Using a wood-fired pizza oven is a great way to achieve incredible pizza and other types of food. But one of the most common questions is whether the pizza oven door should be open or closed.
How you use the door will depend on what you are trying to achieve with your wood-fired oven and in this article, we are going to look at the best way do to this and make the most of that wonderful cooking fire.
How To Correctly Use The Oven Door
The temperature of your wood-fire oven needs to be very hot to cook pizzas, so when you light the fire and are trying to heat the oven, the door should remain closed.
You will need to check the temperature of the oven, and there are several ways of doing this including using the counting method, throwing some flour onto the oven floor or using a thermometer that you can get from a hardware store.
When the oven temperature is correct, and the fire is under control, you should sweep the floor to remove any ash then close the door again and leave the heat to spread evenly throughout the oven. The chimney should also be closed. A significant problem when not closing off the chimney, as well as the doors, is that the heat won’t spread and you may even up with hot spots causing you pizza recipes to burn.
When the oven is at the desired temperature, and you are sure that the flames are under control, you can cook your first pizza. Since the heat needs to be high for pizza, but a good air flow is needed, you should keep the door open while cooking. When cooking bread, the door can remain open also as bread requires similar heat and air.
However, if you are cooking meat, fish, vegetables or another type of food, the oven door should be closed, and this will contain the heat from the fire.
How Do I Stop My Pizza Oven From Smoking?
Something that many people find difficult with their wood-fired oven is that it kicks out a lot of smoke fumes. With such a high-temperature heat source and intense flames, there is bound to be some smoke, but there are ways to sort out this issue, and as you use your wood-fired oven more and gain experience, it will become easier.
To prevent too much smoke, take a look at these handy tips for pizza ovens;
- Use the right kind of wood – the best idea is to get a hardwood like ash, maple or beech as this will combust correctly in the fire and the fumes will be far fewer.
- If the fire has red hot embers, it will not smoke this is because it has been made with the right conditions. Be sure to light your fire lovingly and use the correct fuel, and place the wood logs in such a way that plenty of air can move around as to get a good flame the fire needs oxygen.
- Remember that as the temperature increases, the fire will kick out less smoke.
- Using dry wood will help, and you can use a wood-fired oven to kiln dry the wood before use so not only is making the right wood selection important, but its condition is essential too.
- Light the fire using the top-down method, where the larger pieces of wood are at the bottom and the smaller pieces and kindling at the top. This is far superior for cooking as it will allow a better flow of air and the heat to distribute around the dome, reaching the desired temperature far more easily.
Can You Use Charcoal In A Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?
These oven designs are usually used with wood to create those recognisable glowing embers that are perfect for cooking pizza. However, you can use coals, but there are some downsides to cooking like this.
- The flame won’t be as high, so the heat is not as great, which means coal ovens will take longer to cook the food.
- The fumes from a coal oven will be more dangerous to breathe in.
When you hold a pizza party, it is important to factor in how you will cook the food – you want things to be done quickly so that all of your guests don’t get bored.
One of the most important things to remember is to keep the oven door closed while it reaches maximum heat and then open it when you are cooking the pizza to allow the air to circulate.
These ovens can get extremely hot, and that is ideal for pizza, but to maintain the right temperature for embers that are being used to cook other foods, the door should be kept closed.