How Do I Choose the Best Wood-Fired Oven?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Some pizza parlors use wood-fired brick ovens.
Some pizza parlors use wood-fired brick ovens.

A wood-fired oven is a great choice for cooking pizza, bread, and other dishes commonly served in restaurants. Several options are available for home use or professional use, so to start deciding which wood-fired oven is right for you, it will be important to decide how you intend to use the oven. A restaurant will need a much larger oven than a homeowner will, and the materials and features of the oven may also vary according to its intended use. You will also need to decide on a budget, as oven models can vary in price significantly.

Many wood-fired oven models are made of brick because brick is a great material for containing the heat of the oven and spreading it evenly for thorough cooking. Brick ovens can be more expensive than other types of wood-fired oven models, but they are attractive, effective, and durable. They are very often made by independent artisans as well. Choose a brick oven if your wood-fired oven will be a focal point of the home or restaurant, and if your budget allows for the higher price. Some chefs will say cooking with brick results in better tasting foods and properly cooked meals more so than other materials.

You can also consider a prefabricated oven made from other insulating materials. These precast models tend to be far less expensive, though they are also frequently far less attractive. Once the prefabricated oven is installed, however, it can be covered with brick or other materials to improve the overall aesthetic of the oven. Choose this type of oven if you want good performance and size at a more affordable price.

Think carefully about added features included with the oven. If you will be cooking pizzas or breads that will require steady temperatures during the cooking process, you may want to consider a wood-fired oven that includes a door or hatch that will keep heat inside the oven. The door or hatch should feature some sort of glass or transparent opening to allow you to look in on the items as they cook without releasing a significant amount of heat that can affect the cooking of the foods.

Brick ovens may also need to be professionally installed, further increasing the overall price of the oven. Laying brick is a difficult task that takes practice and patience, and many companies offer services to build the oven on site. This will allow you to get the oven you want in the location you want, but be prepared to pay the price for it.

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    • Some pizza parlors use wood-fired brick ovens.
      By: Kayros Studio
      Some pizza parlors use wood-fired brick ovens.