Pizza will be one of the most popular dishes you cook in your pizza oven but if you have a traditional wood-fired brick oven which stores heat then you will be able to cook a larger variety of foods and plan a menu utilizing the drops in temperature your oven will experience.
For this you will need to plan ahead to know the order of dishes you’ll be cooking, starting with the dish that requires the most heat, in this case pizza, and the working your way through until the final dish which requires the least heat.
Whilst portable ovens such as Ooni or Gozney won’t generally retain as much heat as a brick/cob oven you can still cook more than just pizza so experiment and give it a go.
|Fahrenheit °F||Celsius °C||Style Of Cooking||What To Cook|
|750°F +||400°C+||Pizza cooking||Pizza, garlic bread, naan bread, pitta|
|540 – 650°F||280 – 340°C||Grilling||Steak, sardines, shrimp|
|450 – 540°F||230 – 280°C||Roasting||Chicken, Roast potatoes, whole fish|
|400 – 450°F||200 – 230°C||Baking Bread||Sourdough, pizza rolls, foccacia|
|320 – 400°F||160 – 200°C||Baking Desserts||Apple pie, brownies, cakes|
|210 – 250°F||100 – 120°C||Slow cooking||Pulled pork, tagine, kleftico|
Due to the nature of cooking with wood you’ll never get an exact temperature and as oven designs vary you will need to rely on your own experiences for how your oven retains heat. This means that the below temperatures are suggestions and there is flexibility to be had.
The most exact way to gauge accurate temperatures is to use an infrared thermometer which you can buy for as little as $10. Simply point the laser at the internal oven and you will get a digital readout.
Pizza | 1-3 minutes | 840°F/450°C
Pizzas need a high cooking temperature to ensure a crispy base and a topping that is slightly charred with a smokey flavour, but due to the quick cooking period will still be moist.
Whilst the oven is heating up your guests can be preparing their bases as well as preparing the toppings, and once the oven is at the correct temperature then you can start cooking. If you get it right then you can cook a pizza in 60 seconds although it may take a little longer in reality, and you will want to rotate the pizzas away from the fire every so often to ensure one side doesn’t burn.
When making your pizzas it’s important to not overload the bases with sauce and toppings as it will become soggy, taking too long to cook, and if it’s heavy you may find it hard to get the pizza off the paddle and into the oven without it ripping or breaking apart.
Roasted Vegetables | 5-10 minutes | 700°F/370°C
Once the temperature has dropped slightly you can look to roast vegetables such as Bell Peppers, Onion, Mushrooms, and Zucchini drizzled in olive oil with sea salt to taste.
These need to be cooked in a tray and they really won’t take long to cook, so shake occasionally to avoid any burning especially on the base which is in contact with the oven floor.
Steak | 650°F/340°C
Cooking steak in a pizza oven isn’t an exact science due to the variety of factors at play such as the oven’s qualities as well as the thickness of the steak.
That being said there are several key things you can do before and after cooking to make your steak taste amazing.
- Make sure your steak has been removed from the refrigerator and is at room temperature before cooking
- Season with salt 30-60 minutes before cooking, then season with pepper immediately before cooking.
- Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes after cooking
You will need to cook your steak on a pan or griddle and get that nice and hot, just as if you were cooking a steak in your kitchen.
We all have our preferences for how to cook our steaks and to take the guesswork out of your cooking it’s advised that you get a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak.
These temperatures have been provided by Certified Angus Beef.
- Rare (Cool red center) – 125°F / 52°C
- Medium Rare (Warm red center) – 135°F / 57°C
- Medium (Warm pink center) – 145°F / 63°C
- Medium Well (Slightly pink center) – 150°F / 66°C
- Well Done (Little or no pink) – 160°F / 71°C
Remove the steaks from heat when thermometer registers 5°F lower than desired doneness as the internal temperature will continue to rise even when off the heat.
Add a knob of butter and cover with foil which will stop you overcooking your meat but also allow the meat to rest and and allow the juices to settle.
Use your imagination
Anything you can cook in your kitchen you can generally cook in a pizza oven and that includes breads and cakes too. We’ll be adding more to this page as we go along but get experimenting and have some fun.