Choosing the best wood fired pizza oven: Refractory vs brick pizza ovens

Choosing the best wood fired pizza oven: Refractory vs brick pizza ovens

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If you like pizza, there's nothing better than using an outdoor pizza oven to make your own pies. Not only can you try out different toppings and recipes, but it's also a fun thing to do with your family and friends. Both refractory and brick ovens have specific use cases, so which one you choose depends on your needs and preferences. In this article, we'll explain the differences between the two so you can make a smart choice. Grab a slice of pizza and let's get started!


What is a refractory pizza oven? 

Refractory pizza ovens are made of high-density materials that can handle high temperatures, such as fireclay and refractory cement. These materials don't break easily and keep heat for a long time, which makes them perfect for cooking pizza and other high-temperature foods. One benefit of refractory pizza ovens is that they can heat up quickly and keep a high temperature for a long time. This means you can cook a pizza in as little as 90 seconds, and the crust will be crisp and the cheese will be melted just right.

Also, refractory ovens are very efficient and can keep heat for hours, so you can cook more than one pizza at once without having to heat up the oven.  A refractory pizza oven may be the right choice for you if you want high temperatures that stay the same and quick cooking times.  

When it comes to DIY pizza oven kits like the commercial and residential kits we sell from Californo , refractory materials play a crucial role in their construction. There are various types of refractory materials used in pizza oven kits, including firebricks, ceramic fiber insulation, and castable refractory cement.

Firebricks are commonly used as the cooking surface and can withstand temperatures of up to 2,000°F. Ceramic fiber insulation is used to insulate the oven and reduce heat loss. Castable refractory cement is used for the oven dome and can withstand temperatures of up to 3,000°F.

Stucco is often used as a finishing material for outdoor pizza ovens made with refractory materials. It is a mixture of sand, cement, and water, which is applied over the oven dome and provides a smooth, decorative finish.

Stucco is also used to protect the oven from the elements and provide additional insulation. It can be applied in various colors and textures, allowing pizza oven builders to customize the look of their oven to match their outdoor living space. When applying stucco to a refractory oven, it is important to use a high-temperature resistant stucco that can withstand the extreme temperatures the oven will reach during use.


Brick pizza ovens

The cooking chamber of these ovens is made by stacking bricks or clay tiles instead of using castings. Because the bricks are porous, they can soak up heat and keep it for a long time. This makes them ideal for cooking pizza.

One of the best things about brick ovens is how they look. These ovens can be made in different shapes, such as round, square, or dome-shaped, giving them a unique and classic look. Brick ovens also take longer to heat up, so the pizza cooks more evenly and gets a crispy crust with perfectly melted cheese.

But a possible downside of brick ovens is that they take longer to heat up than refractory ovens. Brick ovens can take up to an hour or more to get to the right temperature, which can be an issue if you need to cook something quickly. Also, because the bricks are porous and can soak up water and crack over time, brick ovens may need more maintenance than refractory ovens. A brick pizza oven may be the right choice for you if you want a nostalgic, authentic look and slower cooking times. There's nothing like the quality of craftsmanship of beautiful hand-laid tiles on a brick pizza oven. 


Determining which is right for you, brick or refractory.

If you want to buy a pizza oven for your backyard, you might be wondering whether a refractory pizza oven or a brick pizza oven is better. Here, we'll compare the two kinds of pizza ovens in terms of how well they keep and spread heat, how much they cost, and how easy they are to keep up.


How they keep and spread heat

One of the main differences between brick and refractory pizza ovens is how they keep and spread the heat. Refractory ovens are known for being able to heat up quickly and keep their high temperatures. This makes them great for cooking pizza and other foods that need a high and consistent heat. On the other hand, brick ovens take longer to heat up and don't keep the heat as well. But they are great for roasting and slow cooking.


How to choose an oven

When deciding between a refractory pizza oven and a brick pizza oven, it all comes down to your own tastes and needs. A refractory oven may be better if you want to cook things quickly and at high temperatures that don't change. A brick oven may be the way to go if you want a traditional, authentic look and don't mind cooking food more slowly.


No matter what kind of pizza oven you buy, it's important to think about things like size, fuel source, and accessories before you buy. With the right pizza oven, you can enjoy delicious homemade pizza and other wood-fired treats for years to come.


Now some general pizza oven tips for when it's time to get started cooking.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your oven and avoid making common mistakes.


Start with a clean oven.

Before you start cooking, make sure your oven is clean and free of anything. Use a brush or a scraper to get rid of any ash or food that was left over from the last cook.


Heat up the oven

Before cooking, it's important to get your oven to the right temperature. Depending on the size and type of wood-fired oven, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Check the temperature with a thermometer and make changes to the fire as needed.


Use the right wood.

The type of wood you use can make a big difference in how your pizza tastes. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and hickory work well in wood-fired ovens, and fruit woods like apple and cherry can add a sweet, fruity flavor.


Don't put too many toppings on the pizza.

Less is often more when it comes to toppings. Too many toppings can make the pizza too heavy and wet. Use no more than two or three toppings, and make sure they are spread out evenly.


Turn the pizza.

To make sure it cooks evenly, you need to turn it every few minutes. Use a pizza peel with a long handle to turn the pizza and make sure both sides cook evenly.


Keep an eye on the crust.

The crust is the most important part of the pizza, so make sure it cooks evenly. Move the pizza to a cooler portion of the oven if the crust is browning too soon. Move it closer to the fire if it's not getting brown enough.


Let the pizza rest.

When your pizza is done cooking, give it a few minutes to cool down before you cut it. This will let the cheese set and keep the toppings from sliding off.


If you follow these tips, your outdoor pizza oven is sure to be a hit with your friends and family. So turn on the oven, get your favorite toppings, and get ready to eat a delicious pizza you made yourself!



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