You’ve finally got your very own pizza oven. You have been honing your skills to create glorious, edible masterpieces of gooey cheese, savory tomato sauce, crispy golden crusts, and a mountain of toppings.
Your Instagram overflows with visions of pure pizza perfection, and everyone, including your well-fed family, is calling you the personal pizza master chef.
Now what? Well, you can’t live on bread (with cheese, sauce, and toppings, aka pizza) alone. Fortunately, personal pizza ovens from brands like Ooni, Bertello, Roccbox, Camp Chef Italia, and others are not one-trick ponies.
You Probably Wonder What Else Can You Cook in a Pizza Oven
While the desire to make your own perfect pizza may have inspired your purchase initially, there are plenty of other things that you can do with your pizza oven as well.
So What Else Can a Pizza Oven Do?
Outdoor and portable pizza ovens bring the old country styles of cooking to the 21st century.
The modern versions are easy to clean and more mobile, backyard-safe, and environmentally friendly.
Wood-fire, gas, or both are used for cooking, and the ovens range from lightweight and compact for camping trips to a more substantial patio fixture.
Though the name indicates one item, pizza ovens can be used for multiple cooking and baking uses.
It might surprise you to know that your wood – gas fire oven can also grill a juicy steak, all types of fish and seafood, vegies, bread or scrumptious pastries and desserts.
Guide to Grilling Temperatures
|Type of Cooking||For Cooking|
|100 – 130°C||210 – 260°F||Slow||Ribs, stews, pulled pork / lamb / beef|
|150 – 200°C||330 – 400°F||Desserts||Cakes, cinnamon scrolls|
|200 – 230°C||400 – 460°F||Breads||Focaccia, pita bread, sourdough|
|230 – 280°C||460 – 550°F||Roasts||Turkey, lamb, beef, whole fish, vegies|
|280 – 330°C||550 – 600°F||Grilling||Steak, chops, seafood|
|Over 400°C||Over 750°F||Pizzas||Pizza, garlic bread|
It’s not rocket science when it comes to cooking other food than pizza in a pizza oven.
Think of the heat required to cook when using the oven in your kitchen and apply the same principal to your outdoor pizza oven.
If you are cooking a roast chicken, you don’t want the oven to be cranking out 900°F temperatures like when cooking pizza. It will be burnt to a crisp so much the dog won’t even eat it.
Be sensible and after a couple of times you will get used to regulating the temperature of your outdoor pizza oven and be cooking all manner of food in no time flat.
Barbeque and Grilled Meats
Fire up the oven; it’s cookout time! Backyard barbeques are always a blast, but BBQ grills can be a hassle and messy.
This is where wood-fire pizza ovens offer an alternative more akin to what our ancestors enjoyed.
Now unlike pizza’s which require extremely high cooking temperatures, steak and grilled meats need the heat dialed down a notch or two.
Obviously, you won’t be cooking your steak in 60 seconds like a pizza unless you like it still mooing.
Almost everyone adores those baby back ribs, but they require a high amount of heat and generally a lot of time and patience.
A wood-fire oven can handle both tasks and add a gorgeous smokehouse taste that will make your guests salivate.
Who wouldn’t want a steak so savory it melts in your mouth? The high heat capacity of your portable outdoor pizza oven can grill meats better than your indoor stove and allow for the ideal temperature control – whether you prefer medium, well done, or (my favorite) rare.
Roasted Vegetables and Sides
This recipe above is from Esquire and is an ideal dish for summer, featuring smokey sweet flavors sprinkled with seasoning and Harbison cheese for an extra creamy taste. This could almost be a dish on its own.
Ok, so not everyone enjoys grilled meat. A good host has to take all of their guests taste buds into consideration, including those who are vegetarian or vegan.
And besides, Mom always said to make sure you eat your vegetables.
The smoldering embers left behind from cooking with your wood-fire pizza oven create a fiery bed to lay a plethora of veggies, herbs, and fruits of your choice wrapped in aluminum foil and left to simmer.
Potatoes in the jacket (not peeled) are fantastic cooked like this, cut around half way through, add a good dollop of butter your favorite dried herbs, some salt and pepper and cook in the coals for around 30 – 40 minutes. They are incredible.
Treat the vegetables as you would meat; a portobello mushroom becomes as succulent as beefsteak, and roasted peppers, tomatoes, and onions on skewers can be added to a bed of rice for the main course or act as a healthy side dish. You can even make crispy potato chips!
Not only does the quick high-heat make fruits and veggies burst with flavor, but they retain their antioxidants and nutritional value better than with longer, slower cooking time.
Desserts, Bread, and Pastries
You didn’t think we were going to skip the bread and dessert, did you? Of course not!
It should come as no surprise that an oven designed to bake the perfect pizza would be able to make other breads and baked goods just as easy as pizza.
For your bread-basket, try pillowy soft, and chewy Italian-style focaccia sprinkled with fresh herbs like rosemary that will also crisp in the oven.
Dip them in rich, thick olive oil dashed with balsamic vinegar and Dukkha.
Or, to compliment the veggie skewers and rice dish, make fluffy pita bread oven-fresh and ready for a scoop of hummus.
Desserts burnt on the outside, creamy on the inside are notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with a conventional oven.
But the high-heat and literal firepower of your portable outdoor pizza oven make that impossible dream a reality.
This is your chance to experiment with those French cookbooks and attempt to master a finale that will really impress.
Therein lies the beauty and value of investing in a high-quality at-home pizza oven – its versatility. The hearth is where cooking began – with fire!
The most timeless way of preparing food is also the healthiest and most delicious, without the need for additional oils from frying pans or conventional ovens burning out precious nutrients.
And while there’s no shame in enjoying a good pizza, especially one you made yourself, with a portable outdoor pizza oven, you can also have your meat, veggies, cake, and eat them too!