Cooking in a Wood Fired Oven
If you’ve recently acquired a wood fired oven, you most certainly know how great these are for preparing a pizza. Nothing tastes quite like a pizza crust quickly prepared in a wood-burning oven. However, you may not realize all the other great foods you can prepare in your wood fired oven.
When you consider the fact that cooking over an open fire is the oldest cooking method, you realize that anything can be cooked in a wood fired oven. It is important, however, to understand some tricks for using this cooking method for all foods.
Pizzas, for example, are cooked in wood fired ovens using a high flame. This allows the pizza to cook for two to three minutes, creating a perfectly crisp and flavorful crust. However, since the temperature of the oven often reaches 700 degrees under a high flame, this is not a cooking method that works for every type of food.
The flat cooking surface inside a wood fired oven is fairly large. This allows you to move foods closer to the flame or further away, depending upon your needs. When the oven is at about 500 degrees closest to the flame, it may be as cool as 350 degrees near the opening, allowing you to roast meat without it burning. There are thermometers available to judge temperature, but be sure to choose one especially designed for such an oven. A traditional thermometer for an indoor oven cannot tolerate the high temperatures of a wood fired oven.
You can also cook in your oven when the flames have gone out entirely. The residual heat in the coals lasts a long time, particularly in traditional brick or terracotta ovens. This is the perfect time to bake bread.
With some practice, you’ll learn how to perfectly prepare many different dishes in your new oven, and you may never cook indoors again.