I hope everyone had a good labor day!! I’m not sure if I have mentioned before how Ian’s and my house came with this crazy, cool brick oven in the backyard. Immediately, I had dreams of entertaining and hosting huge pizza parties with friends. In full honesty, I think my parents were even more excited than we were for our brick pizza oven. My mom mailed me a cookbook with how to instructions, a wood pizza peel, and metal peel. We were all geared up and ready to make the best pizza ever.
The first time did not go well. The crust I used was not sturdy enough, and we did not have the wooden peel, yet, which is essential for any bread baked in a brick oven! So, the pizza’s turned into calzones, but they still tasted pretty phenomenal.
This post is more informational rather than instructional, and it may be my most badass post, yet. I will go over how we use the pizza oven, and hopefully it will inspire others to look into this awesome cooking method. Or, maybe you have a brick oven, feel intimidated by it and need a little guidance on how to use it. It’s not as hard or as intimidating as it looks. I promise. 🙂
So, the brick oven. Not to brag or anything, but Ian and I have mastered our pizza. I came up with the absolute perfect pizza crust, which you can see that recipe here, and we have the method down pat! Please, please, please use heat resistant gloves when using the oven!!! You will see why this is necessary in a little bit.
Ian and I place the fire in the oven in a different spot than was recommended in our brick oven cookbook. The cookbook suggested placing the fire to the side, but when we build our fire up, we move it from the side to the back of the oven. We have found this works for our oven and the way it was built. Keeping your fire on the side may work for you!
So, at this point, you just throw in logs after you get your fire started. To start the fire, we use some leftover packing paper and some twigs. We light the paper with a match and keep lighting it until the twigs catch fire. Then, we gradually add logs to build it up.
Our, oven is pretty big on the inside, so we need to use several logs to heat it up to the extremely high heat that is required. Once, we have several logs going, we use our shovel or pizza oven brush to move the logs to the back of the oven.
Now, most pizza oven’s will have a door on the front to hold heat in. Our oven does not have this, which makes it a challenge to keep heat in, but, since we build our fire extremely high, it is not as much as worry.
Look at that huge fire! I’m pretty proud of this photo, and even more proud of Ian, who did the honor and built it up.
Now, it’s time to check the temperature of the fire. How does this work? With a nifty infrared heat gun! You literally point the gun at the fire and it tells you how hot it is. Check out this temperature reading provided by Ian’s hand… In case it is hard to read, that says 1,003 degrees F!!!! Yes, you want that fire as close to hot as hell as you can get! This is also why I suggest some fire resistant gloves that cover your hands and arms. Even standing in front of the oven is barely tolerable.
So, here we are with our almost hot as hell oven. Now, here comes the fun part. If you are making brick oven pizza, throw cornmeal on the wooden peel, then throw the dough on the peel. Top it, then get ready to throw it in the oven.
Proper pizza sliding technique:
- Throw some cornmeal on the pizza oven floor where you want your pizza to cook.
- With a firm grasp on the end of the wooden peel, use a firm sliding motion to slide the pizza off the peel, into the oven. (This takes practice. Sometimes your pizza may slide onto itself. It’s ok. Calzones are pretty fabulous too).
- Use your metal peel to twist the pizza around so it is evenly cooked on all sides. (This usually only takes 1-2 minutes because the oven is so hot!).
- Finally, use your metal peel to slide it under the pizza and take it out of the oven.
- Enjoy your brick oven pizza!
There is something so magical about brick oven pizza. The taste is unlike anything else, and it takes pizza to that next level.
The cool thing about brick ovens is you can cook a multitude of items, not just pizza. In our cookbook, you can roast a chicken, bake brownies, bake bread, make side dishes, and so many other endless options. Ian and I are still new to this, so we have a lot more exploring to do when it comes to this awesome cooking option. I’m even more excited to use it when it slightly cooler outside.
That’s it! My next post will be my Avocado Egg Rolls. And, they are seriously to die for!! 🙂
Do you enjoy brick oven pizza? Have you ever considered having a brick oven of your own?