BBQ pizza ovens have gained tremendous popularity among food enthusiasts. With one, you can experiment and customise your pizzas to perfection!
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to master it. Ready to elevate your pizza-making skills with these tools, techniques, and tips?
Before firing up the pizza oven, familiarise yourself with the available types. Here are the three most common variations:
Wood-fired pizza ovens
Wood-fired pizza ovens are the traditional choice. They’re often made of brick or clay, which help keep and distribute heat evenly. Moreover, they’re known for imparting a distinctive smokey flavour to your pizzas.
These ovens use wood as the primary fuel source, creating intense heat. This allows for rapid cooking and that coveted crispy crust.
- Authentic wood-fired flavour and smoky aroma.
- High heat for quick cooking and crispy crust.
- Retains heat for extended periods, allowing for versatile cooking.
- It requires more time and effort to start and maintain the fire.
- Limited temperature control compared to gas-powered ovens.
Gas-powered pizza ovens
Gas-powered pizza ovens offer convenience and ease of use. They use gas as the fuel source, e.g., propane or natural gas, providing quick and consistent heat.
Gas pizza ovens often feature temperature controls, allowing for precise heat management. They’re ideal for those who value convenience and efficient cooking.
- Quick and easy ignition with precise temperature control.
- Even heat distribution for consistent cooking.
- Convenient and user-friendly operation.
- Lack the traditional smoky flavour of wood-fired ovens.
- Some models may require a gas connection or propane tank.
Portable pizza ovens
Portable pizza ovens are a versatile option for outdoor cooking enthusiasts. These compact ovens are designed for mobility, allowing you to take them anywhere! Be it on camping trips, picnics, or any outdoor adventure.
They can be fuelled by wood, gas, or even charcoal, depending on the model. Portable ovens offer flexibility and convenience without compromising on taste and performance.
- Lightweight and compact, ideal for outdoor adventures.
- Versatile fuel options, including wood, gas, and charcoal.
- Quick heating and cooking times.
- Smaller cooking spaces may limit the size of pizzas.
- Temperature control may be less precise compared to larger ovens.
Now that you have chosen the type of BBQ pizza oven, it’s time to set it up for successful cooking sessions. Consider the following tips:
Place your oven in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable objects and structures. Ensure it’s on a stable, level surface.
Adequate ventilation is essential to prevent smoke buildup. Position the oven in an area with proper airflow. Or consider installing a chimney or venting system.
Familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. Use heat-resistant gloves, aprons, and long-handled tools to protect yourself from high temperatures. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies.
Here are some must-have tools for cooking perfect pizzas:
- Pizza peel: A long-handled paddle with a flat, thin surface used to slice pizzas in and out of the oven. Opt for a peel made of wood or metal for durability and ease of use.
- Pizza stone: A thick, heat-retaining stone that helps create a crispy crust. It works by absorbing moisture from the dough. Choose a high-quality one that fits your oven size for optimal heat distribution.
- Infrared thermometer: Allows you to measure the temperature of your oven accurately. This tool helps ensure that you achieve the ideal cooking temperature.
- Pizza cutter: An essential for cleanly slicing your pizzas once cooked to perfection.
- Heat-resistant gloves: For protecting your hands from the intense heat of the oven. Look for gloves made specifically for high-temperature cooking.
- Long-handled tongs: For rotating and handling your pizzas safely while they cook inside.
Techniques for Perfectly Cooked Pizzas
Different pizza styles and dough recipes may have slight variations in temperature requirements. Thin-crust pizzas tend to cook better at higher temperatures. Thicker crusts, in contrast, may benefit from slightly lower temperatures.
Achieving the perfect pizza requires careful temperature control in your BBQ pizza oven. The optimal temperature range for cooking pizzas typically falls between 450°F (232°C) and 500°F (260°C). This high heat allows for quick cooking, resulting in a crispy crust.
Adjust the temperature accordingly based on the specific recipe and desired outcome. You may follow the steps below to achieve a crispy crust and perfectly melted cheese.
Cooking with a BBQ pizza oven
- Preheat your BBQ pizza oven to the desired temperature (around 450°F to 500°F) with the pizza stone inside. This ensures the stone reaches the ideal temperature for a well-baked crust.
- Take your pizza dough and gently shape it into your desired size and thickness. Use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and shape the dough evenly. Remember to leave a slightly thicker crust at the edges.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper or sprinkle cornmeal or flour on a pizza peel. Transfer the shaped dough onto the peel, ensuring it can slide easily onto the pizza stone.
- Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a border around the edges. Add your desired toppings, making sure not to overload the pizza, as it may affect the cooking process.
- Carefully transfer the pizza from the peel onto the preheated pizza stone in the BBQ pizza oven. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to slide it off the peel and onto the stone.
- Keep a close eye on the pizza as it cooks. The cooking time can vary based on oven temperature and the thickness of the crust. It typically takes 10-15 minutes for a pizza to cook in a BBQ pizza oven.
- About halfway through the cooking process, use tongs or a pizza peel to rotate the pizza 180 degrees. This ensures even cooking and prevents any hot spots.
- Keep an eye on the crust’s colour and texture. The crust should be golden brown and crispy, and the cheese should be melted and bubbly. Once the desired doneness is achieved, remove the pizza from the oven using the peel or tongs.
- Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before slicing it into wedges. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade BBQ pizza!
Cooking with a pizza oven grill opens up a world of delicious possibilities. With the right guide and tools, and a little practice, you’ll be on your way to becoming a master of BBQ pizza oven cooking. So fire up your oven and enjoy the delightful experience of crafting homemade pizzas!