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.
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.
You Can Cook Anything
It doesn’t stop at pizzas. You can cook a greater variety of food and styles, including:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to find out about our training program.
Did you know?
We service woodfire pizza catering Adelaide –catering Adelaide – mobile pizza catering Adelaide – pizza catering Adelaide – mobile 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!
Locale Woodfire Catering launched in September 2019. With over 15 years’ experience in pizza making and cooking at his family restaurant – Carmine and Co in Port Adelaide – head chef Antonino decided to embark on his own culinary journey working with a woodoven. His passion for italian food and love of the woodoven is a testament to the quality of food he produces. If you are looking for authentic wholesome Italian style cooking catered in the comfort of your own home or venue then speak to Antonino at Locale.