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The Guide to Wood Fired Pizza Ovens

Wood Fired Pizza Ovens - A Party for your Outdoor Kitchen 

Until recently the idea of a wood-fired pizza was limited to al fresco gourmet Napa hideaways, swanky hotels’ poolside grills, a handful of hipster restaurants, and the real thing if you’re lucky enough to vacation in Italy. Thanks to companies like Alfa (located in Italy and supplying distributors worldwide) and WPPO, pizza ovens are becoming easily available for the backyard chef. Taking everyone’s favorite indulgent party food and making it smoky, fresh, and slightly charred is a whole other level of entertaining.

Why a pizza oven?

If you’re a true foodie, you’re going to love the opportunity to use fresh ingredients and dabble in wild flavor combinations. It’s easy to assemble an arsenal of recipes to wow your regular weekend guests or elevate your family meals. Want a grilled tomato, fig and prosciutto pizza with a drizzle of balsamic? Done. Pesto, Potato and Burrata? It’s just a quick jaunt to the grocery store and the click of a lighter away. Even if a classic pizza is what you’re craving, a wood fired pizza oven is the way to ultimate comfort food. It’s quick to pull together, cooks quickly, and is a hit with just about everyone.

Why buy an appliance just to make pizza?

We’ll let you in on a secret: A wood fired pizza oven is just a small, durable, really hot oven. With minimal effort it’s a versatile workhorse for your outdoor kitchen. You can use everything from small oven-safe dishes or cast iron skillets to cook a side dish or appetizer that’s an impressive addition to your al fresco experience.

roasted vegetables on a sheet pan alternative pizza oven uses

 

Grill shrimp in a flash with lemon and parsley, warm up brie or camembert for dipping, roast clams, cook corn right in the husks (after a proper soak), serve up a giant batch of chicken wings, or quickly bake flatbreads.

It’s truly only limited by your cooking confidence - and we promise after baking outdoors a few times you’ll appreciate the smoky flavors and fresh, warm results of your efforts.

The convenience of cooking outdoors while you’re hosting is also a big plus - you won’t have to miss the game everyone’s watching outside, or ignore your poolside guests while you’re holed up in the kitchen.



Wood Fired vs. Gas Pizza Oven

wood fired pizza ovens vs gas pizza oven



But why wood fired? Good news! Both wood fired and gas pizza ovens make excellent food! It’s more a lifestyle decision of how you’d like to cook.

 

Some Like It Hot. A natural or propane gas pizza oven heats up quickly, and has a single heat source, but doesn’t get quite as hot as a wood-fired oven. What time you save in preheating you might lose in cooking.

 

Plug and Play. Natural gas pizza ovens have to be installed by a professional, while a wood-fired oven is standalone. You can take it from your doorstep to your backyard and start cooking right away.

 

Fresh and Clean. Keeping your outdoor appliances clean is always top priority (no one wants bugs at their next pool party!) and wood-fired pizza ovens take an extra step to keep clean. Soot and ash need to be disposed of - but they can add some extra nutrients to your garden! Gas pizza ovens just need a wipedown and regular safety checks.

 

Fuel for thought. Wood fired pizza ovens need - wood! Specifically hardwoods like apple, cherry, oak or maple, cut down to 2”-3” in diameter. Propane needs to be replaced or refilled regularly (depending on how often you cook!) and natural gas is the least maintenance once you’re all hooked up. Wood fired pizza oven buffs will tell you that the prep is worth it - the smokiness that gets into your food can’t be replicated any other way.

 

Old School or New School. It’s satisfying to roll up your sleeves and try cooking traditional ways that have stood the test of time - especially in a modern digital age. Wood-fired pizza ovens can give you the opportunity to explore a cooking method that’s been around for eons. Gas pizza ovens offer the ease and convenience of modern cooking - and the precision of a controlled flame.


It’s up to you! Either way, you’re in for some delicious al fresco dining.

Wood Fired Pizza Ovens We Love

Alfa 4 Pizze Countertop Wood Fired Pizza Oven in Copper

 

Alfa 4 Pizze 31" Wood Fired Countertop Pizza Oven in Copper

- Oven floor is made of 1.2" thick interchangeable firebricks that store heat and transmit it to food during cooking. 

- The 4 Pizze comes with a pyrometer so you'll know the temperature of your oven at a glance. 

- Wide door is fitted with a double ergonomic wood handle for a firm grip. By opening or closing you can adjust the oven draft. 

- Fit up to 4 pizzas or 8 lbs of bread inside the baking area at once!

- Max temperature 1000°F / 500°C 

This iconic Alfa brand pizza oven is an easy choice for a top-performing, well-built cooking appliance. If you have an outdoor kitchen with any additional counterspace, the 4 Pizze can fit right in with your existing setup, and is sure to please a crowd. The gorgeous copper color elevates any design.  

wppo karma wood fired pizza oven in black


WPPO Karma 25" Stainless Steel Wood Fired Pizza Oven in Black w/ Base

- Low profile with sleek lines blends in with any design style

- 25” pizza oven is designed to heat your pizza fast and retain flavor.

- Stainless steel construction for maximum durability and heat retention

- Sleek tower for smoke control

- Stainless steel base included


    The 25” model is compact enough to fit into any outdoor kitchen countertop design. The black cover can be exchanged with a few different options for a little extra pop!

    Alfa Allegro wood fired pizza oven with base at Grillscapes
    Alfa Allegro 39" Wood Fired Pizza Oven w/ Base in Yellow


    Whether you have an outdoor kitchen or not, this freestanding pizza oven will love your entertaining space. Easily movable, effortlessly stylish (what else would come straight out of Italy?) and a large oven space are all features you’ll love. What else makes this pizza oven stand out?


                   - The oven floor is made of interchangeable firebricks that store heat and transmit it to food during cooking.


                   -  The stainless-steel dome enables it to reach high temperatures with low firewood consumption.


                   -  The ceramic fiber insulation retains heat for a long time.


                   -  The pyrometer measures the temperature of the cooking chamber.


                   -  The wide door fitted with two ergonomic wood handles allows you to adjust the draft inside the oven by controlling the fire.


                   -  Colored parts of the oven are powder coated to better withstand high temperatures.


                   -  The large folding side shelves are designed to accommodate ingredients, tools and whatever you need for cooking and you can double them when they are not in use.


                   -  A warming compartment is situated below the cooking chamber to 
    keep your dishes warm or to let them rest before cutting into them.


                   -  The firewood holder allows you to neatly arrange your logs.


                   -  The 4 built-in casters make rolling the oven wherever you want                            easier.

    Alfa is an Italian manufacturer of pizza ovens made for those who love traditional taste and want to try a real superior cooking experience. Each Alfa pizza oven is built entirely in Italy in their factory close to Rome.

     

    Alfa Cupolino Ready to Finish Wood Fired Pizza Oven at Grillscapes

    Alfa Cupolino V80 31-inch Ready to Finish Wood Fired Pizza Oven

    Alfa’s Cupolino model is perfect for the homeowner looking to integrate a pizza oven into an overall outdoor kitchen design. It’s ready-to-finish exterior is a blank slate to cover in tile, paint, stucco, or brick. Its rounded design evokes an old-world feel, while modern craftsmanship means superior quality and performance.

                  -
    The 31” is composed of 3 pieces that come together easily.


                  -Cupolino is easy to assemble and very light, with a total weight of only 130 kg/ ≈286.6lbs


                  -Light, strong and hand crafted using the best refractory materials available


                  -Cupolino’s unfinished exterior is the perfect wood fired oven for DIY lovers.


                  -With the wood stove Cupolino you can cook 3 pizzas at a time and 6 kg of bread.


                  -Comes with a steel arched door with a double handle


    Outdoor Kitchen Pizza Oven Inspiration


    Where Do I Put my Pizza Oven?

    If you haven’t thought about adding a wood-fired pizza oven to your outdoor space, it might seem out of place. Here is some visual inspiration to ease your fears; it’s an appliance that only adds to your outdoor kitchen design.

    Backyard Photo of Pizza Oven Alfa Outdoor Kitchen

    You don’t need a lot of space to make an outdoor cooking spot that’s perfect for entertaining! This stacked stone island has a built-in refrigerator, sink, and stainless steel storage in addition to a countertop Alfa pizza oven with custom wood storage underneath. There’s space for prepping and storing ingredients, as well as a cozy seating area for your guests to relax (or to kick back with a drink while your pizza oven preheats!)

    Pool Backyard Pizza Oven on Wheeled Base

    Not sure where to put your pizza oven? A mobile stand lets you take it wherever the action is! This homeowner decided to take his cooking poolside for quick dips in between baking. A fully screened-in patio space keeps bugs out and lets smoke escape. This is a great option for the renter who might need a mobile pizza oven for easy future moves, or the homeowner who wants to store their appliances when not in use. If you host frequently in different parts of your backyard, it might be a great choice - warm up appetizers and bake entrees near an outdoor dining set for large parties, or set up just outside your poolhouse or bocce court and wow with individual pizzas.

    Built In Wood Fired Pizza Oven outdoor kitchen grillscapes

    Looking to build your oven into a fully designed kitchen space? That’s exactly what this outdoor cooking co-op did - with ample shelving for ingredients and a large wood storage area. The stainless steel doors and smokestack are the only parts visible and make for a sleek cooking area. Set back into the walls, there is counter space area in front of and around the oven - perfect for prep and cookbook storage.



    How Do I Design My Outdoor Kitchen?


    Looking to incorporate a wood-fired pizza oven into your outdoor kitchen space? It can be difficult to know where to start.

    Our SOKB (or Smart Outdoor Kitchen Builder) can be the first step to assembling the pieces you really need in a handy list to give to your contractor or purchase straight from Grillscapes.

    CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED WITH SOKB!  

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