdoor pizza oven. I have not done it, but the author said the weekend it was supposed to take took two. Still not bad.
I'm talking real pizza oven - like 800 degrees. He said it made great pizza. Somewhere around here I have a book with plans in it, and I probably (maybe) have the mag too I read it in. All of which means you could probably find plans for it for free too. They're around.
I built one a few years ago in my small, city backyard. I bought a book of plans from Alan Scott at ovencrafters.net and he was very helpful. Know that if you build it yourself, it is no small endeavor. I worked on the weekends with a friend or two, and it took months and months and months to get it done. Alan may also know some one in your area who can build it for you.
I use it pretty much every weekend. Firing it takes some planning, and it gets quite hot -- well over 800 degrees if I tend it carefully. The first night I do pizzas or something else that requires high heat. (I've been meaning to use it as a tandoor but haven't yet.) The next night is a roast bird or something that requires lower heat, as the oven remains pretty hot after 24 hours -- perhaps about 300 degrees or so.
It takes a good deal of hard wood to fire the thing, and it seems like a waste to do it for one meal. I also tend to have people over, sometimes uninvited neighbors who smell the smoke and show up with a cast iron pan and the evening's ingredients. Ovens of this sort were often built by communities for community use, as the construction is complicated, time consuming and expensive. You might see if you have interested neighbors.
The food that comes out of the oven is fantastic, but cooking with real fire is tricky. There is a serious bit of learning and experimentation, but there are a few good books on the subject. I particularly enjoy roasted vegetables, pizza, roasted fruit, flat breads, ...
Good luck if you decide to go down this road.