Wood or Gas Pizza Oven?

Pizza is one of the most beloved foods in the world, and there's nothing quite like a fresh, piping-hot slice straight from the oven. When looking for a pizza oven you will notice there are generally 2 types to choose from. Wood fired and gas fired. Here we will explore the pro’s and con’s of each type, giving you the ammunition to decide which is the best type for you.

Wood-fired pizza ovens:

Wood-fired pizza ovens have been used for centuries and are known for producing authentic, crispy, and delicious pizza. These ovens are traditionally made from materials such as clay, brick, or stone but are now more regularly made from high grade steel, and they're heated by burning wood. The wood provides heat, smoke, and flavour to the pizza, giving it a distinct taste that can't be replicated with any other cooking method.

Advantages of wood-fired pizza ovens:

  • Authentic taste: As mentioned, wood-fired pizza ovens provide a unique flavour and texture to the pizza that can't be replicated with gas ovens.
  • High temperatures: Wood-fired pizza ovens can reach much higher temperatures than gas ovens, which allows for a crispy crust and evenly cooked toppings.
  • Aesthetics: Wood-fired pizza ovens have a classic, rustic look that adds a touch of charm to any backyard or restaurant.

Disadvantages of wood-fired pizza ovens:

  • Time: In general it takes longer for a wood pizza oven to reach the correct temperature for cooking. They do reach greater temperatures than gas ovens but this takes longer as you need to build up your fire inside your oven gradually.
  • Maintenance: Wood-fired pizza ovens require more cleaning than gas ovens. The embers of the left over wood fuel needs to be removed and then cleaned after use to ensure the next time you use it you get the authentic taste and flavour without an overpowering flavour burnt flavour. Excessive build ups of ash and debris that have not been cleaned can also be a serious fire hazard that can create an uncontrolled and dangerous fire. We cover the details of cleaning an oven in a later section.
  • Environmental impact: Burning wood produces emissions which are released into the atmosphere. It is highly recommended that you always use sustainably sourced wood. Also it is important to use properly seasoned and dried wood as these will burn much more efficiently than damp wood which release large amounts of emissions and ruin the flavour of your food.

Gas-fired pizza ovens:

Gas-fired pizza ovens are a more modern alternative to wood-fired ovens. They're powered by natural gas or propane and are typically made of stainless steel or other durable materials. Gas ovens are easier to operate than wood-fired ovens, and they require less maintenance.

Advantages of gas-fired pizza ovens:

  • Convenience: Gas-fired pizza ovens are easy to use and can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch.
  • Consistent temperature: Gas ovens can maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process, which can lead to more even cooking. You also have greater control over adjusting the temperature. With most gas ovens you can increase or decrease the flames much like you can on a gas barbecue or gas hob.
  • Environmental impact: Gas-fired pizza ovens produce fewer emissions than wood-fired ovens.

Disadvantages of gas-fired pizza ovens:

  • Less flavour: While gas-fired ovens can produce delicious pizza, they don't provide the same smoky, wood-fired flavour that's so beloved by pizza enthusiasts.
  • Lower temperatures: Gas-fired ovens typically can't reach the same high temperatures as wood-fired ovens, which can affect the texture and crispness of the pizza. This can also mean cooking takes longer overall.
  • Price: Gas-fired pizza ovens are generally more expensive to purchase than their wood fired equivalents. The additional components fitted for the gas connection and the rigorous testing required to ensure the gas components meet regulations drive the price up.

In conclusion, both wood-fired and gas-fired pizza ovens have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you're looking for the authentic taste and aesthetics of a classic pizza oven, a wood-fired oven might be the way to go. However, if convenience and consistent performance are more important to you, a gas-fired oven may be the better choice.

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