To cook a good pizza, of course, you need the right oven. With wood, it’s even better. But many of you wonder if there is anything else you can cook in a pizza oven and if so, what exactly? Meat and pastry, temperatures and tips, here’s how to get the most out of your oven.
What can you really cook in a pizza oven?
Some technical elements to start. The pizza oven is specifically designed for the food of the same name. However, it is possible to use it to make other very tasty recipes. The only drawback of this kind of cooking comes from the shape and the particular dimensions which force you to adapt to put food in the oven without worry.
We are going to talk here about the wood-fired oven, which seems to allow the most delicious recipes. But you should know that there are gas. The traditional oven is made of refractory stone or brick, there are some in other materials.
Cooking begins with good heating
You will therefore have understood that on the temperature side, you will have to be careful if you do not have a thermometer, because you will not have a thermostat! But, for thousands of years that humans have been cooking like this, it would be surprising if you didn’t get by with your pizza oven !
Some tips, however, to make your job easier:
– Throw a pinch of flour on the sole. From 270 ° C it begins to smoke and burn, while it turns brown and eventually blackens when reaching 220 ° C.
– Put on some sugar. It turns brown from 170 ° C.
– Throw in drops of water. If they wet the brick before evaporating, you are below 100 ° C. If the drops scatter and crackle, the 200 ° C has been exceeded.
– The “sky” (understand the vault of the oven) whitens at a good temperature.
Note, however, that the heating time is at least one hour for the small ovens and two hours for the larger ones.
What are you going to cook in your pizza oven?
You know how to heat your oven, now here are some of the dishes that you can put in the oven and cook for a result that will thrill even the most demanding taste buds. Indeed, cooking in a wood oven is special. It gives a very pleasant taste of yesteryear.
We must distinguish two types of cooking . Cooking over high heat, like pizzas. And cooking over slow heat, de-greased. It remains to determine what type of cooking for which foods.
On high heat: grilled meats. Chicken, beef, pork and other grilled meats are very well suited to this type of cooking. Arrange them on a wire rack with aluminum foil or an iron pan, and season before placing in the oven. In this case, it will be cooking in an open oven, in order to sear the meat.
Slow heat: the pastries have a very pleasant old-fashioned flavor. Let the oven temperature drop to 220 ° C, or even below. You will have to spread the embers at the bottom of the oven to distribute the heat, then remove them before placing your cakes in them. Consider trying a frangipane pancake recipe and grandmother’s cake!
The wood-fired oven obviously lends itself wonderfully to baking bread! You will have a real bread “cooked in a wood fire” very sought after. Watch the cooking carefully and remember to turn pastries and breads regularly for even cooking. If you see that the temperature is very high, move them closer to the oven door.
Lasagna and other gratins will also be delicious! In this case, leave the oven half-open. Cooking over slow heat is also suitable for simmering roasts, braised beef, etc.
Tips for cooking in a wood-fired oven
In any case, consider using plates, pans and dishes resistant to high temperatures . If so, you would see them warp. Whatever recipe you prepare, constant vigilance is recommended. Especially at the beginning, as long as you are not yet familiar with your oven. Take a look at the cooking every ten minutes and don’t hesitate to turn the food regularly.
Watch out for embers when you take them out! They are extremely hot. Remember to keep them out of the reach of children, or to cool them immediately, with water for example.
It’s up to you to be inventive and try out other recipes in your pizza oven, you will surely make some great discoveries. Nothing like the flavors of yesteryear, preserved and authentic. They will contrast with the sometimes formatted tastes that we know today.