If you are a pizza lover who is looking for an oven to install in the backyard of your house, then you should consider buying a metal pizza oven. A metal pizza oven is a fantastic addition to any backyard or outdoor cooking area. These versatile and efficient ovens allow you to create delicious, restaurant-quality pizzas with ease.
To make the most of your metal pizza oven, it’s essential to understand how to properly use and maintain it. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of using a metal pizza oven, ensuring that you achieve perfect results every time. But first, let’s discuss what a metal pizza oven is.
What is a metal pizza oven?
Pizza lovers and their obsession with trying different ways to cook pizzas to bring out the most delicious flavors is not hidden from anyone. Metal pizza ovens have gained immense popularity among people lately for all the right reasons. A metal pizza oven is a type of pizza oven that is primarily made out of metal materials. It is designed to provide a controlled and efficient cooking environment for baking pizzas. Metal pizza ovens are typically constructed using materials like stainless steel, cast iron, or aluminum, which are known for their durability and conductivity.
These ovens are available in various designs and sizes. Some metal pizza ovens are portable and compact, making them ideal for outdoor use, while others are larger and built as permanent fixtures in commercial kitchens or pizzerias. Depending on the model, metal pizza ovens can be fueled by wood, gas, or electricity but the use of wood is highly preferable to light the oven.
Metal pizza ovens often feature a chamber or cavity where the pizza is placed for baking. The interior of the oven is designed to distribute heat evenly, ensuring that the pizza cooks consistently and achieves a crispy crust. The metal construction helps to retain and radiate heat efficiently, allowing for quick and even cooking.
How to use a metal pizza oven?
Using a metal pizza oven is rather simple and straightforward and requires no rocket science. Follow the step-by-step guide below to learn to use a metal oven:
Prepare the Metal Pizza Oven
- Ensure that your metal pizza oven is clean and free from debris. Remove any ashes or leftovers from previous use.
- Check for any signs of wear or damage. Repair or replace any parts if necessary.
- Position the pizza oven on a stable and heat-resistant surface, away from flammable materials. Also, make sure you have proper ventilation in the cooking area.
- If using a wood-fired pizza oven, stack the wood near the oven for easy access during cooking.
Start the Fire
- If using a wood-fired pizza oven, place a few small pieces of kindling in the center of the oven.
- Add larger pieces of firewood or hardwood charcoal on top of the kindling, creating a pyramid shape for better airflow.
- Light the kindling with a long match or lighter. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to allow oxygen to reach the fire and promote combustion.
- Let the fire burn for about 20-30 minutes until a good bed of hot embers is formed.
Heat the Oven
- Use a long-handled metal brush or a damp cloth to remove any ashes from the oven floor.
- Push the embers to the side of the oven, creating a hotspot. This allows for even heating throughout the cooking process.
- Close the oven door and monitor the temperature. The ideal temperature for pizza cooking is around 700°F (370°C). Allow the oven to heat for approximately 1-2 hours to reach the desired temperature.
Prepare the Pizza
- While the oven is heating, prepare your pizza dough and gather your desired toppings.
- Roll out the dough into a thin, round shape and transfer it onto a pizza peel or a flat, lightly floured surface.
- Add your favorite sauce, cheese, and toppings, keeping in mind that less is more for a perfectly cooked pizza.
- Lightly dust the pizza peel with flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.
Cook the Pizza
- Open the oven door and slide the prepared pizza onto the hot oven floor using the pizza peel. Be careful not to touch the hot oven surfaces.
- Close the oven door and let the pizza cook for approximately 2-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
- Using a pizza peel or long-handled tongs, rotate the pizza occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Once the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned, carefully remove the pizza from the oven using the pizza peel.
- Allow the pizza to cool for a minute or two before slicing and serving.
Maintenance of a Metal Pizza Oven
When you invest your money in pricey ovens like the metal pizza oven, it is important for you to invest some time into its maintenance as well. T
o ensure the proper functioning and longevity of a metal pizza oven, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some maintenance tips for a metal pizza oven:
Clean the oven after each use to remove food residue, grease, and ash. Use a brush or scraper to remove any stuck-on debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the metal surface.
Seasoning helps create a protective layer on the metal, preventing rust and improving heat retention. After cleaning, wipe the oven with a cloth soaked in vegetable oil or high-heat cooking oil.
Apply a thin layer of oil to all interior surfaces, including the cooking surface, and heat the oven for an hour to allow the oil to penetrate the metal. Repeat this process periodically or as needed.
Metal pizza ovens are susceptible to rust, especially if not properly protected. Keep the oven dry and protected from moisture. If you notice any signs of rust, gently remove it with a wire brush, then re-season the affected area.
Inspect the chimney:
Check the chimney regularly for obstructions such as bird nests or debris.
Clear any blockages to ensure proper ventilation and prevent smoke buildup inside the oven.
Maintain the Cooking Surface:
Keep the cooking surface clean and free from food residue. Scrape off any stuck-on food with a metal spatula or brush. Avoid using water on a hot cooking surface as it can cause thermal shock and potentially damage the metal.
Store the Oven Properly:
If you’re not using the pizza oven for an extended period, it’s best to store it in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.
Consider using a waterproof cover specifically designed for pizza ovens.
How do you use a stainless steel pizza oven?
To use a stainless steel pizza oven, start by placing it in a safe and well-ventilated area, light up the pizza oven, and preheat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once preheated, carefully slide your pizza onto a pizza peel or a baking sheet and place it inside the oven. Allow the pizza to cook for the recommended time or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Once it’s done, take the pizza out of the oven.
How do you light a metal pizza oven?
Pile up some kindling and wood inside your metal oven and carefully light it up. Use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature inside your oven. Once you are satisfied with the temperature and heat in the oven, it’s time for you to set it on preheating.
How do you cook with a pizza oven?
Cooking with a pizza oven involves preheating the oven to the desired temperature. Preheating a pizza oven to the desired temperature allows you to prepare the dough. Place the prepared pizza on a stone or baking sheet, close the oven door, and let it cook. Pizza ovens reach high temperatures quickly, making cooking time shorter than conventional ovens. Handle the hot oven with caution and use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves to remove the pizza when done.
Metal pizza ovens have gained popularity among home cooks, outdoor enthusiasts, and professional chefs also due to their convenience, versatility, and ability to produce delicious, restaurant-quality pizzas.
They have a relatively quick heat-up time compared to traditional brick ovens. They are also generally easier to use, clean, and maintain. If you are looking to invest in a good-quality pizza oven, a metal pizza oven should be your first choice.