Artisan pizza shops have popped up all across the country, and they deliver all sorts of toppings and sauces on crust perfection. What makes their pizza stand out above the rest is their gigantic, brick or terracotta pizza ovens. They are fueled by wood and heat to very high temperatures that cook an entire pizza in two to three minutes!
The high temperature of the traditional wood-fired pizza oven creates a crispy exterior on the crust while retaining its inner moisture. It heats evenly, so pizza is cooked throughout, and there is a perfect amount of black on the crust that can only be replicated in the heat of a pizza oven.
The heat of a pizza oven has to be over 800 degrees Fahrenheit in order to cook a quality pizza. The evenness of the heat comes from the pizza stone and the insulation of the oven that absorbs and retains heat throughout the cooking space. This is what makes it impossible to cook pizzeria pizza in the regular barbecue.
You might have cooked your pizza in your barbecue, and we have to admit, it’s not a bad idea. Your take-and-bake or frozen pizza will often do well in the lower temps of a traditional ‘cue. But it’s not like wood-fired pizza. It takes a pizza oven to get the type of heat necessary to cook 2-minute pizza perfection.
Brick or terracotta pizza ovens can get quite large, and you may not have the space for one on your patio. Thankfully, there is an alternative that only takes up roughly the space of a regular barbecue. It can deliver the heat, and your pizza crust will be awesome.
Things to consider when buying a propane pizza oven are the size of the pizza stone and whether or not it can hold a bigger crust. Also, make sure there is a way to reach temps above 800 degrees. Some barbecues have pizza oven inserts that do the trick, but you need to have insulated walls to get even coverage. Lastly, make sure you have a smoker box attachment to get that wood-fired flavor.
If you have not used a pizza oven, it is simple, but only if you have the right tools. Heat resistant gloves and a pizza peel are necessary to handle the pizza while putting it in and getting it out of the oven. A pizza peel is like a huge spatula with a long handle to keep you as far away from the heat as possible. Believe me! It gets pretty hot around a pizza oven, but it’s well worth it.