How To Care For Your Pizza Oven
An outdoor pizza oven is one of the most exciting things you can have on your patio. If you’re like us, you want your oven to last a very long time! (If you’re not like us and want your oven to turn into yard art, click away.) With that in mind, here are some tips to keep both gas and wood-fired pizza ovens in tip-top condition, so you can enjoy delicious, home-cooked pizza for years to come!
1. Keep it covered
Whether your pizza oven is made of magnificent masonry or stylish steel, you’ll want to keep it protected from the elements. Moisture from rain can damage your oven no matter what it’s made of, which is why we suggest covering your oven up when it’s not in use. You can find a great selection of covers at Covers And All, who offer covers in a seemingly endless array of sizes, colors, and materials to suit your needs. Simply covering your oven up will extend its life for years!
2. Away with the ashes
Ash buildup in your home oven can needlessly wear down your oven’s interior, ruin otherwise perfect pizzas, and otherwise take up perfectly usable space. Sweeping the interior of your oven out after each use is usually good enough, but after a while, ash will have built up in hard-to-reach places.
We recommend vacuuming out the interior of your oven with a purpose-built ash vacuum to avoid damaging your trusty shop vac or house vacuum cleaner. The Ash Cougar is one of our personal pizza oven accessory favorites for this job, because of its efficiency and effectiveness. Never eat ashy pizza again!
3. Cure for the season
We touched on how curing your oven is a crucial first step in an earlier blog post, since it removes any potentially damaging moisture from your oven’s masonry. A regular curing schedule is vital to your oven’s health; it’s a good idea to cure it following the rainy or humid season in the area you live.
Moisture can build back up in your oven while you aren’t using it, and the high heat that baking pizza requires can cause trapped water to expand and crack your masonry. A seasonal cure works the same way as your “break-in” cure; slowly heat your oven up over a long period of time, and you’re good to go!
4. Stay in range
While many ovens can withstand temperatures hotter than even the most dedicated pyromaniac can create inside its dome, some ovens have lower ranges than others. Exceeding the listed temperature range for your oven can happen unintentionally, too; a little too much wood can stoke a fire that burns hotter than you had planned, making temperature control a difficult task.
Use smaller logs or a little less gas while cooking, and make sure to watch the temperature like a hawk. Using an infrared thermometer can give you an accurate reading of how hot your fire is, helping you to ensure you’re staying within the limits of your oven!
Do you have any questions about how you can care for your pizza oven, or tips of your own that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!