You are probably considering purchasing a pizza oven, but unsure whether to choose gas or a wood fired pizza oven. We will analyse the benefits and disadvantages of both gas pizza ovens and wood fired ovens; the answer, for which will suit you best, will ultimately be determined by your specific requirements.

In my time as a chef, I have worked with a variety of different pizza ovens. It has given me keen insights into their pros and cons, so you can have a better idea of which choice is right for you.

What are the pros of wood fired pizza ovens?

A genuine wood fired brick oven has the magnitude to provide remarkable cooking, authenticity and aesthetic appeal to your outdoor area, or restaurant – making it a scenery centrepiece.

Aromatic Flavour

The appeal of wood fired ovens is the romantic charm of a hot, radiant fire and the smoky, aromatic flavour it produces when charring a pizza. As a chef, working with fire is exhilarating, adding rustic, inherent flavour and texture to pizza.

Fast Cooking Time

Due to their unbelievably high temperatures, cooking a traditional artisan pizza in a wood oven is approximately 4 – 5 minutes faster.

  • Cooking pizza in a gas pizza oven at 280 degrees C takes approx. 7 minutes.
  • Cooking pizza in a wood fired pizza oven at 380 degrees C takes approx. 1.5 – 3 minutes.

You Can Cook Anything

It doesn’t stop at pizzas. You can cook a greater variety of food and styles, including:

Meat Fish Chargrill
Roast Bread Desserts     

The options are endless.

What are the cons of wood fired pizza ovens?

Cleaning & Maintenance

A wood fired pizza oven requires more work after each use like removing ash and food residue. (However, if you’re a gardener, wood ash is a great source of lime and potassium for your garden).

You also need storage space for your wood.

Skill Prerequisite

Operating a wood fired oven will test your cooking skills. You need to be mindful of monitoring the fire, controlling the temperature, and don’t forget to rotate your food! Get yourself a handheld digital infrared thermometer for convenience.

Heating a wood oven takes a longer amount of time. Depending if there’s any residual heat from the day before, or whether you start the oven from stone cold, it can take between 1 – 2 hours to reach optimal temperature. There’s a smaller margin for error working with a wood oven.

Fire Regulations

In more rural zones of Australia, lighting a wood fired pizza oven is illegal during total fire ban season. Check with your local fire regulatory authority.

What are the pros of gas pizza ovens?

Gas powered ovens are incredibly efficient, requiring just the push of a button. This oven is often the best choice for pizza bars. It is certainly eco-friendlier and more sustainable.

Less Skill and Work Involved

Gas pizza ovens are easier to use than a wood oven. They do not require a skilled pizzaiolo. They output faster turnover and easier workflow, requiring far less maintenance compared to the wood oven.

  • No chopping, carrying and stacking wood.
  • Oven connects to your home or business gas supply.

Temperature Controlled

The gas conveyor variety models make it even easier. A simple digital input selecting cooking time and desired temperature (generally 7 minutes at 280 degrees C), and just watch them cook or carry on making more pizza. If you overheat the temperature in a wood oven it takes time and effort to reduce the temperature.

No Fire Bans

A gas pizza oven is not subject to any fire burning codes and regulations.

What are the cons of gas pizza ovens?

Slower Cooking Time

Because of the lower operating temperatures of gas ovens and a longer cooking time, you really must be on your game to mass-produce pizzas.

More Expensive

If you own a pizza bar that turns over fast takeaway pizzas, you will likely need a two-deck gas pizza oven to keep up. These models cost upwards of $20,000.

How do you decide?

The choice boils down to whether cleanliness, efficiency, convenience and simplicity are important to you. If that sounds like you choose gas. If you want authentic, rustic, charred pizza flavour with a live fire that sets the scene at your home or restaurant, then choose a wood fired pizza oven. The awesomeness and wholesome qualities of a wood fire never disappoints.

How to use a pizza oven? How to cook pizza in oven? How to clean a wood fired pizza oven?

If you have a wood oven at home, not sure where to begin and wish to learn how to make an authentic wood oven pizza, contact Locale Woodfire Catering at info@localewoodfirecatering.com.au to find out about our training program.

Did you know?

We service woodfire pizza catering Adelaidecatering Adelaidemobile pizza catering Adelaidepizza catering Adelaidemobile catering Adelaide – for foodies, events and special occasions across Adelaide metro, as well as Adelaide hills and surrounding suburbs.

Check out our gallery of events for more mobile catering ideas!

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