A brick pizza oven is the perfect way to make and enjoy your meals outside. The whole family can find pleasure in this now popular revival on an ancient cooking method. While Europeans have been savoring the delightful way meals taste when prepared using an outdoor brick oven, Americans have been slower to discover its pleasures and advantages.
Ancient civilizations used brick ovens to their advantage. Comprised of brick and clay, they produced simple food easily. Food went quickly from the field or garden straight to the fire and then to the plate. This delicious transformation was lost to North Americans until the recent revival.
Pizza ovens are recently becoming popular. The more expensive models are making their presence felt in the gardens and kitchens of celebrities. Various smaller table or countertop metal variations are also on the market. Some originate in Italy where the brick pizza oven still rules; others are the products of local companies.
Brick Pizza Oven Basics
Whatever you preference, it is important to remember certain characteristics of pizza ovens in general, and brick in particular.
- Wood-burning ovens do not heat up immediately
- Heat spreads throughout the oven using radiation
- Heat spreads throughout the oven absorbed by the walls first
- The retention of heat, after the fire goes out, depends upon the insulation of the oven
- Temperatures in a brick oven can easily reach 800°F – the optimum temperature for cooking a crispy thin-based pizza – in 90 seconds
- A cooler oven (450°F) – reached when the temperature drops after time passes, can produce delicious, smoky flavored roasts or other joints of meat
- Even cooler ovens are perfect for vegetables and herbs
Yet, no matter what you choose to cook, the best part of a brick pizza oven is the lack of clean up. Any grease or residue you would normally have to scrub off a barbecue or other cooking device, burns off leaving no trace behind.
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