Are you seeking for how does a pizza oven work, if yes you are at the right place.
Pizza ovens are an essential part of any pizzeria. They produce that crispy, delicious crust you love so much and the perfect amount of char to give your pizza that signature flavor. But how does it work? This blog post will answer all your questions about the inner workings of a pizza oven!
What is a pizza oven?
A pizza oven is an appliance used to bake pizzas. The traditional design for this type of oven is a brick or clay dome placed inside another chamber with possible holes in the bottom or top of the container that allows air to flow through.
This creates an environment where the temperature can soar over 800 degrees Fahrenheit, baking your perfect pizza in 90 seconds or less!
There are two ways of heating a pizza oven: indirectly and directly. An indirectly heated range has no fire on the floor of the cooking chamber but instead heats bricks on all sides until they radiate heat, which cooks the pizzas on racks inside.
A direct-heat pizza oven uses fire on the cooking chamber floor to quickly heat it rather than heating bricks. This is the oven style most commonly used in pizzerias because it cooks more evenly, faster and uses less energy than an indirect-heat oven.
>> Read more: Best Alfa Pizza Oven reviews in 2023
Let’s look at the anatomy of a pizza oven!
The floor of a pizza oven can be made out of stone or brick. One would rarely be made entirely out of stone because after time, heat, and wear and tear, and they tend to crack! Three primary materials are used for traditional brick ovens: ceramic refractory clay tiles, high alumina cement tiles, and castable refractory clay.
Ceramic refractory clay is porous, so this means moisture can get trapped inside, which creates steam while baking, making the pizza crust soft and wet.
This material is excellent for wood-fired ovens with no heat retention but unsuitable for coal-fired or gas-fired ovens, which heats up quickly and cooks pizzas very fast!
High alumina cement tiles are made with a mix of clay and aluminum oxide, making them more resistant to intense heat than standard ceramic refractory clay tiles. They’re great for wood-fired, coal-fired, and gas-fired ovens because they retain heat well.
On the other hand, Castable refractory ceramic is similar to high alumina cement tiles in that it’s also made with a mix of clay and aluminum oxide.
But sets of castable refractory ceramic are more fluid when raw to be poured into different shapes after being fired in a kiln. They’re great for wood-fired, coal-fired, and gas-fired ovens because they retain heat well.
Refractory bricks are also used on the cooking chamber walls surrounding the floor tiles to help protect them from wear and tear over time. Some traditional pizza ovens have an inner layer of firebrick, a softer brick designed to absorb the intense heat from burning logs inside the stove!
Then there’s firebrick, which is similar to refractory brick but might not be as porous or good at retaining heat. Both are designed primarily with maintaining temperatures in mind rather than efficiency.
The outermost layer of a traditional pizza oven is made from insulation. Insulation materials vary depending on the oven manufacturer and style of the stove. However, some common choices are vermiculite or perlite, which gives a little more flexibility to the structure while still providing excellent insulation value.
Other options include autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), expanded clay aggregate (ECA), and lightweight insulating concrete with fiber (LICH). AAC, for example, is lighter than clay tiles, so it can create an oven that’s easier to transport! ECA has low thermal conductivity, so it keeps heat in very well.
A chimney sits on top of the cooking chamber to help ventilate out smoke created by the fire inside and help regulate the heat inside the room.
While all ovens have chimneys, some are designed to allow air to flow through them while others are not! This is important to know if you want a range that’s easier to maintain or one that bakes more evenly.
Once the fire is lit inside the cooking chamber, there needs to be a way for oxygen to enter. If it doesn’t, carbon monoxide can build up, which will leave your pizzas tasting burnt and acrid! A pizza oven typically has two ways of ventilating: through the door and the floor tiles.
A traditional brick oven door is made out of cast iron or steel with insulation on either side for better heat retention. A metal door can get very hot, so some are designed with a hole to insert your pizza peel through without burning yourself!
Since the door is so close to the fire, it’s easy to warp over time. It needs to be replaced if this happens. The floor tiles of a traditional brick oven are typically made out of refractory clay because they’re porous and retain heat well, which helps keep the cooking chamber hot!
Some manufacturers make their floor tiles slightly raised off the ground to create an air gap underneath. This is done in cold climates where people want to melt snow or prevent ice from forming on top of their ovens.
Air flows underneath and creates convective currents that add more oxygen into the fire inside the cooking chamber, speeding up the healing process.
The exterior of a traditional Italian pizza oven can vary depending on the manufacturer and oven style. Some might be made out of clay tiles, and others might be brick or stone!
This gives them different colors and textures, which you can see in the pictures below, and differences in weight and whether they’re left raw, lightly painted or fully painted. In some cases, people also paint their roofs to match the color scheme of their homes, but this is less common.
How does a pizza oven work?
A traditional pizza oven works by transferring heat to the air, and then this air is transferred to your pizzas, making them cook faster than they would in a conventional oven. As mentioned before, there are two ways of doing this: through the door and floor tiles.
The firebox inside a traditional pizza oven typically burns logs or sometimes charcoal; however, some new implementations use gas. Wood gives it more flavor but can be messy! It needs to burn long enough for the temperature of the cooking chamber to rise above 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some manufacturers let you adjust how much oxygen gets into their ovens during the burning process by restricting airflow with vents on top of the chimney to achieve this goal. More oxygen means more flames which speed up healing time.
Modern brick ovens often use gas burners instead of logs because they can be turned on and off easier than wood. Gas is also more efficient, which makes the whole process cleaner and quieter!
With this method, the firebox will never get above 800 degrees Fahrenheit, soo you won’t get quite as much of that smoky wood flavor but still a delightful smell. You’ll have to wait longer for your cooking chamber to heat up to over 500 degrees Fahrenheit when using a gas burner, though, since there’s less airflow.
In some cases, people add lava rocks in their fireboxes to create a barbecue feel inside the oven, where the meat also gets seared from thermal radiation. Once they’re white-hot, though, they radiate mostly infrared light, which makes your pizzas cook quickly compared to if they were black and cast mostly visible light!
Some manufacturers also include a gas burner inside the oven itself. Like I mentioned before, you can either let it burn through an opening in the door or holes in the floor tiles. This enables people to add more fuel while cooking without opening up their ovens which can drop the interior temperature.
It’s also helpful in ensuring that your firebox is always hot enough when you’re starting because it takes longer for a chamber to heat up without burning logs since there’s less airflow.
The primary material that traditional pizza ovens are made out of is brick. However, some newer ones have been built using steel or pre-fabricated ovens that are entirely enclosed.
Brick is easy to mass-produce; however, it’s heavier and more expensive than steel which can be fluidly molded into any shape with the help of CNC cutting machines.
Brick ovens can withstand high temperatures easily because they’re kiln-fired at scorching temperatures before they leave the factory to fix the stones in place inside them. The main downside with brick is that it’s cumbersome, especially when you want to move your oven around!
People usually do this when they remodel their homes if they decide not to put their ovens in the same spot or when they get older and find that carrying heavy things like pizza ovens is too tricky for them anymore.
Newer ovens are built using steel and come pre-fabricated with the oven door, chimney (or exhaust hood), floor tiles, and sometimes even the firebox intact. You’ll need to purchase them from a manufacturer and then hire a professional installer to build them for you since these can be very heavy and complicated.
The great thing about these types of ovens is that they’re highly customizable! You get to choose how many racks you want inside your range or what kind of material you’d like for your floor tiles, such as stainless steel, terracotta clay, or cast iron.
Pre-assembled ovens are also much easier to clean because the ashes fall through holes in each rack, so there’s less soot buildup than
In this case, you can build a wooden or steel frame around your brick oven and then attach it to a trailer so that you can drag it around with a truck. Another option is to disassemble your oven into smaller pieces first and then re-assemble them at their new homes.
Ovens made entirely of steel have the benefit of being very movable since they’re not as heavy as brick ovens! They can also be heated up much faster than brick ovens because there’s no need to wait for it to warm up all over as if you were baking cookie dough from scratch.
Squeezing those stones together in the middle creates heat directly where you need it most! The downside is that cooking pizzas for hours will deform it over time, and you’ll see your oven rusting or warping in ways that brick ones won’t.
If you want an oven that’s extremely quick to heat up but doesn’t mind having to wait a few days before the bricks are completely dry, then pre-fabricated gas-fired pizza ovens can be great for you!
They come with all the materials intact (firebox, chimney, heavy-duty floor tiles), so they’re solid and durable both when they’re hot and cold. The downside is that people assume they can cook pizzas at even higher temperatures than wood-fired ones since their fireboxes are already burning propane instead of wet logs.
If you want to cook for several hours at a time, you’ll probably need to refuel the firebox with wood or charcoal to keep your oven hot enough.
How does a commercial pizza oven work?
A commercial pizza oven is typically used in restaurants, pubs, and pizzerias. The oven heats up to temperatures of 900ºF or higher and cooks pizzas within minutes.
Unlike a traditional home-style range that uses gas or electricity, the furnace is fueled by either natural gas (NG) or propane (LP), piped into the building through a gas line.
When you turn on the knob for your desired temperature, there are two sensors – one measures air temperature around the firebox and another measures air temperature at the vent opening – these readings determine how much NG/LP will be sent to the fuel combustion process inside of your firebox.
The size of your oven will determine how fast it can heat up and cool down. More giant ovens usually take longer to heat up and cool down than smaller ones because of their volume; they also need more insulation to retain the heat within the oven cavity.
Commercial pizza ovens are usually made out of brick with steel doors and designed to be extremely heavy to withstand high temperatures for hours on end. They’re also equipped with firebrick floors that can withstand the weight of thousands of pounds without cracking or breaking under pressure.
These ovens are large enough to fit several pizzas at once, so they require an entire team of people to work efficiently. These ovens usually have a gas line installed so that there’s always a consistent flame going 24/7, which means you can throw in your dough when you’re ready!
The downside is that these types of ovens cost tens (sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars, but they last longer than any other type of commercial oven.
How does a wood-fired pizza oven work?
Wood-fired pizza ovens are the best way to cook a delicious, artisanal pie. They use wood as their primary fuel source and can reach very high temperatures while maintaining a constant temperature throughout the cooking process.
The fire is contained in a brick or stone chamber on top of your oven’s floor, and it burns down through a chimney at the back of your oven, heating the floor from below. This design ensures that you’ll always have an even heat distribution from end to end.
The kindling starter on top of your firebox gets lit with paper or small pieces of wood before adding more giant sticks for maximum burn time – about 30 minutes worth if using good quality hardwoods like oak or apple.
You light this initial layer so that your oven starts to warm up slowly, and then you can start adding larger logs every 15 minutes. The flame is drawn upwards by the chimney draft, which means that all of the smoke goes out of your oven – no soot or ash remaining on your floor.
Wood-fired pizza ovens are incredibly efficient because they use wood as their primary fuel source.
How does a gas-fired pizza oven work?
Gas-fired ovens are highly similar to wood-fired ones with a few minor differences. These ranges usually have a gas line installed so that there’s always a consistent flame going which means you can throw in your dough when you’re ready!
They also don’t require as much preheating time as brick or stone-based ovens, but the downside is that they’re not as strong as those other materials. This means it will take less heat for your pizzas to become burnt since they sit directly atop metal racks instead of being “protected” by an entire brick oven.
They work on the principle that heat rises and gas is piped into burners at the top of an oven chamber to produce intense heat, radiating down onto pizzas placed below it on a stone surface.
The extreme heat cooks pizzas quickly by creating fast-moving air currents inside the chamber, much like convection cooking uses hot air to cook food faster than typical methods used without convection technology.
This intense heating also causes moisture from ingredients such as cheese to vaporize, making for crispier crusts.
When you need to maintain an oven at precise temperatures, gas is the way to go because it’s consistent and easy to control with a valve on the front of your range.
The downside is that you’ll have higher energy costs than other types of commercial ovens, but some pizzerias are okay with this because they value their time more – gas-fired ovens are perfect for restaurants that don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.
How do electric pizza ovens work?
Electric pizza ovens are heating units that cook pizzas in a few minutes. They produce heat through electricity, then heat the metal plates on both sides of the cooking chamber that holds the pizza dough and toppings.
The heat cooks everything evenly and quickly so that when it’s time to take out the cooked food, there will be crispy crust with soft cheese but not too much liquidy sauce or runny eggs around it.
The whole process takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish – just enough time to slightly char the crust and melt some cheese. This type of oven is a good option for pizzerias that don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen but still offer delicious, ready-to-eat food when people come in for lunch or dinner.
Why would you want to have one in your home?
There are great reasons to invest in an at-home pizza oven. You can make your pizzas whenever you want without having to walk down to the closest pizzeria! Plus, there’s nothing like pushing your dough and cooking up a fresh meal for you and your family or friends.
This is why it’s excellent that affordable pizza ovens exist – they’re compact, efficient, durable, and easy to use so that everyone can enjoy their very own homemade pizza right away.
For those who care about what goes into their bodies, using an at-home wood fire oven ensures that you’ll cook with quality ingredients which means no preservatives or processed food.
Cooking with gas hasn’t been popularized as much as a wood fire, but if your favorite pizzeria switches to a gas-fired oven, you can cook your favorite toppings in minutes at home, too!
Types of pizza ovens and their benefits
There are many types of ovens you can choose from, so it’s best to know your options before deciding which one is right for you.
Woodfire ovens are great for cooked dishes that need high heat to impart distinct flavors, including steaks, pork chops, and vegetables. There’s nothing like a slow-roasting wood fire which means your meats come out tender with rich flavor!
However, because it requires constant attention and lots of space, this type of pizza oven might not be the best option if you don’t have time to monitor the cooking process carefully or lack space.
It would help if you also had preheating times, which take up to an hour depending on how big your device is – small ones require 30 minutes while bigger ones need an hour to heat up.
It would help seasoned your oven with wood-burning regularly before using it, which can be tedious for some people.
Electric pizza ovens are more convenient than counterparts because all you have to do is plug it in and wait for the perfect crust to come out perfectly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside with toppings fully melted but not too much so.
The best thing about electric ovens is that they don’t require weeks of seasoning – plug them in, and you’re good to go! Plus, they’re small enough, so you won’t have any problems finding space for them in your kitchen or outdoor dining area.
Gas-fired pizza ovens are very similar to electric ovens because they’re also relatively easy to use. You have to press a button and wait for your pizza dough to cook through quickly.
They are usually built-in commercial restaurants so setting them up requires professional guidance, which means you should consult with an expert before deciding on investing in one of these ovens for home use.
Because electric models come with metal plates on both sides, there’s less likelihood that the dough will burn since it cooks evenly – this makes it great for thin, crusted pizzas like the Neapolitan style!
Plus, gas-fired models only heat the bottom side of the dough, which can be dangerous if you’re not careful or forget that there’s still food cooking inside the device.
One drawback is that some electric ovens have a soft-start function that can take as long as 5 minutes to heat up fully – this is why it’s best to choose one that comes with auto shut off so you won’t have to wait longer.
Things to consider before buying a pizza oven for your home
Now that you know the basics of choosing a pizza oven let’s talk about some other factors to consider before buying one for home use.
Size – what size do you need? If your kitchen space is limited, but you still want to make small pizzas for yourself, then investing in a mini pizza oven would be great, although it’ll take more time because the cooking area is smaller.
The good thing about these devices is that they’re compact, so there are no storage problems! They’re also recommended for students living in dorms or who don’t have much free space at home.
If you have enough room available, getting a more extensive model should be okay since most units come with pull-out tr and racks giving users quick access to pizzas.
Brand – there are dozens of brands for home pizza ovens, but not all of them are created equal, so choose one with a good reputation for durability and effectiveness.
As with any appliance, investing in solid and well-known brands provides peace of mind because they usually have substantial resale value if you want to upgrade later.
Price – how much can you spend? Investing in a high-end device doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be superior to cheaper models, so take the time to compare prices before deciding which is best for your needs.
Features – what’s important to you? Think about what features are most important to you so you’ll have an easier time choosing between models with similar price tags. For example, if you want to cook more than just pizza, select a model that offers different cooking options.
Heating time is another factor, so if you have limited patience, then it’s best to invest in an oven with fast heating times, so your pizzas are ready in no time!
Now that you know the basics of pizza ovens let’s take a look at some of the best brands and models on the market today.
FAQs about how does a pizza oven work
How is a pizza oven different from a regular oven?
A pizza oven is different from a regular oven in that it’s specially designed to cook pizzas – this makes it great when you’re hosting parties or if you want to surprise your family with homemade pizzas. It doesn’t matter whether you like the thin-crusted or deep-dish style because these devices can accommodate either kind!
How does it work?
Pizza ovens are relatively easy to use, so that anyone can do it regardless of skill level. All you have to do is plug the device in, set the timer, and close the lid.
After preheating for 15-20 minutes, open the door and pour some flour on top of its surface, then place your dough on top. Close the lid again and wait for 5-10 minutes or until the dough browns and bubbles at the surface.
How do you use an outdoor pizza oven?
Using an outdoor pizza oven is the same as using one indoors, but you’ll need to make sure it’s installed properly. Outdoor models usually work with propane tanks, so there’s no need to worry about electric wiring or other installation works.
Just like indoor units, all you have to do is plug it in and wait for around 20 minutes before cooking your pizzas!
Do outdoor pizza ovens need a door?
Yes, outdoor pizza ovens need a door so you can easily access your pizzas. If the unit doesn’t come with one, then you’ll have to build it yourself but keep in mind that they might not be as sturdy or reliable compared to brands that offer doors made of steel or other strong, durable materials.
Where should I place my oven during cooking?
For best results, place your device on top of a flat surface and make sure there are no flammable objects nearby while cooking – this includes walls and cabinets filled with grease!
Be careful if placing it outside because even though some units are specially designed for outdoor use, you still have to make sure it’s adequately secured at all times.
What precautions should I take when using a pizza oven?
Most units come with quick heating times, but if yours takes a little bit longer to preheat, then make sure there’s no one nearby – the extra heat might burn your skin or damage your hair. Be careful when opening the door and check how hot it is before touching anything because some units get hot, especially the walls!
How do you use a metal pizza oven?
Using a metal pizza oven isn’t much different from a ceramic surface because both can accommodate either thin or deep-dish pizzas.
Just make sure to place the pan on top of the rack after preheating for about 20 minutes and wait for it to get hot, then add your dough and toppings – this is where you’ll need a pizza paddle to avoid getting burned by the heat.
What’s the best way to clean my pizza oven?
Pizza ovens are relatively easy to clean, but you should only use water if it feels filthy. Otherwise, wipe it with a damp cloth so there won’t be any residue left behind. If you want to use soap, then make sure it’s non-toxic. Otherwise, it might wear away the ceramic or metal surface!
Can you use a pizza oven to grill steaks?
Most models are designed for pizzas, but some can also be used for grilling vegetables and meat because they have lower heating times.
If yours doesn’t come with a removable rack, then you’ll have to cook steak on top of the dough after removing the toppings but still make sure that there’s no residue left behind – using soap isn’t necessary unless it feels filthy.
Is a wood-fired pizza oven worth it?
Outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens are worth it if you like cooking pizzas on top of natural charcoal. You can also make other foods like steaks, vegetables, and more, but be careful when opening the door because it might still be hot inside!
Why is wood-fired pizza better?
The main difference between a gas or electric oven and a wood-fired pizza oven is the taste. Wood-fired pizzas have a crispier crust and a smoky flavor that adds more depth to your dish!
Conclusion about how does a pizza oven work
A pizza oven works the same way as a regular kitchen oven, but it can get up to higher temperatures in just a few minutes. Most of them come with safety features and precautions so that you won’t have any issues cooking tasty pizzas or grilling meats!
They might be a little bit costly, but the extra money is worth it if you love cooking pizzas! Thanks for reading our article about how a pizza oven works – we hope we were able to answer all your questions!