a great investment that will allow you to prepare countless tasty dishes for your family and friends. Cooking and eating meals together outdoors will definitely become one of your favourite activities. A wood-fired oven can be used for much more than just baking pizza. See what else you can use your garden oven for.
Is it worth building a wood-fired oven in the garden?
A wood-fired oven can become a unique feature of your garden. People have always gathered around the fire to spend time together. This very primary need to create a community and interpersonal relationships is still with us today. That is why we enjoy spending time together with our loved ones, regardless in what form. Preparing and eating meals together in the open air has a romantic aspect to it. It brings to mind the recently popular concept of “slow-life”.
Constructing an external wood-burning oven is not a difficult task. There are many high-quality materials and semi-finished products on the market which make the construction of a garden oven quick and easy. Of course, you have to take proper care to prepare the base correctly, and use good insulation and materials to create the oven and dome.
What can you use a wood-fired oven for?
Contrary to popular belief, a wood-fired oven is not only intended for making homemade pizza. There are many ways in which an external oven can be used to prepare various delicious dishes.
The secret is knowing how to properly manage the temperature inside the oven. Some dishes require the oven to be red hot and are baked over the fire, while others need more time and are baked over burning embers. How do you control the temperature in a wood-burning outdoor oven? We have put together some information and recipes for tasty dishes.
The temperature in a garden oven and the preparation of dishes
know how to control the temperature in the oven and adjust it in such a way that you get the tastiest results. How to regulate the temperature in a wood-fired oven?
First of all, remember to light a fire and heat the inside of the oven to a high temperature. You should do this even if you plan to prepare food at a low temperature. In this situation, it is necessary to warm up the oven and then cool it down so that the bricks reach the right temperature and can effectively hold heat and perform their insulating role.
To control the temperature inside an oven, you should get an infrared thermometer or pyrometer – both guarantee accurate results.
Ideas for dishes from a wood-fired oven
Let’s start with the classics and the reason why most people decide to build their own wood-fired pizza oven.
Pizza prepared in a wood-burning oven has a unique taste. Pizza in a garden oven is baked at a high temperature – preferably at least 400°C. Unlike many other dishes, it has to be baked in an oven in which the fire is still burning. The yeast with toppings needs just a few minutes in the oven to completely bake. After three minutes you can enjoy an aromatic and crunchy pizza.
A wood-fired oven is also great for baking bread. Just imagine the taste of freshly baked, warm sourdough bread. This is an amazing feast for your taste buds. Bread baked in a garden oven gains a unique depth of taste and texture.
Bread in an external oven should be baked at a temperature of about 200°C. At this temperature you can also prepare focaccia with fresh herbs or cheese rolls.
A wood-fired oven is ideal for preparing vegetarian dishes as well as vegetable additions to meat dishes. Potatoes baked in a garden oven (unpeeled!), sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt and with the addition of thyme and good-quality olive oil or sweet, juicy corn with melting butter on top – doesn’t that sound delicious?
A temperature of around 300°C is most suitable for grilling vegetables. This way, you can quickly grill the skin and prevent vegetables from drying out. It is also a good idea to use an oven-proof dish to prepare a vegetable stew or casserole.
4. Meat dishes
You can prepare meat in a wood-fired oven in several interesting ways. At 250°C, you can roast a turkey or chicken (perhaps in honey-beer sauce?). It is best to bake fish at this temperature too. You can be sure that they will come out juicy and very aromatic.
A lower temperature is better for stewing meat for a long time and preparing exquisite umami dishes, including ribs (they go great with sauerkraut) and all kinds of stews. It is recommended to cool the oven temperature to about 150°C and stew for several hours.
Using a wood-fired oven, you can also prepare many desserts for a tasty ending to a family meeting in the garden. In fact, in the case of desserts, the only limit is your imagination, because in a garden oven you can bake all types of cakes, even the most difficult ones.