It is time to get a new oven for your home. Being huge fans of pizza, your family members want to buy a pizza oven. But you are wondering, is a pizza oven better than a regular oven?
A pizza oven is a better choice for baking pizzas. The average temperature of a pizza oven is 900 °F, which is much higher than regular ovens. The brick structure of a pizza oven keeps them extremely hot. The result is crisp toppings, quicker baking, and a better taste and look. Moreover, you can cook anything in a pizza oven that you can cook in a regular oven.
This article elaborates on the superiority of a pizza oven over a regular one. It can also help you choose the correct wood for baking pizza in a pizza oven. Moreover, you will find methods for baking great pizzas with or without a pizza oven in the latter part of this article.
Why Is A Pizza Oven Better Than A Regular Oven?
Some particular types of pizza need to be cooked at low temperatures for a long time. The high temperature of a pizza oven is not suitable for those pizzas. But for most of the famous types of pizza, the pizza oven has always been the best choice. The reasons why a pizza oven is better than a regular oven are discussed below.
The average temperature of a pizza oven is 900 °F, and it has constant airflow. These two features seal the flavor of the toppings evenly and quickly, resulting in crispier toppings with all the nutrients intact inside. Moreover, the cheese layer on the top of the pizza melts properly with a smoky flavor when cooked in a pizza oven.
Pizzas get a crisp crust with a moist inner side when cooked in a pizza oven. The moisture in the dough gets sealed quickly. As a result, you get a crispy but tender pizza. In a regular oven, where you need to cook the pizza for a longer time at a low temperature, the pizza crusts get overcooked.
The brick walls of a pizza oven can preserve heat for a longer time. It ensures an even heat in every corner of the pizza while cooking. The result is quick cooking. The average cooking time of pizza in a pizza oven is around two minutes. It costs much less than a regular oven. A regular oven has an average temperature of 500 °F and takes around 15 minutes to bake a pizza in it.
Apart from great taste, quicker baking of pizza in a pizza oven saves time and energy for cooking. It can also save you from embarrassment when you are the host of a crowded party and there is a sudden shortage of pizza. Once, I had to bake an extra 20 pizzas for a family party while the party was on. Thank God I have a pizza oven in my house!
Better Taste and Look
When you bake your pizza in a pizza oven, you can tell the difference by the look. When baked in a pizza oven, the overall texture of the pizza improves. It becomes browner with the appearance of what many people call “leopard spots.”
Higher temperatures in a pizza oven create bigger crusts on a pizza. As a result, the pizza becomes tastier. Moreover, the pizza oven improves the taste of the pizza with better caramelization and wood smoke, and you get a strong aroma in your pizza
A regular oven cannot take the place of a pizza oven. But you can bake anything in a pizza oven that is cooked in a regular oven. It can be a strong argument to get a pizza oven instead of a regular one.
Apart from baking pizzas, you can also bake bread, barbecue chicken, or vegetables in a pizza oven. While cooking something in a pizza oven in your house, you are heating your room too. It can be very welcoming on a winter day.
What Wood To Use In A Pizza Oven?
Any wood that burns well can make a pizza oven work smoothly. But some particular types of wood work better for baking pizza.
Oak: Oakwoods are ideal for baking pizza in a pizza oven because they are heavy and dense. They are easily available and can produce extreme heat. Besides, they impart an earthy and smoky flavor to the food.
Maple: You may also use maple wood for baking pizza in a pizza oven. It has a subtly sweet flavor that suits pizzas, especially pizzas with chicken or vegetable toppings. You can also mix maple wood with oak wood to diversify the flavors of your pizza.
Apple: For a little bit of sweet and fruity flavor on your pizza, you can use applewood. They can cause burns at the high temperatures that are essential for pizza ovens. However, if you have a small pizza oven, you should not use applewood since it may leave a little ash over the pizza.
Hickory: Hickory wood is very popular as hot-burning hardwood. It burns almost as strongly as oak, but with a stronger, soothing aroma. Hickory is very popular in the eastern states of the USA because of its easy availability in the region.
Ash: Ash trees are mainly found in Eastern and Central America. With the strong temperature it can produce, ash wood can substitute oak easily. The flavor of ashwood is very mild and does not mingle with the taste of the pizza.
How To Cook Pizza In A Pizza Oven?
Cooking great pizzas in a pizza oven demands your full attention. It is not difficult if you follow the standard procedure meticulously.
Preparing the dough is the first step towards making the finest pizza. To protect the yeast from damage, you should dissolve the salt in the water first.
Make the mass with constant mixing with your hands until it does not get stuck in your hands anymore. Add as much water as the flour can absorb. An imbalanced mixture of water and flour will make a poor-quality pizza.
Leave the mass covered with a wet cloth for fermentation. Covering the dough with a cloth will prevent the surface of the dough from becoming hard. After a couple of hours, cut the mass partially with a spatula to make dough from it.
Standard pizza dough should weigh 200 grams to 280 grams to obtain a pizza with a diameter of eight and a half inches. Now, leave the dough for another two hours for further fermentation.
Make the Base
Spread the dough by pressing it with your hands from the center outwards. Keep repeating the process on both sides of the dough until the thickness gets to around a quarter inch.
On top of the disks of the dough, put peeled and sliced tomatoes, chopped mozzarella, grated cheese, basil leaves, and virgin olive oil.
Cook the Pizza
It is the final step to cooking pizza in a pizza oven. First, ignite the wood in the pizza oven and wait until the oven gets to a temperature of between 806 °F and 896 °F.
Now, all you need to do is put the pizza base inside the pizza oven and wait for one minute to one and a half minutes. And the fresh and delicious pizza will be ready.
How To Cook Pizza In A Regular Oven?
You can still bake a pizza in a regular oven. But you should be prepared for a low-quality pizza, compared to a pizza that was made in a pizza oven. Because the highest temperature that a regular oven can produce is between 500 °F and 550 °F, which is much less than what is required for cooking the finest-quality pizzas.
Baking pizza in a regular oven is almost the same as doing the same in a pizza oven. You need to prepare the dough just as you would for a pizza oven. After that, you will need to turn on the regular oven and get its temperature to the maximum limit. Now, put the garnished pizza base into the oven and wait for 15 minutes. Your regular oven-made pizza is supposed to be ready by then.