Most cooking professionals or individuals got themselves a wood-fired pizza oven. Even with the technological explosion of the last decades, most pizza amateurs recognize the superiority of wood-fired cooking without hesitation. Wood fired ovens have existed since the dawn of Mankind.
Despite their apparent simplicity and their simple conception, wood-fired pizza ovens are still widely used by pizza makers around the word. To make it short: for many, a pizza not cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven is just not a proper pizza. Period.
How to choose a wood fired pizza oven?
Before choosing a wood-fired pizza oven, the first step is to define your needs and budget. Ask yourself the fair questions: What kind of pizza oven do I need? What for?
Are you planning to cook other meals than pizzas in your wood-fired oven (breads, meats…)? What how much are you willing to pay. Many professionals and wood-fired pizza oven manufacturers have published guides or advices to choose your wood-fired pizza oven
Commercial or residential?
The first criteria of choice depend on the usage you plan to have with your wood fired oven: a professional wood fired oven will be more expensive, but more reliable and designed for efficiency. A personal home pizza oven will generally be smaller, cheaper, with less capacity and not many customization possibilities.
Professional wood oven users will have to meet much technical and legal regulations depending on their precise activities and businesses: a wood fired oven designed to fit in the back of a pizza truck is totally different from a large capacity bakery oven.
Home oven users will be faced with choices more related to esthetic, space and cost issues. This
Indoor or outdoor usage
The first criteria of choice for individuals would of course be the location of the wood-fired oven: garden owners can opt for an outdoor pizza oven: among the benefits: usually more space available, less smoke evacuation issues.
On the other side, an outdoor Wood fired pizza oven is not really convenient when weather is bad.
Indoor devices have the opposite p and downsides: more compact, more convenient to use, protected from weather, it is quite space-consuming and brings inside the inevitable dust and ashes issues.
How Many to feed?
The second question a wannabee wood-fired pizza oven owner should ask is “how many people will I have to serve?”: whereas a basic household family oven will cook one or 2 pizzas at a time, larger, professional outdoor pizza oven can eat up to 10 pizzas at a time.
Of course, wood consumption and heat production will also increase accordingly: keep this in mind when considering your choice of wood fired pizza oven. As an indication, a 120cm diameter pizza oven can burn up to 7 kg of wood per hour.
DIY or pre-assembled?
This brings us to the final question: should I build my wood fired pizza oven myself or buy a pre-assembled one?
Of course, the answer is widely connected to your own skills and to the scope of your project: if you plan to cook a few pizzas and breads a year for special occasions with family and friends, and if you are used to odd jobs, maybe a do-it-yourself option is better.
Just invite them to give a hand and promise a pizza-party reward ad you should get the help you need. Although keep in mind that some parts, like the hearth or the chimney pipe, are a bit tricky to build. Luckily, many tutorials and guides exist on the net to properly build your first wood-fired pizza oven
If you are planning to open a restaurant, a pizzeria or to cook on a regular basis with your wood fired oven, maybe a professional pre-assembled wood fired pizza oven made by a specialized wood oven manufacturer would be suitable.