Having a wood-fired pizza oven is great way to get the best pizza in the comfort of your own home; however, the clean-up can be a little different to when you clean a conventional oven.
The good news is that removing the ash and getting your wood-fired oven looking as good as new, isn’t as challenging as it might first appear.
In this article, we will be looking at what to do once the fire has gone out and how to get your pizza oven ready for the next time to fancy baking a delicious hot pizza.
How Do You Clean The Outside Of A Pizza Oven?
Keeping the outside of your wood-fired pizza oven is just as important as cleaning the inside. However, since there is a lot more detailed work to do inside the oven, cleaning the outside isn’t as challenging.
You can wipe any soot marks or residue off the exterior of the wood-fired oven by wiping a damp cloth over the surface.
But you should also keep in mind that the material from which your wood-fired pizza oven is made will affect how it is cleaned. For example, a brick oven may require you to cure it occasionally to prevent cracks from appearing. Dirt can get into these cracks and could burn.
Furthermore, if your brick pizza oven is exposed to a lot of moisture, such as rain or intense cleaning and is then exposed to high-temperature baking, it is more likely to crack, and you will need to warm it at a lower temperature to ensure that no damage will occur.
If you have a stainless steel pizza oven, this may be subject to rust and so should be cleaned using a microfibre cloth to dry it. Metal wood-fired ovens will likely get finger marks and smudges, and you will need to remove these on a regular basis if you want the oven to look good.
How Do You Clean A Pizza Oven?
Whether you brought a pizza oven or decided to build your own, you should follow our cleaning tips to obtain the best results and keep the taste of your pizzas how it should be. One of the first steps in cleaning your pizza oven is to make sure that you have the right tools and the time to invest in cleaning your outdoor wood-fired oven.
You will need a pizza scraper to remove any bits of burned-on food spills – this will avoid further burning down the line. These tools also feature a wire brush that will allow you to tackle tough marks when cleaning your oven. It is important to ensure that you have the right type of scraper – here are some of our favourites;
- The Vogue pizza oven brush is a two-sided scraper and brush that allows you to remove and food spills and is hard-wearing and durable. This is thanks to the carbon steel brush bristles that will get rid of crumbs in the best way possible.
- This Commercial pizza oven brush features a long handle and an effective scraper and brush combo that will remove stains and soot effortlessly. Cleaning your pizza oven on a regular basis will ensure that the taste of the pizza is not negatively affected. A brush like this will allow you to sweep away any debris and keep the wood-fired pizza oven always clean.
- The American Metalcraft pizza oven brush comes in two lengths so no matter how big your outdoor pizza oven is, you can find the right tool for the job, making it easier every time you clean the oven. The steel scraper is great since it is rust-resistant, which is essential in somewhere that hot cooking takes place, especially if moisture is present.
To get the job done properly, you will also need other equipment such as:
- A shovel for removing ashes
- A cloth
- A bellows to blow ashes off the oven floor. Although this is optional, many top pizza chefs recommend this as it will help you avoid getting a nasty burn and can be used with the fire too.
One of the much-pondered questions of pizza cooking is how often the pizza oven should be cleaned. In truth, if you can spend time cleaning it every day, this will always be best. However, cleaning it after each use will work well as long as it is done properly.
Of course one of the top tips to follow when cleaning the pizza stone and oven is that you should pay attention to how high the temperature is and keep away from the oven until it has had time to cool. Cleaning when the temperatures are still burning hot is not a great idea. But we know that you know this – so relax and enjoy your pizza until the oven is cooled.
You should also consider the flue as you will need to sweep it often, which will help you to remove soot and dirt. It is important. This may require you to scrape the soot away from the chimney – you can use a wire brush – it will start to cover the oven floor, and you can take this away later in the clean.
Using a shovel will make the next part of the job easier. The ash needs to be removed. Ash is a by-product that comes from burning wood, and the fire will produce quite a few ashes during cooking. You can start by using your shovel to take out as much of the ash as possible.
This may be difficult if the heat has caused the oven floor to burn as some food may be stuck on – but don’t leave it. It might take some work, but you will want to try to scrape it off when it is dry; otherwise, the high temperatures of the oven when you start cooking again will cause it to smoke and affect the pizza bread flavour. The more you let this build up, the worse it will be. If you do it right away, it is far more simple.
Once all of the ash has been removed, you may be left with a lot of soot, so the next step is to try to remove as much of this as possible. You can use whatever tools work best, but using water and vinegar will always deliver a better result.
If there are hard to reach areas of the outdoor oven floor, you can use a brush with a wet cloth wrapped around it for even greater cleaning – you will thank yourself for this intense clean when you are ready to use the oven and cook again. Soot stains are challenging to get off the pizza stone, but other things can end up on the surface of the stone and take even longer to clean.
Grease is a culprit, and this doesn’t respond to a water clean, so you will need to make sure that you use heat for this. Getting rid of grease is the only time that you don’t need to wait for the pizza oven to be cooled after cooking to clean it. Be careful to avoid causing yourself damage and know when to step back and cool off if things get too hot.
Use your fire to get the wood-fired oven to high heat and then use your best cloth and some water to wipe the pizza stone and anywhere that stains have set in. The stains should lift when you use this method but if it doesn’t work on the first attempt, try repeating these tips to be sure that the outdoor oven is clean and ready for cooking next time. If it takes a little longer to clean, that’s OK.
If you use a normal oven for baking pizza rather than an outdoor fire oven, these stainless steel ovens are sometimes self-cleaning which means that, after cooking, you don’t need to go through a step by step process to clean it. You can put your stone into these ovens to get a clean that is just like when you follow the above steps and do it yourself.
You must remember, not to remove the stone from these ovens until you have let them cool first.
How Do You Clean A Pizza Maker?
If you like to make your food using an electric pizza maker rather than an outdoor oven with fire, you will be pleased to know that these are easy to use, especially when it comes to cleaning. Unlike an oven with a fire, the process you will use is much more simple.
There aren’t a lot of tips to follow – you just use a wet towel after cooking and wipe over this alternative to a pizza stone. These devices that remove the need for ovens are a great way to quickly cook food without the hassle of having to scrape off food debris, clean the chimney and go through the ash removal steps.
If you have decided to build an outdoor oven for cooking for favourite food, then you must stick to the proper cleaning steps to keep your oven in better condition for longer.
The heated temperatures in the oven could leave it cracked if it is not maintained properly and these ovens are a little more hard work, but it is worth it.
To make your pizza stone and entire oven ash and debris free, you will have to use a pizza brush with a scraping device as well as a shovel to pull out all of the ash from the oven floor. Another essential step is to clean the flue – this will stop your oven becoming blocked with soot, ash and other things.
These helpful tips will ensure that your outdoor pizza oven is always at its best and ready to cook!