It’s time to try roasting some fish or vegetables in your pizza oven! The high temperatures quickly char the outside of the veg locking in moisture and give an intense flavour your can’t get from other ovens.
Many at-home chefs and casual cookers dream about getting their very own pizza oven. It’s true – an authentic pizza oven can be quite an investment, both financially and in the kitchen space.
While a pizza oven can be a bit of a commitment, it’s well worth it for the high-quality pizza – and other dishes – that you’ll get to enjoy from home. A pizza oven has many benefits and can accommodate a variety of meals.
What is it about a pizza oven that just makes food taste amazing? Let’s look at some of the many dishes you can cook in a pizza oven – other than pizza! Get your creative cooking on with these unique meal ideas for your pizza oven.
Benefits of Cooking in a Pizza Oven
Cooking in a pizza oven comes with a range of benefits! Using a pizza oven to make homemade pizza can be a fun and creative experience.
A pizza oven will up your meals’ quality and let you feel like a real cordon bleu master! The authentic quality of pizza cooked in a pizza oven is something we can usually only experience in top-notch restaurants. But with a pizza oven at home, you create a variety of tasty meals and have fun doing it!
What you can cook in a Pizza Oven
Including amazing and delicious pizza, there are a number of other dishes and meals that you can cook in your pizza oven.
Let’s start with the obvious! Manufacturers design pizza ovens to cook the perfect pizza. Imagine that restaurant-level crispy crust with a soft interior and gooey cheese made right at home!
The trick to perfect pizza is all in the crust. A pizza oven helps make sure your pie crust gets crispy and chewy without drying out. Besides a high-quality oven, pizza crust requires a solid recipe.
If you’re not fortunate enough to have a good family recipe passed down, try out this classic recipe for crispy pizza crust:
The Best and Easy Pizza Crust Recipe:
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Add yeast to water and let stand until foamy (5 minutes).
- Add salt and flour and mix. Let stand, covered until risen.
- Spread dough onto pan and brush with olive oil.
- Bake at 450 degrees celsius for 10 minutes.
Traditionally, authentic Italian chefs cook pizza in a wood fire pizza oven. The pizza oven gives it that smoky taste and perfect texture.
Are you trying to get a little green in your daily diet? Vegetables don’t have to be boring!
You can get creative with your vegetable dishes by roasting a veggie pan in your pizza oven. Cut up some colorful earth treasures like carrots, kale, turnips, and squash, and throw them in your pizza oven with spices of your choice—an easy way to add some flavor and texture to your homemade dish.
One of our favorites is garlic stuffed mushrooms and zucchini fire-roasted with olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Living land-locked is no reason not to enjoy the delicacies of the sea!
If you’re new to cooking fish, baking and frying can be tricky. It’s often difficult to properly cook fish like salmon and bass without it becoming dry or over-salted. Cooking fish in a pizza oven using a cedar plank is a great way to look like an expert seafood chef and get great salmon steaks every time!
You can also try a Cajun-style shellfish dish right in the pizza oven. Simply toss your shellfish in a dutch oven and cover with butter, a little salt, and garlic.
BBQ Meats – Pulled Pork
Slow-cooked meats are a specialty often reserved for pit-masters and southern BBQ joints. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to create that slow, smoky flavor at home in your pizza oven.
Slow cooking dry-rub ribs or classic pulled pork are more straightforward than you may think!
Keep it simple with this slow-cooked pulled pork method:
- Cook a pork shoulder at low temperature for 3-4 hours in a dutch oven, covered in a hoppy beer.
- When meat is tender, take it out and pull it apart with two forks.
- Add your favorite store-bought or DIY barbeque sauce.
- Pop it on a toasted bun, and voila! Restaurant-worthy pulled pork, right at home.
It’s the year of homemade bread! And who can argue with that? There’s nothing like filling your home with the smell of freshly baked focaccia or sourdough.
A pizza oven is ideal for making fresh bread that’s perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
The list of types of desserts you can make in a pizza oven is endless!
You can try out some classics like brownies or gooey chocolate chip cookies. Or you can think outside and box and try something like indoor s’mores or toasted pineapple squares!
Here’s a quick ‘How To’ for making a sweet s’mores pizza in your at-home pizza oven:
- Roll out pizza dough (see our recipe above)
- Sprinkle dough with crushed graham crackers
- Pour melted milk chocolate
- Top with marshmallows and powdered sugar
Bake it in your pizza oven for a few minutes (just long enough to see those marshmallows melt and turn golden). Yum! S’mores Pizza is the perfect treat for a fun family staycation!
Temperature Guide for your Pizza Oven
If you’re new to using a wood fire pizza oven for cooking meals, here’s a basic guide to temperatures for various dishes.
- Pizza – 370 – 400 degrees celsius
- Slow cooking meat – 90 – 120 degrees celsius
- Roasted vegetables – 320 – 350 degrees celsius
- Desserts and squares – 150 – 175 degrees celsius
- Crusty loaves of bread – 200 – 230 degrees celsius
- Roasting fish or turkey – 260 – 290 degrees celsius
These temperatures are only suggestions. Make sure to read the indicated oven temperature listed on individual recipes and follow guidelines for safe internal temperatures for various meats.
Tips for Cooking in a Pizza Oven
Now that you have some meal inspiration for cooking a variety of dishes in your pizza oven, here are a few helpful tips!
- Use Proper cookware – When cooking with a pizza oven, make sure you have the right tools! Can your pans, tongs, and mitts withstand the extra heat from the oven? The last thing you want is your plastic spatula melting all over your meal.
- Know your correct temperature – Getting the exact temperature for different dishes in a pizza oven can be tricky. While we’ve provided a rough guide for different meals, there may also be some trial and error involved. Get to know your unique oven, and eventually, the perfect timing will fall into place!
- Don’t leave the oven unattended – Especially with a wood oven, it’s important to keep an eye on things while cooking. You should never leave a lit wood fire oven unattended for safety reasons, as well as ensuring your food is cooked to perfection.
- Give yourself some extra time – Unlike a convection oven, cooking in a pizza oven may take a little spare time. Preparation and cooking are an art! Give yourself the time required to create a masterpiece.
Final Thoughts on Cooking in a Pizza Oven
Pizza ovens aren’t only for deep-dish delights! With a pizza oven, you can cook a variety of fun and healthy meals at home.
A pizza oven is an opportunity to try out authentic dishes and feel like a real chef. Besides pizza, you can try roasting vegetables, baking desserts and treats, making delicious fish meals, or even slow-cooking meats like pork and ribs.
Get your creativity cooking by trying out different recipes and cuisines.
For more insight into whether a pizza oven is a good investment for your kitchen, check out our recent post on pizza ovens vs. convection ovens.