Pizza Ovens 101: What Type Should You Use?
Over the years, pizza has evolved, adapting to the taste and produce from specific places, each new location infusing its own twist. The Sicilian pizza, for instance, comes in a fluffy, spongy bread topped with meatless tomato sauce; the Neapolitan is distinguishable for its chewy crust, doughy thin centre and fresh sauce; and the Roman pizza, made up of very thin crust and with a dough that is almost like focaccia.
Italian immigrants to the US are also credited for their own renditions: Chicago’s deep-dish pizza baked in a round steel pan that resembles a pie pan and the New York-style pizza known for its wide slice and crispy crust. Let’s not forget all the other varieties around the world that have featured all kinds of toppings, from pineapple to Peking duck.
High-quality flour plays an important role in pizza-making; the Italian-milled wheat flour by Naples- based brand Antimo Caputo can do wonders for your meal as it is recognised by the True Neapolitan Pizza Association (AVPN) that manages regulations for original Neapolitan pizza.
Thinner and pointed versions of tomatoes or the San Marzanos are ideal toppings for pizza. Not only are they sweet, but also rich in texture. Ready-picked San Marzanos usually come in jars, but people may opt to plant them in yards as these thrive in tropical areas like the Philippines.
This Italian favourite can be baked using different types of ovens: wood-fired, gas and electric. Find out more, here:
The quickest way to cook pizza is with a wood-fired oven which can reach higher temperatures, approximately 500 to 700 degrees, perfect for that Neapolitan style with a blistered crust and almost wet centre. JY Firebrick, a local manufacturer, showcases its varying wood-fired oven models. The standard equipment includes adjustable grills, two heavy-duty thermometers, a pull-out firebox and an ashtray and chimney. The ovens can also be personalised upon request.
One of the biggest advantages of making pizza in a gas oven is the higher cooking control. Unlike wood-fired ovens, gas ovens are low-maintenance, can heat quickly when switched on and be energy efficient as it heats up and cools down faster than an electric oven.
For the best of both worlds, purchase a hybrid oven. On weekends and special occasions, you can tinker around with wood chips for that unmatchable smoky and charred flavour, but still have the option of quickly firing up a pizza whenever the whim takes you.
An electric pizza oven may come in handy for people who are in small spaces such as apartment kitchens. Your regular home oven can work too but do invest in a pizza stone. You may not get that blistered crust, but you still can get a delicious, evenly cooked pizza, particularly with more bready NY or Chicago style doughs.
See also: 5 Beautiful Open-Plan Kitchens We Love
With a wider selection of accessible pizza ingredients and ovens available on the market today, making your own pies has never been easier. In fact, more and more people have decided to take matters—or in this case, dough—into their own hands. Joining the lockdown craze, (homemade pizza seems to be the new banana bread or sourdough) and let your inner chef emerge. What will you be cooking next?