Frequently Asked Questions about Pizza Ovens
What type of question do I need answered?
Pizza and Cooking Questions
What wood fired pizza oven accessories do I need for my pizza oven?
You will definitely need a pizza peel. In Pizza aficionado language, a peel is what you use to put your pizza in the oven, turn the pizza while in the oven, and pull it out when it’s done. They look like a paddle with a long stick attached and come in wood or metal.
Some people like to use a small handled wood peel to prepare and put the pizza in the oven. Then, they use a long-handled aluminum peel to turn the pizza while it's cooking. Next, you can use the long peel to take the pizza out of your pizza oven, placing the pizza back on a wood peel or serving tray to cut and serve it.
There are different kinds of pizza peels. Long, short, wood, metal and combination of both. If you don’t have a shovel or brush for your pizza oven, you will need them also.
For pizza tools, visit our website at https://www.patioandpizza.com/collections/pizza-oven-accessories
What else can I cook in my oven?
If you can think of it, you can probably cook it in your oven! Naturally, our ovens bake the most delicious home-made pizzas! But, you can try your hand with bread, fish, steak, burgers, lamb, desserts and more. Some of our ovens even allow for a rotisserie add-on that allows you to create mouth-watering chicken and turkey!
Typically, food will cook a bit faster (15 minutes approx.) in a wood-burning oven than it does in a regular kitchen oven.
What kind of flour should I use?
Excellent pizza starts with a fabulous crust! There are lots of wonderful recipes for pizza dough and our customers recommend the following kinds of flour:
- King Arthur Flour
- Hayden Flour Mills
- Caputo’s 00 (low in gluten)
Questions About My Oven
How do I clean my wood fired oven?
Good news… you don’t! Once the fire is out and cools, you just sweep out the ashes or vacuum and it’s ready for the next time! If you vacuum, make sure to use a vacuum made for ashes or you'll have a bigger mess outside the oven!
If you have food that's fallen on the oven floor, it's best to let it burn off before letting the fire die out. If not, you can use a brush to remove it or just burn it off the next time you build a fire in your oven.
What is curing and do I need to do this?
Curing simply means removing the moisture in the mortar. Curing will significantly help to protect the cooking ability and the life of your oven. Just as with the authentic ovens of Europe, it is highly recommended that you “break in” your oven by making a small fire (low heat) to dry out any moisture in the oven.
So, yes you need to cure your traditional brick and terracotta ovens (not necessary for portable ovens). It is recommended that before you begin you let your oven sit for about a week. You will be starting small fires and repeating daily for 5 days.
Start a small fire and let it burn throughout the day (4-5 hours) maintaining temperature:
Make sure that you close the oven door each night, which will keep in the heat and protect moisture from getting in until the curing process is complete. A visual inspection of your oven will provide you with the best clue as to its readiness; the brick surfaces transition from black to white as the charcoal is burned off the oven walls.
Click here to learn more about the curing process for a wood-fired oven.
Will my brick oven crack?
Sometimes our customers get so excited when their new oven arrives that they immediately create blazing hot fires for their first pizzas. Unfortunately, this can lead to cracking if the curing process is not done first. Cracks are completely normal for all hand-made terracotta and brick wood-burning ovens and won’t affect the cooking in any way. However, you can minimize any cracking by going through a proper curing process as recommended above.
In the future, if you do have any superficial cracking in our brick ovens from Authentic Pizza Ovens, you can cover it with the included patch kit.
To learn more about using the Ultrafire Brick Oven Repair kit, check out this blog post.
Where do I start the fire in the oven?
The fire is started right on the oven floor. First, you build the fire close to the opening of the oven. When it’s burning well, you move it to the middle of the oven floor. When the oven is hot and ready for cooking, you move the fire to the side so your cooking space is available for your culinary masterpieces. Alternatively, you can take the coals out completely but it’s not nearly as fun!
How long does a wood-fired oven take to heat up?
It depends on the oven. Typically, when prepared correctly, the oven will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to get to the right temperature to bake your delicious pizzas.
What kind of wood should I use for my pizza oven?
The best wood for pizza ovens is hard, dry, aged wood such as oak, arbor, walnut, beech, apple, mesquite, maple fruitwood (peach, plum), avocado, olive, pecan, or eucalyptus. Avoid the use of resinous wood such as spruce or pine as they can be dangerous to your health.
Venting My Oven
What type of pipe do I need to use for my chimney to vent an indoor pizza oven
You'll need to check with your local regulations to know the exact requirements. Typically, a double-walled Class A pipe (like the Duravent double wall pipe) is recommended.
Is there a max length of pizza oven chimney vent pipe allowed?
We have seen 30 feet of venting used without drafting issues with our Chicago Brick Ovens.
As the wall pipe will be going through a roof space (Class A Chimney), how do I install?
You will need a conversion kit to go through the roof – most fireplace stores sell them. You can't just run a double pipe through a roof – there needs to be some type of insulated piece around it. You should check with your local inspector to determine what your area requires.
How tall should the vent pipe be for the Authentic Pizza Oven's brick ovens? What is the shortest vent I can put in it?
You don’t need to have a chimney for your oven to work properly. You can just use the flue that comes built on the top of the oven which is 5.5″W x 6"H flue. However, a chimney will move smoke higher and away from your cooking area so you may prefer that setup. If you don’t want a chimney, we still recommend using a cap to keep moisture out of your oven
One thing to note is that the chimney diameter of the brick ovens from Portugal are 5.5" rather than the 6" US standard. So, if you think you'll need a chimney, we recommend buying with the oven to save on shipping costs as you usually can’t find a chimney to fit locally.
Questions About My Oven Delivery
What is the expected delivery time?
Depending on where you live you should receive it within 4-10 days once it ships. We will give you shipping information and instructions once the freight company has confirmed pick up. We usually arrange pickup within 1-2 business days of purchase unless your order is a custom build that has a longer lead time.
For more information about shipping, visit our Freight Shipping & Lift-Gate page here.
What if my oven is damaged when it arrives?
All ovens will be shipped without any damages and packed securely. It is important that you inspect your shipment with the driver when it arrives. In the rare event that there is damage, please have the driver note it on the freight bill PRIOR to the delivery truck leaving.
Do you offer a warranty?
We want you to be happy with your product! All of our products come with their manufacturer warranties.
Regarding pizza ovens, our ovens are quality checked before being shipped to our customers. That being said, traditional brick wood-burning ovens may develop small cracks either inside or outside as described above. This is normal and you should expect it to happen.
As you do your research, you will find that this is the case with all handmade European wood fire ovens. Therefore, there is not a return warranty on our traditional ovens due to any cracking. Personally, we think it adds character and is recognized in Europe as a sign of a well-seasoned oven.
Still have questions? Read our Guide to Buying a Pizza Oven now.