Want to convert your wood oven into a gas-fired oven?
Yes, dear friends you read that right!
“But why?” You might wonder - as you scratch your head…
Well glad you asked because we are going to tell you!
Yes, we love pizza ovens, and yes, the smell, taste, texture, and really everything about a fresh, crispy wood fired pizza is just the best!....
…But sometimes you just don’t want to wait for the wood to heat the oven.
Sometimes you may not be able to find the right wood for your wood burning pizza oven.
Sometimes you may not want to deal with the ash clean up afterwards.
Some communities don't allow wood fired ovens.
We could name a number of reasons, but the REAL reason why we would suggest you consider turning your wood-fired oven into an outdoor gas pizza oven -- is because you can! Really! That’s it!
With just one simple adjustment to your wood fired pizza oven, you can essentially double the usage. With a gas burner attachment, it will be easier and simpler to fire up your oven in a pinch. It is cleaner with less overall maintenance. You will never be limited by not having enough of the right type of wood. You can always keep the oven at that perfect temperature making for more consistent overall cooking results. And best of all, it still tastes great!
“Ok, Ok, I’m in!” You say? Great, keep reading, we’ve got lots of suggestions to help get you all set.
Where to begin?
1. The first consideration is whether your current pizza oven can be configured for a gas burner. Installing a gas burner will require cutting a hole in your oven and while this may not be a difficult task, it will most likely invalidate your oven's warranty. But, when done properly, is worthwhile!
2. The second consideration is finding the correct burner for your oven size so you'll have enough BTU to appropriately heat your oven. Pizza ovens need a high-BTU burner since these ovens need to reach exceptionally high temperatures to bake the delicious crispy crusts that customers crave.
3. A third consideration is choosing between Liquid Propane (LP) and Natural Gas (NG). Natural gas is more affordable than propane and many new homes are set up to utilize natural gas for plumbing, making it a great choice for homeowners.
Propane differs from natural gas in that it’s more efficient and highly concentrated. This means that you need less propane compared to natural gas to generate an equal amount of BTUs. LP is also mobile which makes it a choice if you want to move your pizza oven around the patio or pool area.
Pizza Oven Burner Options
Many of our customers use the easy-to-install and highly effective Vamparossa Gas Burner.
These are the same burners installed with the Belforno Gas Pizza Oven Kits. They come in 2 options that include a manual or digital flame control capabilities. Both options will work with either natural gas or propane fuel.
The more cost-effective M-Series does not require electrical power and includes a simple flame control dial. This base model includes a simple push button start, and is appropriate for both indoor or outdoor oven use.
The premium option E-Series is perfect for the busy chef or commercial kitchen, who needs to be able to regulate an oven temperature without worry. Enter the desired temperature on the digital display and rest easy knowing your dish is cooking at the right temperature. This model does require 110v power access and is also appropriate for an indoor or outdoor oven.
Additional variations to consider would be in regard to the size of your oven and determine which model of either series burner is appropriate to heat your oven.
Refer below to properly size a Vamparoosa burner for your pizza oven:
Installing A Vamparoosa Burner
Don’t worry – It’s super easy.
Construction requires a hole (sleeve) to be created in the slab of your oven, in the correct location. The best place to install the burner is in the back left or back right of the oven at the 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock position.
The burner is then attached to the underside of the floor of the oven. The controller should be located in front of the oven, where it is easy to keep an eye of the flame while making adjustments.
Or just watch this video to see the simple 3-step process.
Difference between Gas Fired and Wood Fired Cooking
While maybe not as convenient, heating an oven with wood is faster than heating with gas. In addition, you can reach higher floor temperatures with wood. As you burn wood, the accumulating coal bed sits directly on the oven floor. These hot coals drive heat deep into the floor at the same time the flame is heating the overhead dome. The wood fire can be moved around to different sections of the oven floor so you always have a really hot surface to cook on.
With the gas fueled oven, the heat source is limited to the flame only. As the flame heats the dome, the floor is heated with radiate heat. Also, the gas burner is fixed in one position so you can’t move the fire around the oven or directly heat the floor. However, if you're cooking for longer timeframes, a gas burner will keep your oven at a consistent temperature without the need for constantly adding wood throughout the cooking process.
Did we mention you can cook with gas, wood or both in many ovens? Since a gas burner is located in a static location, adding wood to a larger oven allows you to create a hotter floor underneath the wood fire. Then, you can move the wood fire around the oven, allowing you to cook on the hottest surface while the gas fire keeps the oven from going below a certain temperature.
Lots of gas pizza oven chefs cooking with gas add a little bit of wood inside to give pizzas and other dishes that perfect hint of smoky flavor.
To see some of the recipes we're cooking up, check out our Great Wood-Fried Recipes for any day of the year.
If you don't yet have your oven gas pizza oven, take a look at our full collection of gas pizza oven options and join the fun.