Cooking outside is one of the most pleasure inciting experiences that you will find during the summer months and if you have taken the leap into buying an outdoor pizza oven, it always helps to know a number of helpful tips to make your cooking that little bit easier.
With that, we have collated a number of tips from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for when you are getting ready to fire up your wood fired pizza oven and want to make sure that you get the enjoyment that this rustic way of cooking should give you.
Always place your oven on stable ground
When cooking with an outdoor pizza oven you need to ensure that you are cooking on a surface that is flat and most importantly stable as once you have fired up your wood oven, the heat generated will make it too hot to move.
Jamie suggests that if you have raised beds or herb pots within your garden, that you set up alongside those as that means that you can cook and ‘grab’, making use of those home grown herbs and spices.
Make sure you have a wire brush and ‘peel’
When it comes to getting the best out of your wood fired oven, you have to make sure that you allow for the best cooking conditions and because of that Jamie suggests that you keep a wire brush handy to be able to remove old embers and dirt from the fired space prior to lighting your oven.
Making use of a ‘peel’ will also mean that you are taking your safety into consideration, as remember these ovens can reach temperatures as high as 700 degrees or more, making them too hot to touch and naturally you need to be able to remove the food that you are cooking once it reaches your preferred cooking state.
Use an oven thermometer
Jamie suggest that if you are using a wood fired oven for the first time, you should certainly think about using an oven thermometer so that can ensure that the heat being generated within your oven is hot enough for your cooking.
The recommendation extends to the first year of use of your oven as Jamie believes that during the first year of use you will slowly be able to gather the ‘logic’ of the oven and thus be able to estimate the cooking temperature and pre-heating times required for that perfect rustic cooking experience.
Try to use apple or cherry wood
As you know, wood fired ovens are renowned for their ability to be able to add to the flavour of your food and Jamie suggests that if you can get your hands on either apple or cherry wood to burn, you should do so as it offers a fantastic “invisible seasoning”.
After 5-6 hours of burning – You can still slow cook
Jamie revealed that if you have had your wood fired oven burning for 5-6 hours, the outer surfaces should have absorbed enough heat for you to be able to allow the fire to burn down, sweep the embers into a metal bucket and still be able to cook in your oven.
He suggests that once you have cleared the embers from the oven, the heat retained within the outer of the oven should allow you to place your joint of meat into the oven, which would be likely to be still able to cook at 200 degrees, to add a perfect crackling to your joint.