A Guide to Outdoor Wood Fired Ovens
Cooking on a wood fired oven is incredibly versatile, and there are many options available to people if they want to cook on a wood fired oven, it's not all about Pizza either....
A few years ago, the only options available were a very expensive heavyweight model that arrived on a ao big pallet and became a feature in the garden...or you built yourself one with clay and straw and a sand dome, or a more technical build of a brick or masonry wood fired oven.
I built my own about 7 years ago out of mostly recycled materials for under £200 and used a half oil drum to form the dome, it is still going now, though with a fair few cracks in now, the design and build of this gave me experience in researching and building my own wood fired oven at the time, which was invaluable, and good experience of cooking in one, which has set me in good stead, everything from pizzas to breads, roasts and fish.
However moving on a few years, and there is now a few more options available to those wanting the wood fired oven cooking experience at home.
You can get ultra portable, relatively lightweight, but still capable of reaching the 350 deg C needed for cooking the best pizzas, such as the Uuni or Roccbox, both great value for money. The Uuni runs on compressed wood pellets. The Roccbox runs on kindling or gas. Both do a fantastic job at pizza, and are great for steaks, and seafood amongst many things. They are relatively tight on space, so you can't get anything too big in them, but hey, you get to cook pizza on the beach or camping....
The second type are a bit heavier and have a relatively lightweight steel construction with firebricks in the bottom, ovens such as the Alfa 5 Minuti, on rollers, so you can move them around...They run on logs and have a fair bit of space for cooking roasts and breads etc. but don't have too much thermal mass and make for a nice compromise.
The third type are the heavy built in masonry type, usually fairly costly, they are designed to be built into your garden, have a large thermal mass, often take a fair while to heat up, but hold their temperature for a long time. Examples such as the Stone Bake Ovens are not cheap, but will last for ever, and will become a great part of an outdoor kitchen.
There is an awesome special episode in the latest issue of www.ukbbqmag.com about wood fired ovens, and cooking in them if you want more info.
How I built my wood fired oven is here http://countrywoodsmoke.com/build-day-1
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