You’ve spotted wood-fired ovens whilst reveling in your travels in Europe and you may even relish the food theatre that grilling with a real wood oven creates in your nearby pizzeria,but how does a real wood fired pizza oven work? Talk to us at Valoriani
Pizza ovens operate on the foundation of choosing three kinds of heat energy for grilling:
1. Direct heat from the fire and flames
2. Radiated heat coming down from the dome,which is at its best when the fire has burned for a while until the dome has turned white and is soot-free
3. Convected heat,which comes up from the floor and from the ambient air
Cooking food with a wood-fired pizza oven is actually much simpler than you may imagine. All you really need to do is to ignite an excellent fire in the middle of the oven and then let it to heat up both the hearth of the oven and the inner dome. The heat you generate from your fire will be absorbed by the oven and that heat will then be radiated or convected,to let food to cook.
Once you have your oven dome and floor up to temperature,you simply push the fire to one side,choosing a metal peel,and start to cook,choosing solid wood as the heat source,rather than the gas or electricity you may usually rely on.
Of course,there are no temperature dials or controls,other than the fire,so the addition of solid wood is the equivalent of whacking up the temperature dial. If you don’t feed the fire,you let the temperature to drop.
How hot you let your oven to become really depends on what you wish to cook in your wood-fired oven. For pizza,you need a temperature of around 400-450 ° C; if you wish to choose an additional grilling technique,such as roasting,you need to do that at a temperature of around 200-300 ° C. There are different ways to do this.
You could first get the oven up to 450 ° C and then let the temperature to fall to that which you need,or As an alternative,you could just bring the oven up to the required temperature by choosing less solid wood.
As you are choosing convected rather than radiated heat for roasting,it is not as important to get the stones as hot. One other way to have an effect on the amount of heat reaching the food in a very hot oven is to choose tin foil,to reflect some of the heat away.
Heat produced within a wood-fired oven should be well-retained,if your oven is made of refractory brick and has great insulation. To cook the best pizza,you need to have an even temperature in your oven,both top and bottom. The design of the Valoriani makes this easy,but this is also an area where the quality of the oven will have a big impact.
Some ovens may need you to leave cinders on the oven floor,to try to heat it up adequately. Others have minimal or no insulation,so you will have to feed the fire much more. But that means it will then have too much direct heat and won’t cook top and bottom evenly.
One other thing to watch is,if the floor of the oven isn’t storing heat,you may need to reheat if before grilling every single pizza– a real pain. The message here is to always look for an oven built from the very best refractory materials and designed by craftsmens,like a Valoriani.
So,taking that into consideration,we’re going to change the title of this blog. The advice above isn’t so much about how solid wood fired pizza ovens work,but how the best wood-fired ovens work. If you go through a few ovens before steering a course towards a Wood Fired Pizza Ovens, that’s something you’ll come to appreciate.