Due to the popularity of pizza throughout the world, many people often buy them when they’re too busy to cook or as a quick and easy dinner option for parties. Many others also make their own pizza at home to save a bit more money. As a result, there are now many different options to cook a pizza, whether it’s in their oven or even on their barbecues. One of the most common methods to cook a pizza is in a wood fired pizza oven.
Wood fired pizza ovens, as the name suggests, uses wood logs as a source of fuel to cook and bake. The smoke from the wood burning often gives the pizzas baked inside a smoky flavour, which is one of the many reasons that wood fired pizzas have become so popular in modern times. Wood fired pizzas are also healthier than expected, mainly due to the fact that pizza ovens cook faster, allowing the toppings to keep the healthy nutrients inside them.
Wood fire ovens are a great option to have in your backyard, whether it’s used for parties or simply for making dinner for the family. However there are many misconceptions that many people have that can cause problems and put people off of making wood fired pizzas. To help you find that interest again, we collected and solved some of the most common problems that you may have.
Not giving enough time to preheat
When it comes to making pizzas, one of the common mistakes people find that can happen is that the bottom of their pizzas aren’t as well browned as the crust is. Another potential problem is that their dough is actually undercooked. The main cause for these problems is that the oven wasn’t given the amount of time it needed to preheat. This leaves the bottom of the pizza to start browning far later when the crust and toppings are already cooked. Thicker crusts are also more likely to still be somewhat raw on the inside by the time you take the pizza out.
Instead, preheat the pizza oven, at most, 3 hours before you put a pizza in. This allows enough heat to spread throughout the oven that the moment the pizza is put in, all parts of the pizza start to cook at the same time.
Turn the pizza as it bakes
When baking a pizza in the oven, you might find that one side of the pizza may come out undercooked while the other is burnt. This is primarily due to the fact that many leave their pizza in to bake without turning it. While pizza ovens evenly distribute the heat throughout the entire oven, setting the pizza closer to the fire will cook that side much faster than the others.
Not letting the pizza cook long enough
Sometimes, when you take it out of the oven, you might find that the pizza is entirely undercooked. While most people tend to do this when they bake a frozen pizza or one with a premade base, a pizza made from scratch needs a longer time to properly cook through. As a rule, let the pizza sit in the oven for five minutes longer than you think is good enough. This allows the thicker areas of the dough to cook, remaining soft yet not uncooked.
Overload the toppings
When you have a pizza oven at home, it can become rather tempting to put as many toppings as you want onto it. Some people may put six or seven different toppings on it, only for their pizzas to come out limp or even soggy. Too many toppings can restrict the amount of heat that gets into the top of the dough and can weigh it down as well.
Instead, limit yourself to four toppings at most and be sure to spread it out evenly. If you can still see the base and the cheese under the toppings, you’ve got the foundations of a good pizza. For other inspiration with fewer toppings, don’t limit yourself to just normal ingredients, like pepperoni or chicken. Many Italian pizzas often include herb leaves and even whole slices of tomato and cheese. As odd as some toppings can seem, the main goal is to get a delicious pizza out of your oven.
Turn the heat up too high
Due to the fact that many wood fired pizza ovens can reach incredibly high temperatures, some oven owners choose to fire up the heat levels to bake a pizza quickly. When they go to take it out, they find that the inside of their dough is somehow undercooked despite the fact that the outside is burnt. The main cause is that your oven is far too hot, leaving the crust to burn faster than the dough inside can cook.
If the temperature of the oven reaches 900 degrees fahrenheit or 500 celsius, your dough won’t cook through. Instead, aim for 850 fahrenheit to heat the oven before putting the pizza in and letting the temperature drop to 750 fahrenheit at minimum. If you have to cook the pizza quickly, this gives you 90 seconds to cook it, allowing for a moister crust and toppings. For a firmer pizza, lower the temperature to 650 fahrenheit or 350 celsius.
Not letting the dough rest long enough
One of the best parts about eating pizzas is the fluffiness of the crust and how soft the dough can be even when it’s crispy. However, more often than not, some people find that their pizza comes out of the oven all dense and tough. This is caused by people not letting the dough rest enough. Letting the dough rest allows the yeast inside to ferment, in turn letting the dough rise and form the needed air pockets inside. Letting it sit for even an hour can give you a nice soft crust.
Often, people tend to rush through the steps needed to properly make a pizza. Whether it’s because they don’t let the dough sit long enough to rise, taking the pizza out too early, or even not turning the pizza as it bakes, people start disliking wood fired pizzas. With enough care, your pizza can come out delicious every time.